Glowforge

The 3D laser printer

#3 Product of the DaySeptember 25, 2015
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I've seen this in action, and I'm very impressed. The price point really opens this technology up to a lot of makers who previously couldn't afford access to a 3D laser printer.
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@deanputney @danshapiro Excuse my french here, but holy shit this is so awesome!!! I was watching the video and I'll give you the play by play... - ok, cool. - ok, that's cool... - ok, HOLY SHIT! But seriously though, having something like this can return the investment ten fold. I might have missed it, but what are the file extensions that you can use with this? EPS, AI, or PDF?
@sethlouey The drone! I had a chance to hunt this too.
@sethlouey Thanks Seth! There's a partial list at http://glowforge.com/tech-specs/ as well as a lot of other goodies. We expect to be pretty flexible in what we ingest and add a lot more to that list over time.
@erictwillis @sethlouey The drone's real; we've got two of them with us at Makerfaire. Dual counterrotating rubberband gattling guns unload roughly 80 bands/sec. These were built on an Iris+ frame, and use a pair of laser-cut delrin gears (plus an extra motor) to drive both gattling guns.
This is quite cool but let's face it: nobody in their right mind can think a $1000+ price point will get this thing into mass adoption.
@aaroncrocco The average PC was $2-3K in the 90s, and a lot of people bought them. I don't see the price point as that crazy, especially given how much more day-to-day use most people can get from a laser cutter vs 3D printer. It's really a big deal if it's as easy to use as it looks - machines with similar specs are ubiquitous on Ebay, but really hard to use.
@aaroncrocco your right. The wow affect end's, when you see the price tag.
@aaroncrocco Honestly though, if you bought it and made some stuff to sell, you'd make back your money ten fold.
The way this is marketed as a revolutionary "printer" instead of an incrementally improved laser cutter / engraver aggravates me, maybe more than it should, but that doesn't take away from the product. If the quality and reliability hold up, it's not a bad price point. The Universal Laser machine we have at Tampa Hackerspace runs $16,000 new, though there are others like Full Spectrum in this lower price range. It is a little hard to justify as an individual purchase, but it could easily be a money-maker for the Etsy crowd. https://www.etsy.com/market/lase... The camera system for scanning and auto-focusing is an interesting idea. I don't know how the software will work out, but it wouldn't be hard to improve on what most lasers use today - a special print driver that works with CorelDRAW.
@jonadair Totally understand, Jon. I shook my head when I heard someone describe CNC milling as "reverse 3D printing". But after talking to hundreds of customers, everyone kept calling the darn thing either a "laser printer" or "3d printer". Something I learned earlier in startup land is that it's better to learn from your customers than teach them, so... I know experts like you will understand exactly what it is: some really transformative stuff (like depth sensing, variable depth engraving, kerf management, and a bunch of machine vision stuff) applied to the baseline of traditional CNC laser cutter/engraver technology.
so freaking awesome!