What are the advantages does Glowforge has (comparing with other laser printers)?


#1

Hi,
I’m a buyer from China and I bought the Glowforge because when I saw the video I feel this machine could make so many personalized stuffs.
I thought this is the first laser 3D printer (I didn’t do much research). So after talking with my friend I found out some industries in China already have it. Here is one of them:
https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.1.14.1.7MLrWE&id=522077207259&ns=1&abbucket=8#detail

There are some videos you can watch when scrolling down.

So I got some questions:

  1. what are the differences between this machine and the Glowforge? (I know the Glowforge looks cooler and simple)
  2. The machine I post above only cost about $500 ~ $1800 (depends on the size and watts), and the products it made seems exactly same with the Glowforge. So what are the advantages does Glowforge has? (so actually it’s the question 1)
  3. Can the Glowforge engraves curve surface? The machine above can do it because it adds a equipment that can roll the bottle.

Thanks,
Chak


#2

Primarily the glowforge has cloud based software that will work from any operating system, that machine will be windows only.
Glowforge has a camera in the head that will allow it to automatically follow a curved surface, it can only engrave a small section of round objects (it can’t rotate them). That machine can only engrave flat round objects (cylinders or cones) and it needs a special attachment to do it.
The glowforge has clever alignment and maintenance systems which will make it easier to set up and keep running.
Glowforge will do their best to make sure you get a fully functional machine straight out the box, I’ve seen machines from China that have clearly never been turned on before leaving the factory.

Finally never under estimate the power of English support and an active community. In my mind those things alone are worth the extra money.


#3

Welcome to the forum. There are many topics that discuss the unique features of the Glowforge, Here is what pursuaded me:

  1. Camera for the whole bed and then a macro camera for the head to fine positions. Being able to position through camera image overlaying the materials is excellent.
  2. Control software custom made and executed in the cloud that works with graphic design programs I already use.
  3. Cross platform software: I can use it on all my computing devices.
  4. Catalog of design and materials that work right out of the box.
  5. Availability of replacement parts.

Here is another thread that is discussing the issues you raise: