Hardware startup Glowforge, which makes a desktop laser cutter and engraver for home or office use, has finally opened up sales to the general public.
The maker-targeted device, which can ‘print’ (read: engrave/laser cut) a variety of materials including leather, wood, acrylic, glass, and even the metal surface of a Macbook, starts at $ 2,495 for the entry level machine, rising to a full $ 5,995 for the pro model — which is billed as faster, able to print larger items, and capable of running for longer periods.
With a starter price-tag of $ 2.5k Glowforge is clearly not for everyone. Though arguably it does offer more creative bang for your buck than, say, the equally expensive Skydio face-tracking selfie drone. But horses for courses, and all that.
The Seattle-based startup has also topped up with $ 10M more in VC funding, according GeekWire, from existing investors True Ventures and Foundry Group — who also backed its $ 22M Series B, in mid 2016, and an earlier $ 9M Series A.
Glowforge has raised just over $ 60M at this point, according to Crunchbase, including pulling in almost $ 30M in pre-sales via a crowdfunding campaign back in 2015. We first covered the hardware startup ahead of that, when it announced its Series A.
Safe to say, it’s been a long journey to turn the founders’ novel idea and prototype into a market-ready and robust laser cutter — and get that into all its backers’ hands.
It’s also clearly been a frustrating process at times. But Glowforge now at least appears confident it can fulfill orders in a timely fashion — it’s offering a May 3 shipping date to new buyers (within the US).
That said, it does not look like all original backers have had their device shipped though.
According to founder Dan Shapiro’s comments to GeekWire, there are some backers who still haven’t got their device — for a few different reasons. “There’s some folks who haven’t replied, asked us not to send it yet, or live in a country that’s awaiting regulatory approval,” he told it.
A quasi-optional air filter component for the Glowforge — which costs an additional $ 995 — also isn’t shipping until November. (A note on the website says the machine can be used without it, though in that case it warns the placement of the machine “needs a window or 4″ dryer hose”.)