Noob here so bear with me and forgive me if I am posting in the wrong place…
My girlfriend has had a Glowforge (basic model) in the UK for the last 15 months, today it would seem the unit has lost all power. Having spoken to Glowforge of course we have received the advice to return the unit for analysis at a cost of $1000 if they arrange the shipment plus $400-1000 for the repair… Obviously this isnt something she’s too happy about so I’m looking around to see whether anyone can help / has any advice on how we may be able to go about getting it repaired or getting replacement parts?
Any help much appreciated, have a very upset gf at the moment!
Is it completely dead? Does it make any sounds at all when you plug it in and turn on the power switch?
Unfortunately, the downside to buying a proprietary device from a company that is very protective of their “intellectual property” is the distinct lack of access to replacement parts.
The Glowforge uses a bespoke power supply that can only be sourced from one place - them, and they currently do not sell any of the “non-user serviceable” parts.
The other issue is that the power supply is not easy to remove and replace. The high voltage feed and return wires cannot be disconnected at the supply, and they snake all the way through the machine. This makes removal a time consuming and frustrating task.
Once removed though, the inner workings of the power supply itself are nothing extraordinary, and anyone with experience repairing high-voltage switch mode power supplies could take it on. You may be able to find a local electronics repair shop that would be willing to assist (there is a plenty of information on this site to help them along).
Hey Scott thanks for your reply.
Yeah - seems to be completely dead, no sound from the power unit or anywhere in the device on plugging in / switching on… something about dodo’s!
To be honest I’m not sure how supportive I would have been about her purchasing it in the first place given the ‘dodgy’ warranty and shipping situation but unfortunately I was not consulted However it does seem like a pretty cool piece of kit!
Had a poke around inside and it didn’t look like the easiest thing to disassemble, although I guess from what you’re saying it is possible… none of ‘you’ guys offer a disassembly service do you, or a video of anyone taking one apart?
I guess another question would be whether anyone has had any experience of the support / maintenance service they do provide - if I do find a way of getting it there (for even close to a reasonable figure) are they generally good at dealing with issues / getting units back out? Bit of a tough call on whether to try to do it through them or go ‘off grid’ given our lack of technical expertise…
No videos, but a few photos along with instructions and helpful tips from others that have been down the disassembly path.
As far as their support goes - it’s a mixed bag. Some people have a great experience, others - not so much. The biggest gripe seems to be about how long it takes to get a response out of them.
I was fortunate to return mine and have it repaired mostly on their cost (I happened to have previous support emails soon after purchase that I could refer to). I boxed it up, shipped it out, and received…a working unit back (not quite sure it was mine but I forgot how I secretly marked it. dumb). Anyway even through Covid it did make its way though and get back to me. The communication during the process was less than great and I followed up a few times to make sure it was received. I was initially given the same crazy quote of $400-$1000 plus shipping. Like everyone else here…“had I known what I was getting into…” Also, I believe the basic was down to $1995 at some point. It starts to make you feel nuts spending over half that on repairs.
Good luck and like you I’m really glad forums like this exists to try and help out.
Some folks that have had units repaired complain that GF just gives you a bill with no itemization for the cost of repairs - that would really turn me off. Even my local garage details the cost of oil, filter, and labor on the bill. They seem to be almost a virtual company in that they don’t do much in-house - fabrication is done by one vendor, maintenance by another, and Proof-Grade sales by yet another. If your girlfriend sends hers in for repair caution her that she might have a very difficult time getting status info from GF on the repair. They claim to have no knowledge of that sort of info and are seemingly uninterested in helping the customer get same from the repair facility.
Just an update for people on this one, we ultimately decided upon sending the unit back for repair and it arrived back with with us 8-10 weeks later (yesterday!).
Glowforge have actually been very good, they agreed to honor the extended European warranty (without the proof / research from us that this should demand) and the kit was repaired and returned to us after only being with them for 4-5 weeks.
Of course it was frustrating to have to pay £700-800 in shipping but for us without knowing a lot about the product / this type of thing, I think it was a good outcome.
Some frustrations over delays in responding etc… but a lot of this can be put down to time differences and the current ‘situation’, all in all (and in hindsight) we have been very impressed with the service delivered to a customer who they really (legally) had no obligation to help.