What does Glowforge have to say about this review?


+1 on the response please.

I found it amusing that the reviewer berates Glowforge for not having the machines running then proceeds to state the Full Spectrum didn’t have theirs running either. Dan has stated the current machines are using 3d printed cases… no kidding the " build quality of the exterior was poor". I’m not sure what some people think they are buying, but there is a reason the first ones off the line are all 1/2 price. Welcome to crowdfunding. Glowforge has completed their proof of concept and you’re purchasing now based on the faith that Dan and team will come out with a good final product. I’ve been followning Dan for years and he’s the real deal. Yes things don’t go as planned, and issues come up, but the team will work through them and we’ll end up with a revolutionary product sometime next year. And yes it will be next year not Dec, so you can cross that off the calendar. During the next few months you’ll see the software, demo videos, final cases, and the catalogue. But yes it will take patience.


Well, after reading the article, the only actual thing that worries me, other
than prototypes not really working like they should or undeveloped
software that could be stolen before completion or patenting is the fact
that they’re sort of lying with the release date and make you believe
you’ll be getting the Glowforge on December but the hidden list could
mean yours could ship on may or August 2016…


+1 on the response from a pro-preorder.

I think they did comment on that “review” from reddit somewhere on Facebook and admitted it was a bit embarrassing for them on the Maker Faire.

Otherwise though…

I remember the early iPhone critics when it first launched in 2007, there was so many “bad reviews” going around. And even now you’ll have people criticize iPhones.

But of course we’re talking about Apple here, which is a completely different thing.

Another pro-preorder here that is curious for an official response. It’s possible the reviewer is being overly critical or pessimistic, but their concerns seem rather valid.

Was also at the World Maker Faire and had similar hopes and impressions as the reddit poster. Great point about the filter. Not convinced the filter works at all at the moment, and even if it is working by launch time 2 stage filtration through such a thin filter won’t do very much for indoor environments. I’d never use that thing at home without venting outdoor. Another curious thing is that the vent is on the LEFT side of the machine, which is really poor design as it brings all the smoke directly TOWARDS the mirrors and interferes with the laser beam path. Wouldn’t be an issue if the optical path were completely sealed (as it says in the specs: http://glowforge.com/tech-specs/) but the models on display at MF had totally exposed optics and everyone I asked about an enclosed path had no idea what I was talking about. Which was another odd thing about the reps…none of them seemed to know much about the machine. The software guys had no idea about anything hardware and vice versa. The marketing lady seemed nice but also had no idea about machine operation or specs. And there was a very strange but obvious pattern going on where they would talk endlessly to designers and people with no experience in laser cutting but as soon as someone (like me) with extensive experience in laser cutting would ask specific technical questions they would immediately lose interest. Dan, the CEO, was super curt and literally just walked away as I was trying to get some specific info that is important to the reliability of the machine 3 times. In terms of reliability the “sun broke it” excuse was REALLY strange. There is no reason sunlight should have any more effect than other lighting on calibration, unless they are using IR for something like distance sensing. In that case, it would throw everything off. This happens often with some of our IR-based 3D scanners. And yes, that would seem to mean that putting it directly in front of a window, which happens to be the BEST location for a laser cutter, could potentially brick your machine. That’s a HUGE bug and something they should address publicly very soon. At some point they must’ve gotten the calibration down well enough to demo because they were doing the draw and engrave trick; however, the engraving was at least 1/8" off of where the drawing was on the material. Maybe not a huge deal if you’re just doing stuff for fun but that’s a huge error for anything else. Also, the KILLER APP for this cutter is the ability to automatically compensate on the Z axis for curved material. That was not shown at all at MF as far as I know so may be vaporware at this point. Some of these things are likely software bugs that can be hammered out before launch, but the hardware issues (filter, venting, sealed beam path, IR interference, z positioning, etc…) should at least be addressed if they can’t be fixed by then.

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I have to be honest here and say that reading that review really brought it home that I put my money on an a product that does not actually exist and may not exist in my world for an indefinite timeframe. Couple that with the 6-month warranty (proof of purchase is the day it charges on most retail sales) the device could be out of warranty before it ever lands on my door. My credit card does double manufacturers warranty so that is a little more comforting to have that just in case the warranty does not start on ‘purchase date’ and actually starts on ‘install date’. There is no backing out once it ships. I am really back on the fence at this point because I do not want a 2000$ hunk of plastic cluttering up the garage like cast away dreams of all the glorious ideas that may never materialize.
Dan Shapiro seems like compassionate and straight shooting human. Very empathetic but also realize he is shrewd too. He had studied successful crowd funded programs before and worked to ensure that the launch of this was successful launch like having the first seed funding in place pre-launch being the momentum that got all of us excited enough to start melting our plastics to explode the demand. I get it and it is definitely a tactic we are likely to see again and again until the sparkle wears off. I also understand that those early inside investors will likely get hands on their devices first and since they are invested more than say, me will likely give out glowing reviews of the device and the service. I sure hope all my concerns are way outside what is really happening. I am concerned. But at the same time I am confident that this product will absolutely revolutionize the marketplace in a very positive way. It may be early in the game but if you don’t have critics you should have more to worry about. Being under the scope is a significant sign that you are onto something great.
Man, am I long winded tonight. I know that I did not order the prototype and I am convinced that the team in charge of this will deliver a beautifully crafted machine and I can’t wait to see what arrives and what comes out of it. Rock on fellow makers.

@benwalker: Just to address a specific question, the warranty starts from the time of delivery. Also, thanks for the kind words… sort of? : ) I’m an engineer by training so the whole “shrewd marketer” thing feels like you’re talking about someone else. I’m lucky to have some amazingly talented co-workers who I get to design things with, who then make those things look really, really good. The screwups are on me; the credit goes to them.

Speaking of screwups, I’m happy to answer specific questions, but to the general “what do I think of the review”: I think he was fair, and I feel like crap about it. We had things go wrong on Saturday and the writer saw all of them, and wasn’t there Sunday when we got things fixed. I don’t blame him for coming to the conclusions that he did. We’d been doing nonstop demos for two weeks prior, we ran a Glowforge all night at Makercon and did 150 prints on Sunday, but on Saturday we blew out two of our three machines in the first five minutes and had to shut everything down until we figured out the problem and fixed it. I feel terrible for the people who came to see us Saturday and didn’t get to watch the machines in action. (If you’re curious, video from sunday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tIbC1iNrMU)

Happy to explain any details that people are curious about, just ask.


I’d actually like to see an estimate shipping date on my profile before the cancel date expires, so I can decide if the wait is worth. I still feel it a bit “shady” to show “shipping on december” knowing already you won’t be able to fulfill all orders by then.

There’s no cancel date. We’re going to keep everyone updated on our shipping plans as new information develops, and you can cancel up until the moment you provide us with your shipping address (right before it actually ships).


So basically I can’t know when my unit will actually ship, either December 2015 or December 2016?

@Dan: I placed a preorder pretty much first thing in the morning of launch day. However, the review above suggested that all of the first units to be produced this year are going to a large private order.

My big question after reading that review is “what is a realistic ship date for regular people who preordered early in the campaign?” Is a realistic ship date for regular people who preordered definitely going to be in 2016?


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Wow. As another WMFNY attendee (who actually has a paid pre-order), I attempted to post a reply essentially confirming many of the reddit reviewer’s concerns about the demos on display and interactions with the GF team but got censored as “spam”. Not cool guys.

Thanks for your engagement for sure and my apologies for what may appear to be a backhanded compliment. I didn’t mean to give that impression. My post was half excitement about this product, a quarter concern with that review, and a quarter concern with some other things that have been going on. I have just had one too many technologies arrive that ended up being a huge regret. So to say I am guarded is probably the best way to explain it.
The worst press exposure is no press exposure. So enjoy the ride. We support you.

@makerblock @bolsoncerrado: My best forecast is first half of 2016. I will get you more information as we get better insight; we’ll likely have a detailed ship date update at the end of the month. I can pretend to have more accurate data but even that range assumes that we have some problems but not too many problems - it could be earlier (if all goes smoothly) or later (if it doesn’t). I’m going to do my best to convey both information (when we have it) and the lack of it (when we don’t) so you can make the right decision for yourself, even if that means you go and buy something else right now. I’d rather have you happy as someone else’s customer than sad as ours.

@fablab_elpaso: I’ve never flagged a comment as spam, but every member who’s posted a certain number of times gets the ability to do that. There’s also an automatic service (Akismet, I think) that flags posts as well.

Again, if you have any questions about anything at Maker Faire, please post here so I can answer!


Well I would lie then if the “shipping December” thing was not something I found a bit “cheating” and sort of miss leading if it’s now 1stQ2006,which could easily become 2Q2006 or so… Just a bit deceived.


@dan: Glowforge has been marketed for months and on the preorder page as “FIRST UNITS SHIPPING DECEMBER 2015”. Whether GlowForge gets $1M or $10M of preorders, that should not change the shipping date of the first units.

While I would have preordered the GlowForge was advertised as “first half of 2016,” this should really have been made very clear on the preorder page. Delivery starting in 3 months is very very different than delivery in 9 months.

I feel like you’ve been up front with the backers, but the preorder page should really be as clear as you are here.


Agreed; while I’m sure he can’t talk about private customers’ orders, he could pretty easily discuss whether any units made this year will be shipping to individuals. I mean I’m excited, and I won’t cancel my order either way, but I’ve gotten nearly two dozen people to order this thing, and it is at best deceptive to suggest that first units would ship in December, but not to anybody ordering them once the campaign launched.

I mean, I’m familiar with crowdfunding and preorders and things, and I for sure know that, well, shit happens. That is 100% a-okay. I’m just pro-transparency.

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