Sitting at 956mm x 527mm x 210mm, the Glowforge comfortably sits on most desks. It can work with materials up to 300mm x 500mm, which is somewhere between A3 and A2.
With its basic model currently priced at £1,661 ($2,395), the Glowforge is within the reach of start-ups and families. The same model with an added air filter costs £2,079 ($2,995) and the pro model – which has an air filter, plus upgraded optics, tube and cooling – sells for £3,328 ($4,795).
For full specs, see the Glowforge website.
Glowforge may call itself a 3D laser printer, but it is really a 2D etcher and cutter. It can work with material between half and inch and an inch and a half thick. This means the Glowforge is more for smaller-scale projects than the laser cutter at your local print shop: wedding invitations, artworks and accessories.
From seeing it in action, it appears to be able to produce very intricate work.
The Glowforge can cut and etch dozens of materials including wood, leather, acrylic, paper, cardboard, chocolate and can even decorate your macbook, thanks to its ability to follow curved surfaces.
Though the Glowforge is suitable for the home, the pro version is more equipped for creative professionals. The extra cash buys you a maximum laser intensity of 45W and a “pass through slot”, meaning materials can be as long as users want.
You can produce your own designs for the Glowforge using most vector software applications – and the company is offering plugins for Adobe Illustrator and Inkscape. You can also just use pen and paper.