Glowforge laser printer

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helifrek
Posts: 163
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2014 6:09 pm

Re: Glowforge laser printer

Post by helifrek » Sun Oct 25, 2015 5:45 pm

$1600 will buy me a lot more than 80 hours! :) plus I get to learn about laser cutting and make myself all sorts of cool junk! I am in the military and all the shops and companies are always getting stuff laser engraved. I am pretty sure the glowforge will pay itself off in the first couple of months, I have had tons of people ask me about laser cutting in the past because they know I am into 3D printing. The people I work with would rather give their money to another soldier than to a stranger!
The M2 has just about payed itself off, just printed 50 shotglass inserts that fit into 30mm shells. The shells are also laser engraved/etched with a small 1x1" logo. If i can figure out how to do those logos I will have the glowforge payed off in about two months!

Anyways, I will keep my expectations low and my hopes high :) I don't expect this thing to be magical, and if I receive it by June I will be happy!

wmgeorge
Posts: 194
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 1:09 am

Re: Glowforge laser printer

Post by wmgeorge » Mon Oct 26, 2015 1:48 am

First it's a matter of physics, laser tubes generate heat that needs to be moved out of the process. There are two types of CO2 laser tubes glass water cooled and metal air cooled. A 40 watt glass tube requires circulation of water and rejection of heat either to a refrigerated chiller system or a simple 5 gal bucket of water. Glass 40 watt tubes cost anywhere from $129 to maybe $250.

Air cooled tubes depend on fan cooling and ambient air. Air cooled tubes cost $2000 and up, and last for anywhere from 2 years to as long as 8 or more years. My ULS machine one is still very strong at 5 years. When it gets weak it can be rebuilt.
The Chinese laser with the glass tube lasted 4 months. The 40 watt replacement tube was still gong strong a year later.

There are other issues also, and Any one else who owns and operates a laser/ engraving machine can tell you, just show them the website and specifications.

A CO2 laser can not by its nature engrave steel, brass or other metals except anodized aluminum. You can mark stainless or polished carbon steel with a product called Cermark. Its a spray or brush on (expensive) product that when heated with a laser beam of the correct power and speed can be fused into a permanent mark. To engrave silver or steel or other metals with a laser you need a Yag or Fiber laser.

If your really serious about going into the laser engraving business head over to the Sawmill Creek Engravers Forum and do some searching and reading.

And this is my last post about the Glow Forge laser, I would be glad to answer laser questions in a PM form but I don't want it to go on to 28 pages like the one (latest one) over on Sawmill Creek.
Retired Master Electrician, Commercial HVAC/R, Home machine shop. Ray Fine Galvo Fiber laser and LightObject 40w laser plus MakerGear M2...and more.

mharter
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:51 am

Re: Glowforge laser printer

Post by mharter » Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:26 pm

Folks interested in a laser cutter, check out the openbuildlogs 2.0 laser. I am getting ready to fire my version of the design this weekend. 40 watt laser with a 600 x 400 cutting area. Laser specific DSP and I did it all for right around $1600. If people are interest, I will start a separate topic in here to show pics and upload my plans and cut list and BOM and what not.

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Jules
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Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:36 am

Re: Glowforge laser printer

Post by Jules » Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:07 pm

Delay in shipping just announced.....Oh crud....let the screaming begin. :lol:

mharter
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:51 am

Re: Glowforge laser printer

Post by mharter » Wed Apr 27, 2016 7:43 pm

The facebook laser group that I am a part of (amazing group if anyone is interested in learning more about lasers) is not a big fan of the GF at all. The project is led heavily by marketing professionals. I don't believe they have a single laser expert on the team...hence the delays. The majority of the folks that I know of that ordered one have refunded their orders and ordered a machine from our good friends in china.

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Jules
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Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:36 am

Re: Glowforge laser printer

Post by Jules » Wed Apr 27, 2016 8:55 pm

mharter wrote:The facebook laser group that I am a part of (amazing group if anyone is interested in learning more about lasers) is not a big fan of the GF at all. The project is led heavily by marketing professionals. I don't believe they have a single laser expert on the team...hence the delays. The majority of the folks that I know of that ordered one have refunded their orders and ordered a machine from our good friends in china.
Well, I hope they like them. :D

The CEO is a marketing professional (with some fairly technical avocations), but they have a pretty diverse team, and the forum and beta team have got several laser users. We have now seen what they can do....one of the beta testers is posting his work now as he learns the ins and outs of the machine and designing for it, and it's got the remaining folks all excited again. (According to the CEO, when the announcement about the "delay" went out, about half of 1% of the purchasers dropped their orders, so not too bad. Honestly, that was a lot fewer than I expected to completely freak out and drop it when they announced.)

But......I never expected delivery of the machine by June of this year, either. For that many orders, it would have been ridiculous, and I knew they'd never make that target based on where they were in the beta testing back as far as February. A lot of the forum regulars were also aware of it.

I don't mind being a little patient for a quality product, and I don't want to pay $4000 when I can get away with paying $2000 for the same machine. I'm hoping for the best. The one I've seen in action is really nice, and it's going to be easy enough for non-technical types to use. (And being painfully familiar with the design side of the equation, I think that part is going to be smoothed considerably......which is another reason for hanging in there.)

For the technically savvy.....yeah, go ahead and pay $600 for one from China. If you understand the work flow, can do your own designs and conversions, and don't have a problem with switching out components if something breaks/goes down, it's a significant savings. :)

mharter
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:51 am

Re: Glowforge laser printer

Post by mharter » Sat May 07, 2016 2:03 pm

I actually took the maker route with my laser. Majority of the parts were printed with the ever so trustworthy M2.

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Jules
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Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:36 am

Re: Glowforge laser printer

Post by Jules » Sat May 07, 2016 2:22 pm

Heh, heh, heh - maybe I'll print one too before they get this one shipped out. (This is a joke....I lack the skillz.) :lol:

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Jules
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Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:36 am

Re: Glowforge laser printer

Post by Jules » Thu May 19, 2016 4:08 pm

Hey, jin and helifrek....are you guys still in on this thing? Have you joined up on the GF forum yet?

A lot of very talented folks are posting some great links and design ideas, (just tested a sweet little elliptical box generator plugin for Inkscape), and they are discussing how to use various kinds of design software to make some mighty cool stuff.

It helps with the waiting. ;)

jsc
Posts: 1863
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:00 am

Re: Glowforge laser printer

Post by jsc » Thu May 19, 2016 5:56 pm

I'm still in, and hopeful. I check out the forum every once in a great while just to see the laser made stuff, but I can't really go there too often because it doesn't help me wait, it makes me impatient. I also don't have the drive to learn new things without the lure of immediate gratification afterwards. Box generators are probably going to be one of the first things I look into.

I've already been thinking to myself "I wish I had a laser cutter" for something I'm trying out way too often, and looking at every Amazon shipping box as raw feedstock.

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