Wasted time, materials, and money

Just here to say that I am and have been extremely frustrated with this machine ever since we purchased it in 2020. SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS. I swear, we spend more time troubleshooting shit or making sure our materials are at the exact, absolutely perfect height for the laser to even work accurately or positioning our artwork at the exact 1/8th of an inch to the left of where we want the engraving to actually happen since this thing has a pretty wide error of margin between the artwork position you see on your screen and where the actual engraving happens (we threw out a ton of raw materials in the beginning due to this stupid problem alone before actually figuring this out). And now, materials are being wasted because this machine will seemingly just STOP in the middle of an engraving with nothing but an error that says “Unable to complete print” and no other explanation, and of COURSE there is no option to just resume the damn thing as soon as you shake this weird and random error loose. And so, you’re left with a half-engraved piece of garbage you can do literally nothing about (even if you wanna crop your design at where it left off, you absolutely cannot position it to fall perfectly where the previous engraving left off due to the huge margin of error I stated above.) I am livid. And I swear I have never once in my left spent as much money on something and been so absolutely let down by it as I have with the Glowforge. And I haven’t even gone into my frustration with the fact that as users, we are chained to their servers (and have to pay a monthly cost just to get our shit engraved in a timely manner?!) which means should we lose internet or lose access to their servers, this machine is nothing but a huge paperweight. Fantastic.

We are professionals and actually use this machine for our business, not stay at home moms who just wants to create crafts for their kids, but I think this is who this machine is geared toward and I am kicking myself for not doing enough research to learn that before dropping such a huge amount of money on this thing. That’s on me. HUGE buyers remorse here.

I am counting down the days until we can replace it with something way more reliable, with far fewer random inexplicable bugs and limitations and with much more accuracy. I’m so sick of losing money on the materials wasted and precious time on continuously trying to sort this crap out. Also, saving money on the monthly sub this company requires just to process your engraving in a timely manner will also be wonderful.

I can’t promise I won’t steal a scene from Office Space and take this ridiculously overpriced thing outside with some bats and exorcise some of this massive anger and frustration. I’ve got nearly 3 years’ worth saved.

Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.


Welcome to the forum.
Rant read. I believe there are many people here in the forum that would have helped you several years ago so that you didn’t experience the frustration you voice. As you indicated, many of your problems were user error. Yes, you must use their interface (clearly stated in the specs for all to see before purchasing), but you absolutely don’t need to pay a monthly cost for the premium subscription. It does not significantly change the process time. It does, however, provide storage for all of your designs and give you access to some helpful tools.

If you purchased the Glowforge to run a business, then you certainly should have done due diligence before making the purchase. The machine is largely for hobby use although many people make a tidy sum with their Glowforge.

Finally, unlike most places on the internet, this forum is family friendly. We use language appropriate for office discussions among professionals.


Sorry for your trouble. My first machine ran flawlessly for 5 years, never had a single issue until the tube expired (I was only expecting 2 years so that was a bonus)…

Machine #2 is working just as flawlessly.

  1. I don’t see any requests for support, so this should be moved out of the community support forum. I don’t think it really belongs anywhere here TBH. Maybe your personal Facebook wall?

  2. Tens of thousands of people use Glowforge for their small businesses. Nearly all of Glowforge’s current marketing is targeting small business use, not crafty moms. I can count the number of rants like these that get posted each year on one hand, so those using it for business seem to have few problems.

  3. You are not tethered to this machine or its software. Glowforges hold great resale value. You can sell yours RIGHT NOW, TODAY on eBay or FB Marketplace or what have you for enough money to buy an even more capable machine from another brand. If you really hate yours so much, you only have yourself to blame for any continued torture.

  4. Once you do get something else, you’ll find you have a whole other set of inexplicable bugs and limitations, along with lots more technical knowledge needed to fix and maintain the machine when you run into them. The grass is always greener…


I use this same language in office settings, actually. I appreciate the patronizing comment though. If words offend you, I suggest perhaps taking a break from the internet. And no, MOST of these issues have not been user error. You clearly misread my post. We are not idiots. In fact, the times we’ve called in for support/help, with the exception of one time, it seems the people who help us are though. I mean, when the suggestions we get are things like, “disconnect your internet and connect it again” it’s hard not to assume this unfortunately. (The last issue we had that we reached out to support for we did actually get someone knowledgeable who was able to help the solve the problem - that was the first time in 2.5 years.)

I did agree with these statements, however: “If you purchased the Glowforge to run a business, then you certainly should have done due diligence before making the purchase. The machine is largely for hobby use…”

Yes. You are right. I stated this. Totally on me. Thank you for reiterating and providing value to this thread. Much appreciated. Have a great day.

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I am not offended. These are the stated rules of the forum: FAQ - Glowforge Owners Forum


I have heard of these experiences from a few others! I have to wonder if some of these machines are just really buggy and some aren’t? My husband and I are incredibly technically savvy and can usually solve whatever random issues pop up but with this machine, there are just too many things we do not have the power to solve, such as the discrepancy between the positioning on our screen and the actual positioning of the engraving, errors that apparently stop a totally fine engraving when it’s halfway done with zero explanation except for an “error,” etc.

I am happy for those who have not had as many issues as we have, and absolutely thrilled they haven’t had to deal with these things, especially with how much this thing costs. Trust me, I’m not wishing our experience on others. I’m grateful to know there are people out there who have had a satisfying experience but it’s certainly perplexing to say the least.

  1. Unfortunately, I can’t request support for a job I sent to engrave and stopped midway though with nothing except “Error. print stopped.” It’s way too vague and weird and inexplicable and there’s really nothing GF support can do to fix that or the expensive material that I just threw in the trash because I couldn’t continue the engraving from where it left off. This is over 2 years of pent up frustration despite contacting support multiple times in the past. I don’t use Facebook and don’t know anyone else who uses this machine even if I did, so that would seem like a weird place to post such a rant.

  2. Since we purchased this machine, I have seen plenty of advertising targeting moms making crafts for their kids. At least soon after we purchased that was the case anyway. Maybe their strategy has changed.

  3. I am currently looking into reselling it, trust me. But part of me feels…guilty…for subjecting someone else to this madness? Like, I’d feel as if I’d want to disclose why I’m selling it and then I’m guessing they wouldn’t want it anymore. I guess I should just keep my mouth shut.

  4. Willing to take my chances!

Thank you for policing this forum! Both myself and Glowforge appreciate it and your unpaid assistance.

For real though dude. I’m not a bad person. I’m just extremely frustrated. Just because what I’ve described (and used colorful language to do so, because I seriously just had some expensive material wasted–again) isn’t your experience doesn’t make my experience invalid. A little empathy would be cool. If not though, I totally get that, just keep scrolling. No need to engage. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting any responses to this post. I just needed to get this anger out.

Almost all of your complaints come down to thoughtlessness. I frequently make cuts that have almost no margin for error. If you have run the calibration setup and used the set focus, then you can place the work very precisely. This is the kind of precision I often need to get a 3" wide part from a 3.04" piece of wood…

I don’t always need that level of precision, but it is there when I do.
When those of us first got our Glowforges, much of what exists now to make things more precise did not exist then. I did not realize that something I was doing was messing up my work and it wrecked my first machine, but they still covered the warranty within a week of it expiring.

Normally one is automatically added to the group when you purchase your Glowforge and you were added last December. So is the warranty still operating? If you had read and done all the setup procedures and reach out here for issues you were fighting I think that this group could have made your experience very much more positive.


You are getting empathy, but your post was like walking into a party and saying “this place is terrible” . The forum has rules. I shared them with you in case you missed them.

This is a community of Glowforge owners. Many of us have been here for 7 years - 2 years while we waited for the Glowforge to get produced. We help troubleshoot. We help with designs. We help with understanding how the machine works. We have invested lots of time and effort to be supportive of one another. I don’t think you are a bad person, but you are new here by choice and we might not be the right audience.


I was added last December?? That’s really odd. We purchased our GF in October of 2020 and it was delivered in late November (or early December), and I have had this account since then so definitely no more warranty available (oh how I wish it was!) But yeah, that’s very strange it’s showing I was added only a few months ago.

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Hi Rebecca,
Sorry for your terrible experience, I understand your level of frustration is extreme, and the need to vent. :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:
Regarding the placement accuracy, I wonder if you have used the camera calibration tool?
Since I ran that operation I can place my design within a millimeter by eye. There are also methods of making a jig to achieve perfect placement.
Working on my 6th year with this machine I have learned a lot, almost all from the community here. Unfortunate that you didn’t avail yourself of the resource that is this community sooner, where the hive here has worked with these machines for years, and encountered most of the problems that are possible. We are always anxious to help.

My experience has been the exact opposite of yours, so I know what is possible. The biggest problems I’ve had turned out to be either a problem with my file, or procedure, not the machine.


If you haven’t already moved it of course you can.

GF would have replaced any of their material if the machine was at fault for ruining it.

Nope. There is no cost per month other than your internet which I’m sure you would have even if you didn’t own a GF.

You realize of course there will be a learning curve for whatever machine you choose.
Good luck.

Perhaps you should have begun participating on this forum when you received your machine 3 years ago. Those of us who read these comments daily have virtually seen it all. We can and do help people solve issues. We’ve all had them ourselves and through the combined knowledge of the many people on this forum usually a solution can be found.
I feel your pain but we can’t help if you don’t ask.


You absolutely can…at least so close that no one else would notice



I think I said that :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


As did I. And included a demonstration image :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


So odd. Could that mean I just joined the forum at the time perhaps? That or it’s some kind of weird bug or system error.

Fair enough.
Please accept my apologies for losing my sh*t earlier. I was so frustrated and had nowhere but here to express that.

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