Monday, October 16, 2017

Thoughts about the GlowForge

RCaptureecall back in 2015 how excited I was to invest in the crowdfunding campaign to purchase a Glowforge.  By Oct 11, 2017, two years to the day I placed my order, I still haven’t received my machine.   During this period of time, the company has delayed shipping several times due to parts, design, logistics issues and many other reasons.  Each time resulting in disappointment.  Review the forums, many owners are simply fed up, some cancelled, some complain, many hanging on.

I’m in the group who stayed with it for the long hual.  Admittingly, I needed encouragement to avoid cancelling.  However, I try and remind myself that it’ll be worth it.  Here’s my personal reasons:

We can afford to wait

The money did not come out of the family budget, it came out of my profits out of Cindy Ho Designs. Even if I did use family funds, my husband would have supported the purchase.  He always say thatI never spoil myself.    Some owners took out loans or sold personal posessions in order to get into the initial crowdfunding.  Many took on embarrassment and conflict from friends and spouses.

Glowforge has a Business Plan

Startups are always poise some risk, especially when they have to rely on crowdfunding.  Look what happened to TIKO3D, who ran out of money as a result of the founder’s inexperience and arrogance. 

I researched the founders and the investers before placing my order.  I felt confident they will produce as promised.  I also researched TIKO3D.  I invested feeling that was a good chance I wouldn’t reap the reward. 

Disclaimer: I was one of the lucky few who actually received the TIKO3D.  It’s a nice product, it’s too bad that they failed their venture.

The Glowforge is still a really great deal

A similar machine was $5000 to $8000 in 2015.   I purchased this machine for just under $2000 with shipping included.   Even with the delays, the Glowforge is still a great deal.  Also with the purchase if you can get 10 new customers sign up through your referral link you’d get $100 discount for up to 10 new customers.  I was lucky enough to get 10 (so far).  If they don’t cancel before they receive their units, the machine will only be $1000 plus import tax

Production Units are Shipping

Owners has been posting their feedback online and in the forums.  Most are loving their machines and sharing their experiences.  When you see the potential and hearling people using their machines reignites my excitement as I know the machine exists.

Glowforge are Quick to Resolve Issues

There were a few machines damaged during shipping, one actually had the glass lid and tube smashed.  That’s the fault of the courier but Glowforge were quick to jump to replace or correct the problem

Was there a moment that I wanted to cancel?   

The only true time I was angry after waiting over a year.  Glowforge announced users had to return their machines to them to replace the tubes when they wear out.  After the warrently period, the shipping cost is on the customer.  If outside the USA during the warrenty period, all shipping cost are on the customer.     There was no way I was going to ship my 32 kilogram (70 pound) machine for tube replacement.  Anytime you move anything, there’s always risk of damage and the shipping cost would have been at least $300-$500.  In one announcement they shut out all International customers as the cost was too high.  This caused enough uproar thath Glowforge resinded and will figure out how to instruct the users to replace these tubes themselves.

Do I still think holding out is it worth it?

When I wrote the above, it’s been in draft for a few weeks as I haven’t had alot of time to write.  Guess what, I received the machine!  After all the heartache and negative emotions:


I’ve only been using it for a couple of days now, however, so far, it’s been great!  I will be writing more on my experiences with this machine as my time allows, however, if you want to see projects on the go, please follow my Instagram account: @CindyHoDesigns.  If you have any feedback or suggestions, please let me know. 

For any of you are holding out, please hang in there

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