25 Apr 2018
Home laser system can create diverse “beautiful and useful products” from a range of craft materials – even chocolate.Glowforge, the Seattle-based start-up offering a laser cutting system direct to home consumers, has this week launched its much-anticipated line of 3D laser printers, which it says will “enable individual creators, families and small businesses to bring their ideas to life at the push of a button”.
In 2015, the company made a dramatic introduction to the market when it set a 30-day crowdfunding record by raising more than $27.9 million. Now that pre-orders have been completed, Glowforge is launching its long-awaited product to the general public.
The Glowforge 3D laser printer has already been used to print many different items from personalized leather pet collars to coffee makers to outdoor business signs – even a pediatric surgical training tool.
Dan Shapiro, CEO, commented, “For the first time ever, laser cutting and engraving technology has been freed from the factory and made easy and affordable for home and small business use.
“From the very start, we designed the Glowforge 3D laser printer to unlock people’s creativity. We set out to re-invent the idea of homemade. What if you could print what you wanted, when you needed it?" he added.
"What if you could sketch a design, then turn it into something real you could use, without complicated software? What if it was easy to print your ideas a hundred times, so you could launch a business?”
the company adds that the system can be set up in a matter of minutes and works via Wi-Fi. No software is required, as it uses the web browser or app on any Mac, PC, tablet, and smart phone.
Users can create and print from software including Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape, CorelDraw, Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, Autodesk 360, and Sketchup. They can also bypass software altogether – the onboard cameras can scan a drawing and transform it directly into a beautiful print on almost any material.
Glowforge will print on a wide variety of materials including : leather, wood, acrylic, paper, fabric, cardboard, metal, glass, ceramic, stone, laptops and even chocolate. To make things even easier, Glowforge offers a range of so-called Proofgrade™ materials digitally encoded so Glowforge printers can recognize them and auto-adjust to print perfect products each time.
One early adopter, the aptly-named Rodney Maker of Downey, CA, who is referenced in the Glowforge marketing material, commented, “I am having the time of my life using Glowforge to make things I never would have thought possible. I now make gifts for friends and family for Christmas, Valentine’s Day and soon all the other holidays. I anticipate we will be making things with our Glowforge until the end of time.”