I purchased my glowforge about a year ago. I am still learning new things I can do with it, but so far I love it. I have cut and engraved into different types of wood and acrylics mostly. I have also cut some card stock. I have not tried cutting leather yet, but it is something I am interested in trying at some point. Keep checking back to see some of the projects I have made with my Glowforge.
I chose the Glowforge over other laser printers for three reasons.
1. The price. I went with the middle option, Glowforge Plus. Since this was going to be my first ever laser printer, and I did not have much experience with them before this, I did not want to go with the top of the line quite yet. I wanted to get a cheaper option to see how I liked it and to better know what to look for in a machine in the future. At the time of buying my Glowforge, the Glowforge Plus option came with the 45W laser tube. The upgraded hardware has also been a nice feature. One of the upgrades allowed for better cuts specifically when cutting turns or corners. The Glowforge Pro passthrough slot, which allows you to insert any length of wood and not be limited by the bed size, is a very nice feature. I decided not to spend the extra money for this feature at the time, since most of my projects I had in mind would fit within the bed size with not too many issues. This may be an upgrade I would invest in in the future though. I also did not invest in the air filter either, because I was already investing a lot in the machine, and I had a window that would be right next to the machine. So, opening the window every time to vent out of to save me almost $1,000 was worth it to me. The air filter is a very nice feature to have, but something for when I have more money to invest.
2. The camera bed. I cannot recommend the camera in the bed enough. This feature saves so much time, and allows for very little wasted materials. By having the camera in the bed I can see exactly what the machine sees, and can position things very close together. This allows for very little waste of supplies. If a laser printer does not have a camera in the bed, then you would have to measure your material and the exact position you want the machine to cut. Just trust me and make sure to get a laser printer with a camera. The Glowforge can also use the camera to see lines you draw on a material and engrave and cut out the shape without ever designing the piece in a computer program. I have not tested this feature out yet, but it is definitely on my must try soon list.
3. The size. Some laser printers can be quite big. At this time, I live in a small place, and do not have the space for the bigger machines. I did not want to store the laser printer in the garage, because I knew it would make me less motivated to use it, especially in the winter. Also, my garage does not have heat. The cold winters could damage the laser tube. So, if I did get one of the bigger laser printers from another brand, then I would have had to install some form of heating for my garage.
The Glowforge is a great laser printer especially for beginners. It is less complicated than others I have seen. The set up was also pretty easy to follow. It took me about 40 minutes, but I read everything twice before doing anything. I was so nervous I would break it before I even printed my first piece. Lol Most of the projects I make I design in a free program called Inkscape. I am still learning everyday about Inkscape and my laser printer, but if you have any questions, I will do my best to answer them, or point you to someone that can.
Laser printers are expensive, but there is so much you can do with them. I have used mine to make wedding and Christmas gifts for people. If you are deciding on purchasing a Glowforge, then please use this link to get up to $500 off your purchase. By using this code I also will get some money to use towards Glowforge supplies. So, please share this code with anyone who may be interested. https://glowforge.us/r/JLPOSMKO You will see the discount off when you click buy now. Check out this video of my very first print with my Gloweforge.