Why is the Glowforge called a printer

that trimming process is not printing, it’s finishing. and it’s generally part of a finishing unit that’s added to a printer.


Is it? Thermal printers aren’t additive. Would they be transformative? Or are they not printers?

Marking aluminum isn’t an additive process - it’s very much like a thermal printing process. Though, adding cermark is an additive process.

Seems kind of convoluted.


Speak for yourselves. My glowforge is a laser router! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Happy Birthday @Docsis :cake:


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so what I am hearing… no one know for sure… :smiley:

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i would say at a minimum, thermal printers add heat as opposed to ink. but it’s definitely not subtractive.

if the GF is a printer, then would you consider a CNC a printer? engraving with a router bit is closer to what a laser does.

at best, i would call it a specious claim. and it certainly goes against the conventional description/understanding of the term “printer.” and the output of the GF is generally fairly conventional. it’s still a laser burning away material. and we already have a descriptive term for what that is.

Conventional. I think that’s where we can get stuck - Constrained by our perceived definition.

It can be argued that ‘printing’ is an additive operation. Does printing include both handwriting or just mechanically deposited ink? Both are additive operations and both result in an image. Both require pigment and the energy to deposit it.
When I create a birthday card for my wife on colored cardstock with the laser, I am removing pigment by adding heat energy, - which results in an image. The image is both additive and subtractive. The common denominator is that energy is required to produce the image.
Additive or subtractive, in my mind I’m not sure it makes a difference. It helps if you’re stoned.

Oh, and as an added aggravation, I am also good with calling it 3D as it can define a dimension above X and Y, limited though it is. :grin:


here’s my problem. you have to work so hard to try to stretch the definition to fit, it just makes it sound more ridiculous.

i’m fine with change. i’m fine with saying, “the way we do things isn’t always the best/most efficient” and looking for better ways.

but this isn’t that. this is a marketing technique to try to seem different. without any real purpose other than marketing speak. for other folks old enough to remember, this feels more like alexander haig making up new ways to use words (“haigisms”).


It’s a good question. It’s complicated. There are worse names for things. But I can’t think of any that have caused as much grief as this.


I just call the Glowforge “a Cricket cutter with a lightsaber”


well… so much for asking a simple question.
…what @shop and o-o said. That’s good enough for me!

  1. a lot of us dislike that term for the GF. it’s a marketing tactic to make it sound simpler to use, not a realistic descriptor.
  2. Marketing disambiguation.

y’all can carry on…


Definitely a marketing twist, no denying.
Happy Birthday @Docsis!

Happy Cake Day @awebs76 ! :partying_face: :tada: :partying_face:

Cutters sound dangerous, printers are safe!

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This is great! Never saw the potato one before. :rofl: :rofl:

Call it a 3d printer for all I care, but if you call it “pews” or “zaps” and “zooms” I will always throw things.


Happy birthday @Docsis!
If you just stick with “Glowforge,” that’s all you need. :slight_smile:


It makes or shapes things by use of fire, and cuts, forms and creates new conditions. And it glows - both the button, the laser, and faces when they create something.

When I was first told about it, I was just told about “Glowforge,” it wasn’t called a 3D printer nor any other kind of printer, just “Glowforge.” I think the description of a forge fits it very well.

Let’s go with ink or toner being a printer, gf and the like is a carver/cutter, and 3D as a sculpter.

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