I just pre-ordered a Glowforge laser printer! I am so excited to add this tool to my shop! Unfortunately I have to contain my excitement for 5 months until it ships. Glowforge hasn’t officially released the product yet as they are a little behind their original schedule. Glowforge started out as a crowdfunded venture back in 2015 and had an incredibly successful campaign, raising over $20M in a short window. Since then, they have been refining and improving the original concept into the amazing product that they are taking pre-orders for today. As I understand it they should be shipping out products to the people who participated in the crowdfunding campaign in the near future, and then working on getting preorders fulfilled… and I wait.
So why am I excited!? Well, let me tell you…
The Glowforge is very similar to a printer in the sense that you “print” images from your computer, phone, or tablet. What I mean by “print” though, is engrave and/or cut different types of materials. The Glowforge and cut wood, paper, cardboard, rubber, fabric, plexiglass (acrylic), cork, leather, Delrin (acetal), mylar, foods…and more (basically any organic material) up to ¼” thick (1/2” by flipping and using the optical system to align the material and cut from the other side). It can also engrave all those materials as well as other materials such as glass, ceramic tile, marble, anodized aluminum, rubber stamps, titanium, stone, and corian. Check out the video below or their website to see examples of some of the amazing things it can do.
I have been interested in getting a hobby laser for a number of years and have done a lot of research. Until I came across the Glowforge last year I was leaning toward purchasing a FSL H-Series laser or possibly the FSL Muse that was recently released. The FSL Muse appears to be a great product but is almost double the cost of the Glowforge and is more difficult set up and to operate. The one major advantage of the Muse is that the floor is removable so you can engrave on any size of surface, where as with the Glowforge you are limited to a 2” x 18” x 20”. I think that some of the key features of the Glowforge are the simplicity of the interface (Muse is more complicated), not having to worry about focusing the lens or using different lenses with 3D autofocus (time consuming and extra $$$ for the Muse), and you don’t have to deal with water cooling (extra set up and extra $$$ for the Muse). It appears that FSL acquired, will distribute, or has some other type of relationship with Glowforge because the Glowforge was listed on their pricing sheet when I inquired about the Muse last year before it was released. I haven’t been able to find any information to substantiate the relationship other than the pricing sheet though.
If you’re interested in buying one of these amazing devices for yourself use this link to save $100 (it will also save me some money).
Please add any comments or question in the Comments. If you have any laser projects please share them. I’m starting a list of project videos for my YouTube channel once I get my hands on it! I also have a number of laser project ideas pined to my board below.