Questions about Glowforge
According to Glowforge, the laser tube is rated to last for two years, at which point it will need to be replaced.
Yes, Glowforge is remarkably easy to use. According to one very happy customer, "Templates and materials available on the Glowforge site make it easy to start with no experience required." Additionally, Glowforge will even provide a stack of free materials to get started with, including:
- (1) Medium 3/64″ thick Natural Leather 5″ x 10″
- (1) Medium 1/8″ thick Finished Walnut Hardwood 6″ x 12″
- (1) Medium 1/8″ thick Finished Maple Plywood 12″ x 20″
- (3) Thick 1/4″ Clear Acrylic 12″ x 20″
- (6) Medium 1/8″ thick Unfinished Draftboard 12″ x 20″
Yes - According to this glowing review from PCMag, the "Glowforge Pro is an amazing laser cutter that's small and affordable enough for amateur hobbyists and aspiring home artisans, though it'll fill a large work table and is far from cheap at $6,000. It's simple to set up, easy to use, and capable of cutting and engraving a variety of materials. It also has a generously large test bed and the ability to handle big projects thanks to a feeder (as long as your material is 19.5 inches wide or narrower, and you have the space in front of and behind the Glowforge to feed it). It's all the power you need to become a regent of Etsy or your local craft fair." Since Glowforge's competitors are several thousand dollars more expensive, Glowforge offers a relatively more affordable option for customers. Glowforge was #3 Product of the Day on Product Hunt on September 5, 2015.
Customers can choose from three different options:
- Glowforge Basic - $2,995
- Glowforge Plus - $3,995
- Glowforge Pro for $5,995
While all three models are able to perform the same tasks, the Glowforge Plus and the Glowforge Pro are able to offer their users certain premium features. For example, both the Plus and Pro have enhanced cooling which the Basic does not. This can allow the Plus and Pro machines to keep working for longer, while also extending the health of the Glowforge's laser. The Plus and Pro are also faster than the Basic. According to their site, "the Glowforge Pro top engraving speed is 3x as fast as the Glowforge Basic, and cutting is 1.2x as fast. The Glowforge Plus top engraving speed is 2x as fast as the Glowforge Basic." Furthermore, the Plus and Pro have 12 months of warranty coverage, compared to the Basic's 6 months. The Glowforge Pro also has the "Passthrough" feature which allows it to handle the much larger and longer projects, as it can accommodate larger-sized materials. The Pro has the most powerful laser of the three, can print for the longest period of time, and is capable of handling bigger materials. With three different options, and $3000 between the basic and pro model, customers can ensure that they are picking the machine that is right for them.
Yes, Glowforge can do 3D engravings. According to their site, "one of the amazing things you can do with your Glowforge is engrave shapes with real depth and detail."
No, Glowforge is not technically a 3D printer. The technical name for the category of tools that includes the Glowforge is "CNC laser cutter engraver", but it is more commonly referred to as a "3D laser printer." Laser printing or cutting is based on subtractive manufacturing, while 3D printing is based on additive manufacturing.