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Thread: Glowforge launched today

  1. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by David Somers View Post
    Oooooh. I just got an email from a company called Trackr. They make little keyfob like devices designed to help you locate lost keys and wallets and pets and whatnot. Their email says they have teamed with GlowForge, advertising that you can now customize your Trackr with your GlowForge in your own home!!! (seriously!) A deal! I can buy my $17 Trackr and by adding a $1700 GlowForge to the order I can use the GlowForge to customize my Trackr!!! As they might say in the UK Dave...."Brilliant!" <grin>

    Where is that credit card????

    I got the same email too and that's how I found out about this laser and I was impressed with the laser except, TrackR is a scam, I got 10 of their trackers for $100 and it does not work, it was a pure marketing hype to sell a product that just does not work. They made millions, you can check the indiegogo site for comments. Anyways, getting back to this laser, if a scammer has teamed up and is marketing this product..... I rather wait.

    Also if someone is giving you a 50% discount on a great product as a pre-order price, it looks like they want to sell as many as they can before users can voice out their feedback. This TrackR product had the exact same scheme. I am seeing a red flag here from my TrackR experience.


    Kim
    Last edited by Kim Vellore; 09-25-2015 at 2:39 AM. Reason: Added last two lines
    Epilog Legend 24TT

  2. #47
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    Not knocking the machine just the way it is presented. Basically its a really good version of the K40 with some good software touches.

    My concern is with statements like TEM00 making me ask if this is false advertising and if it is such a great product why are they selling it at 50% discount when it is massively oversubscribed - goes against all supply/demand business practices unless something is planned to make fast money and run away leaving everyone in the lurch (releasing firmware is another indicator of this).
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  3. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Lee DeRaud View Post
    Eh? That power sounds high by a couple orders of magnitude. Milliwatt maybe?

    Apologies, Lee is quite right
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  4. #49
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    I'm not sure any of you have anything to fear competition wise (which is where all of this negativity is coming from). The laser companies may, because a 4K machine with better software (regardless of engrave speed) is going to sell a lot more to schools and maker spaces than will a 35k machine. Not to mention volume. The most popular equipment at every makers pace I've ever visited are the lasers. If you can get 5 machines going for the price of one that's attractive. Actually, for most engraving tasks 45w is plenty, so it should be attractive to folks here too. What does a 15 engrave time per job matter when for the price of your trotec you can quintuple or more your effective engraving surface? Seems like everyone is more afraid than anything, and that's too bad. It keeps you from seeing all the possibilities.

  5. #50
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    I have to disagree, seriously do you think a sub 2 K or even a 4 K machine will stand up to School or makerspace use and abuse. I don't think so. I look at the cost of maintaining a decent laser that is cared for in its use and then go to the schools and makerspaces were the machines are not owned by the people using them. They don't pay particular attention to safety and rules, and hey if I just throw it in and hit a button take it out and leave. Don't bother to clean or lube or anything.Theres just so many misconceptions about this laser.I can see it now, the creek getting flooded with people asking how to fix these things and how to up grade them and make them go faster.Oh my 6 year old knocked it off the table and now it doesn't work how can I make it go again. Oh my internet connections down and I promised the kids at school I'd engrave cookies today.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Hilton View Post
    I'm not sure any of you have anything to fear competition wise (which is where all of this negativity is coming from). The laser companies may, because a 4K machine with better software (regardless of engrave speed) is going to sell a lot more to schools and maker spaces than will a 35k machine. Not to mention volume. The most popular equipment at every makers pace I've ever visited are the lasers. If you can get 5 machines going for the price of one that's attractive. Actually, for most engraving tasks 45w is plenty, so it should be attractive to folks here too. What does a 15 engrave time per job matter when for the price of your trotec you can quintuple or more your effective engraving surface? Seems like everyone is more afraid than anything, and that's too bad. It keeps you from seeing all the possibilities.
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  6. #51
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    I was skeptical at first and still am to a degree but I must say I'm really impressed by two things.

    1) Excellent marketing video
    a) I'm sure they will sell a lot of these if they are as advertised. Once these people get their feet wet I would imagine a percentage of them will graduate to the real lasers like you and I have. Good for the laser manufacturers, but this is bad for engraving professionals. I already compete against a home made laser guy, cannot imagine if everyone gets into this field. Sure he has no ventilation, no safeties and is hurting his health every day, but some people don't care. I could never work in that environment or expect any employee to.

    2) Their software and GUI interface.
    This is SMART and IMPRESSIVE.
    a) Smart because they will likely have a thousand bugs on day one, by going into the cloud it allows them to seamlessly fix the bugs instead of having hundreds of pissed off customers having to upgrade every week. Likely a product killer had they gone the traditional download and install route. Being a tiny company on a shoe string budget, you can guarantee there will be a ton of bugs to fix, and this makes it easy for everyone. Very Smart business move.
    b) The feature where it takes a picture of whats on the bed and then displays it on your screen is a duh why didn't the other laser manufacturers think of this scenario? A $4000 laser can do this but my $40,000 Trotec cannot, neither can Epilog or Universal. I cannot imagine how many job errors and countless hours this would save to be able to see the substrate on the screen. I hope the "real" laser manufacturers all add this in future models and upgrades for current models. This is a killer feature in my humble opinion. One we should push the big boys to adapt.
    Last edited by Keith Winter; 09-25-2015 at 11:39 AM.
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  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Harman View Post
    Blu-ray laser diodes are fairly powerful. The ones I've seen are 700 to 1,200 mW. I'm skeptical that you'll find 1.5 to 3 W diodes in common blu-ray players though. A quick search for a 3W diode results in finding one on eBay for almost $500.
    Possibly true for a Blu-Ray writer, but still sounds high given the power density that implies at the head. The numbers I'm finding for players is in the 3mW-5mW range.
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  8. #53
    The marketing job on this machine is both brilliant and completely misleading. I guess what's brilliant is the fact it's misleading. Using buzz words that create an illusion of the machine being something it isn't is dishonest at best and illegal at worst. I'm also baffled by how they convinced people to fork over their hard earned money so that they could develop a laser that basically already exists, more or less. I'm pretty much 100% against GoFundMe business models so I lose a lot of respect for the business right off the bat for that.

    As for the machine itself, I think it looks okay for $2000. It's a tool and it will be sold to people looking for a tool. This will not end up in every household. I see it marketed towards hobbyists in general, and honestly, that's a market sector I don't care about. They don't have money to spend but typically want a lot in return. I also see this being used in engineering, design, and architectural firms which is a market sector I rarely deal with and again, don't care if they go somewhere else. The few times I've worked with them, I found them difficult to work with. So am I concerned about my bottom line? Not especially. I already have people working out of their garage all around me and it hurts my business but I don't think this magically makes someone want to start an engraving business.

    Feature wise:
    No exhaust and no air assist but being marketed as a laser cutter is dangerous to me. I've used a laser for a long time without air assist. I know you can do it safely but I also know you have to monitor the machine and exhaust is ultra important to keep the chance of burning your machine alive to a minimum. Simply put, you cannot safely run a laser without an exhaust and I don't know how this machine is legally sold without explicitly telling consumers they must add an exhaust setup.

    I personally think the cloud based software is completely unnecessary. Why can't you simply load the software onto your machine and have the machine communicate with a central server daily/weekly to check for updates? I think tech people don't live in the real world sometimes. I have internet access nearly 24/7 but that's not the case everywhere. Some people in rural areas are on dial up and struggle to get decent internet from their cell phone providers. Some people get bad connections because of their building or simply just being in a dead spot. What if my net is down for the day because of work being done? I can't use my laser? Going cloud based is completely unnecessary.

    Personally, I think the best feature I saw was the overhead camera. I'd really like that feature. I think it would be incredibly useful to me on a nearly daily basis. I doubt how well it works, but the ability to draw something on the machine and have it follow the line I would find useful as well, especially when making jigs and things like that.

    In the end, I think people will buy the machine and the machine will probably work fine. I expect some people to be really excited with the results and others to be entirely disappointed. Once again, the end product is down to how creative you are and how well you can create the artwork to create your vision. This is where most people will fail.
    Equipment: IS400, IS6000, VLS 6.60, LS100, HP4550, Ricoh GX e3300n, Hotronix STX20
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  9. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Hilton View Post
    Seems like everyone is more afraid than anything, and that's too bad. It keeps you from seeing all the possibilities.
    If that's what you get from any of my posts, you are reading my posts completely wrong. I'm not afraid of anyone entering the laser market. Competition makes us better. I don't think these lasers will do anything to our specific market. If anything, it'll probably help, because all those one off, don't want to pay much walk in customers will have an outlet. That's fine with me.

    I've said about 2-3 times in this thread already, it's a slick machine, I just don't agree with some things they say it is, or comparisons that use that are creating a false narrative.

    Let's be honest, no one's going to take a 1000 piece order from us and give it to someone with one of those.
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  10. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Hilton View Post
    I'm not sure any of you have anything to fear competition wise (which is where all of this negativity is coming from). The laser companies may, because a 4K machine with better software (regardless of engrave speed) is going to sell a lot more to schools and maker spaces than will a 35k machine. Not to mention volume. The most popular equipment at every makers pace I've ever visited are the lasers. If you can get 5 machines going for the price of one that's attractive. Actually, for most engraving tasks 45w is plenty, so it should be attractive to folks here too. What does a 15 engrave time per job matter when for the price of your trotec you can quintuple or more your effective engraving surface? Seems like everyone is more afraid than anything, and that's too bad. It keeps you from seeing all the possibilities.
    Jason: I hope someone gives you a gold star for your post. Your experiences mirror mine with the exception being Techshop, which I believe has/had a partnership with Epilog. I would like to see laser manufacturers become a little uncomfortable and up their game to innovate machines that are approachable for anyone with an idea to make something. Perhaps it would create the disruption (caution: buzzword) in the industry and prevent someone from jacking up the price of a laser tube 72%.

    Like the original discussion thread, there still seems to be speculation of doomsday scenarios. I get it. I sometimes hate new things too. However, many of the very creative knocks on the machine, company, and (sadly) the team have been addressed as information has become available and it looks pretty legit to a lot of very smart people (I am not one of them.) Typically on the internet, you will often see phrases uttered like "I don't have a dog in the hunt" or "I don't have skin in the game" as a way to qualify that the following opinion is impartial. Like Jason, I also get the impression (after reading the comments) that the negativity comes from a fear of competition. However, I don't see this as a machine to crank out 1,000s of name tags or trophies but as a tool for artists, designers, engineers, and inventors to create something. I don't see a drawback to this.

  11. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by Bert Kemp View Post
    ...do you think a sub 2 K or even a 4 K machine will stand up to School or makerspace use and abuse...
    They already do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Winter View Post
    I was skeptical at first and still am to a degree but I must say I'm really impressed by two things.

    1) Excellent marketing video
    a) I'm sure they will sell a lot of these if they are as advertised. Once these people get their feet wet I would imagine a percentage of them will graduate to the real lasers like you and I have. Good for the laser manufacturers, but this is bad for engraving professionals. I already compete against a home made laser guy, cannot imagine if everyone gets into this field. Sure he has no ventilation, no safeties and is hurting his health every day, but some people don't care. I could never work in that environment or expect any employee to.
    It has ventilation or an optional filter module:

    https://glowforge.zendesk.com/hc/en-...al-Air-Filter-

    2) Their software and GUI interface.
    This is SMART and IMPRESSIVE.
    a) Smart because they will likely have a thousand bugs on day one, by going into the cloud it allows them to seamlessly fix the bugs instead of having hundreds of pissed off customers having to upgrade every week. Likely a product killer had they gone the traditional download and install route. Being a tiny company on a shoe string budget, you can guarantee there will be a ton of bugs to fix, and this makes it easy for everyone. Very Smart business move.
    b) The feature where it takes a picture of whats on the bed and then displays it on your screen is a duh why didn't the other laser manufacturers this scenario? A $4000 laser can do this but my $40,000 Trotec cannot, neither can Epilog or Universal. I cannot imagine how many job errors and countless hours this would save to be able to see the substrate on the screen. I hope the "real" laser manufacturers all add this in future models and upgrades for current models. This is a killer feature IMO.
    I totally agree. Good points.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ross Moshinsky View Post
    Feature wise:
    No exhaust and no air assist but being marketed as a laser cutter is dangerous to me. I've used a laser for a long time without air assist. I know you can do it safely but I also know you have to monitor the machine and exhaust is ultra important to keep the chance of burning your machine alive to a minimum. Simply put, you cannot safely run a laser without an exhaust and I don't know how this machine is legally sold without explicitly telling consumers they must add an exhaust setup.
    It has exhaust. See link above. Also, air assist:

    "Air Assist — Internal air assist, no external compressor hookup required"


    http://glowforge.com/tech-specs/

  12. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt McCoy View Post
    However, I don't see this as a machine to crank out 1,000s of name tags or trophies but as a tool for artists, designers, engineers, and inventors to create something. I don't see a drawback to this.
    I agree 100%. I think artists will LOVE this machine. Creative types will do great with it. That's why I, personally, don't see it as a threat. I also don't think that pointing out errors in their own words qualify anyone as being "opposed to it" or "a hater". If I have a website that says we cut things with a laser that's using a 20,000nm laser, and that's not accurate, if you question that statement, does that make you "against" or, or just someone who's trying to point out the error, an error that might be misleading to someone that doesn't know any better?

    It's possible to give criticism without being on the opposite side of things.
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  13. #58
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    Recently developed an interest in 3D printers, so I read thru this out of curiosity.

    Seems polarized light creates polarized opinions.

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    Last edited by Malcolm McLeod; 09-25-2015 at 11:06 AM.
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  14. #59
    I have this Libra rising somewhere in my astrological lineage, and as usual, it's pushing me to weigh both sides of this story. So, I've fought it long enough, I just have to play devil's advocate -- again.
    (Please take this with at least a half a grain of salt, since half of my tongue is in my cheek) ...

    As for safety- So far the only 'major' safety issue I've seen put out here, is putting PVC in the thing. Ok-- first of all, what kind of PVC is laying around the house that a kid is going to find to put in the thing? Most PVC plumbing is too thick to fit under the laser. Off the top of my head, I can't think of much PVC stuff laying around that a kid is going to laser. I would HOPE that the instructions that come with the thing DO point out materials that don't belong in the thing. But suppose some PVC does get put in and lasered, the smoke will just go outside, or most of it will get trapped in the hepa filter on those units. If some of gas escapes, those in the house will run outside for fresh air, and they'll learn right away that piece of stuff shouldn't be in there! If someone actually gets hurt, they'll sue, and the company goes broke in litigation-

    -or not? Hey, nobody ever told ME not to put PVC in my laser. I'd been running lasers for 9 years before I talked to any other users. And guess what? I engrave PVC in my lasers. I'm halfway thru a 6000 part job right now, been running them since mid August. Did the same job 2 years ago. Know what happens? The PVC ends up with words and numbers on it, and I get paid. My machines suffer no ill effects. Neither to the blowers. Or the neighbors. The tiny bit of smoke produced I blow thru a crude box of old metal-framed furnace filters that I keep damp when running these parts, since water supposedly changes unsafe chlorine gas to reasonably safe hydrochloric acid. Anywhere from 5' away from the filter, there's no smell, no coughing or hacking. But know this- I would never attempt nor advocate whatsoever CUTTING the stuff in a laser.

    So that's my dirty little secret. But I know I'm not the only one. Hard to get us PVC engravers to come out of the closet. To continue: like probably most of you, I also keep bleach and ammonia in the house, and drain cleaner, and oven cleaner, and xylene, acetone, propane cylinders, purple power cleaner, and stairs. My house has stairs. I seriously believe stairs will kill or hurt me long before my lasers ever will. I also have an electric stove. I had gas stoves in my last 2 homes. Know what can happen when one of the grandkids turns a knob on that thing, but not far enough for the igniter to fire? Got a neighbor down the street with a new house that can tell ya. And that safe DVD player? Ever had a mad wife throw one at you? And finally, I won't even start with the "g and a" words. (and I have several)

    My point is simple- there's plenty of things in any house that are at least as unsafe as burning PVC in an enclosed box. A kid, or adult, will probably get hit by lightning before hurting themselves with that laser.

    Next up-- this thing vs say, an actual 3D printer. How many people know someone with one? I've spoken to 3 or 4 of my customers who have one, or know someone who has one. The common theme? They don't use them. After the newness wears off, they become dust collectors. Another production tool-turned-toy: The Cricut. I'd be willing to bet most of those are collecting dust while their owners just use scissors. Same thing's going to happen with these things. The ad hype shows happy families including their new laser at dinner, during homework studies, their whole life revolves around it! Yup, going to be fun at first, but eventually, using it to cut that cookie will be more work than it's worth. It'll find it's place on a shelf, and there it'll stay. I'm sure a few of them might actually be used to make a few spare bucks. And those will probably be used as safely as everyone else uses theirs...

    I was reading the other day about the history of laser engravers--
    https://www.engraversjournal.com/art...244/index.html

    And this passage comes to mind:
    ...The staff at Epilog spent 1991 continuing to develop the Eclipse and attending trade shows. While it wasn’t hard to convince people that the look of laser-engraved pieces was fantastic, convincing them that the Eclipse was an easy tool they could operate in their own business was an enormous obstacle,” says Dean. “Educating people on how the laser would create stunning graphics on a variety of materials was so far beyond most people’s imagination that it was difficult for them to understand what a laser did, even when they were standing right in front of it. People just had a hard time believing that they could produce this sort of product in their own shop, using nothing more than a scanner and a computer.”
    --sounds a bit familiar!

    Finally- I do understand everyone's concern over this machine, but it's not so much a nuclear bomb, more like a George Forman grill- Just use it wisely and it won't burn ya...
    Last edited by Kev Williams; 09-25-2015 at 11:36 AM.
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  15. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Shepherd View Post
    I agree 100%. I think artists will LOVE this machine. Creative types will do great with it. That's why I, personally, don't see it as a threat. I also don't think that pointing out errors in their own words qualify anyone as being "opposed to it" or "a hater". If I have a website that says we cut things with a laser that's using a 20,000nm laser, and that's not accurate, if you question that statement, does that make you "against" or, or just someone who's trying to point out the error, an error that might be misleading to someone that doesn't know any better?

    It's possible to give criticism without being on the opposite side of things.
    They bottom line is they express the capability to cut up to 1/4" material. You can flip the stock for thicker materials. No hype there for a 40-45 Watt laser.

    I'll let someone else debate the tech specs of the tube, if they wish.

    Couple other things that hasn't been discussed that I found pretty interesting:

    -It is self-aligning (Goodbye thermal paper)
    -Closed-optic lens (Clean)
    -Integrated self-cooling (No water bucket and pump)

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