they’re an awesome and amazing tool for any maker and in late 2018 I decided my shop needed one. this is gonna be the first of an ongoing series where I will be documenting my experiance with the glowforge plus, why I picked it, my thoughts on it and my life with this model as it pertains to my needs, you may have other requirements or restrictions on what machine you own.
Before I get started though I want to give you a few spoilers if you dont feel like reading and want to get the answers up front lol
-YES, i decided on a glowforge plus and if i could go back id either save my money and get the basic, or pony up and get the pro, though i dont regret my purchase
-PLEASE skip using a K40 or other chinese lasers as a stepping stone, if youre goal is to get a good laser cutter, save your money and do it right and if your goal is to have a MUCH cheaper machine youre gonna have to tinker with, then by all means, snatch them up online.
-I went through amazon to get machine for their relaibiltiy, though i wasnt able to use a refferal code, i had enough amazon credit to make it worth it.
-Dont spend your time studying how to use the glowforge too much, its VERY simple , spend that time while you wait learning an editing program like inkscape or adobe illustraotr/photoshop so you understand the part of using the glowforge that is the real work. i was laser cutting within an hour of it being delivered, its ability to be so stupid simple even i could understand it was one of the main reasons i bought it
-If you end up getting a glow forge after reading this, itd be super awesome if you used my refferal link, You get a few hundred off your machine and I get credit to keep my machine fed, HERE
I think that about covers the main bullet points, now to the meaty bits
I’m gonna COMPLETLY skip past my experience with the K40 laser so i don’t lose too much steam writing all this info, but it taught me that ease of use is probably my number one need in a machine. with that in mind, I narrowed my search down to three machines
the BOSS LS1416
the epilogue Muse
and of course one of the glowforge machines.
I’ll start with why i didnt go with the Boss laser, for the price you get alot of machine and alot of the features (pass through slots, rotray attachements, more powerful laser) found on other machines all in one at a decent price. with so so reveiws on customer support i felt wary, and the learning curve would be steep with this machine. Im a free lance artist already juggling so many disciplines and crafts, i didnt want to add needing to do some serious work to get use to a machine when im already not computer savvy. so i was left intimidated and unsure of the BOSS laser, so it got clipped.
next was the epilogue muse, this was a tough one to pass on. it shares many features with the glowforge with working size, clean apperance and price point. the major thing this had going for it was the ability to have a rotary attachment, which is a deivce you set up in the machine to put objects on a roller to engrave cylincradial pieces like drinking glasses, bottles, tumblers etc. was not a needed feature but the more bang for your buck the better, and it opens up another stream of activities that could be done. It also has a major feature similar to glow forge but on a waaaay lesser scale and not as good. the muse has 9 cameras inside the hood to scan the work area. they way they work is when they read 9 photos are taken and sticthed together fairly poorly to create the veiw. the glowforge has only one camera. I ultimatley passed on this machine because the only thing it truly had going for it (that i felt) over the glowforge was having a rotary attachment and that wasnt a big enough sell because something the glow forge has that no other laser cutter has and im gonna get into it when i talk about the glowforge plus.
now to the winner, The glowforge, as i expalined I ended with the glowforge plus. I was laser cutting on this machine in about an hour after helping UPS get it off the truck and to my house, I live in Seattle and feburary 2019 we were the frozen and snowy Ice planet Hoth for a month and i wanted to help the driver out. after unpacking i made sure to keep EVERY piece of the packing in case i ever needed to send it in for repairs, glowforge requires you to pack it the way you got it and if you toss shipping parts, you gotta pay to get more to get the replaced. the machine was easier to use than even the videos made it out to be. it was an absoulte joy.
all the features combined made it about on par with the muse, the thing that i mentioned that tipped it over the edge is no feature, or add on ot even anything official from the company, its the facebook group. theres no dollar amount you can put on a resource like that. almost anything that you could have a question for has been answered, members are crazy helpful with tips and tricks on how to operate the machine and materials useage even business tips if thats what youre in it for. this group pretty much helped me make my desicion and ive been loving this machine.