Glowforge: The First 3D Laser Printer

I’m so excited to finally be able to share what we’ve been working on here at Glowforge. We’re building a cloud-based consumer desktop laser cutter – or as we like to think of it, the first 3D laser printer. The New York Times coverage of Glowforge is a pretty good primer on what we’re doing, but we thought you might like to hear it in our own words.

We here at Glowforge love making things. We love crafting. We love robotics. We love scrapbooking. We love drones. We love sewing. We love furniture building. We love paper cutting. We love it all. And we really, really love software.

We wanted one tool that could make it all easy – that could take our ideas and print them, directly. That could turn out products better than you could buy at a store. That was as simple as a photocopier but as powerful as Photoshop. We wanted to create the great-great-grandfather of the Star Trek replicator.

Then we rediscovered lasers.

Laser fabrication went out of vogue in the 80s. Lasers still have a place in factories, but lasers of today look pretty much like lasers of twenty years ago – oven-sized behemoths with Windows 95 era software.

But we thought we could do something amazing. By sprinkling the laser with modern sensors like cameras and accelerometers and building modern cloud-based software, we could simultaneously make lasers cheaper, more capable, and easier to use.

And the results are incredible. Every time we show a Glowforge to a creative professional there’s some new use we haven’t come up with. Glowforges can create products in wood, leather, cloth, plastic, foam, cardboard, and paper. A Glowforge can print lamps, satchels, scrapbook pages, wallets, pop-up birthday cards, belts, and engrave your picture on anything from a slab of granite to an iPhone.
In the past, you had to spend hundreds of dollars on tools and thousands of hours in practice to realize a vision in leatherworking, furniture building, papercraft, or other materials. Each new medium required a new investment of time and money. The Glowforge brings you back to the basics: all you need is a piece of material and an idea.

So we want you to own a Glowforge. It will fit on a desktop. It will cost less than a Makerbot. It will be able to create all the incredible things described here, and more importantly, the things that you’re going to think of that we haven’t even dreamed of yet.

If you push the print button once, you’re going to have a unique item that belongs to nobody else in the world.

If you push it ten times, you’ve got gifts for all your friends.

If you push it a hundred times, you’ve got a business.

We can’t wait to get you one. Please let us know how to reach you so we can tell you when they’re available.

Oh, and if you really love this idea… we’re hiring!