Are you in the market for a Glowforge 3D Printer? Congrats! If you are asking yourself, “Which Glowforge should I buy?” you are in the right place! This post does an in-depth comparison of the basic, plus, and pro to help you decide which Glowforge model is right for you!
Glowforge Model Comparison
You’ve saved the money.
You’ve cleared off a space in your craft room.
You’ve started thinking about all the amazing projects you are going to make.
And now, the time has finally come to order your Glowforge. Believe me, I understand the excitement (and nerves) that come with this decision.
Deciding to purchase a Glowforge is a big decision – it requires money to buy it, time to learn it, and space to store it.
Once you’ve made the first big decision to BUY a Glowforge, the next big decision is to decide which Glowforge is right for you.
There’s no right answer for everyone, and it’s important to make the decision that is right for your goals and your budget.
In this post, you’ll learn about the different Glowforge Models, who they are best suited for, and what to consider before purchasing. Hopefully this will help you make the right decision!
You might also enjoy: 16 Things to Know BEFORE You Buy Your Glowforge
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- Glowforge Model Comparison
- Glowforge Model Comparison
- Questions to Ask
- What is my budget?
- What am I going to use my Glowforge for?
- How much room do I have?
- Will you be happy with the features of the machine you are looking at?
- Glowforge Coupon Code
- Do I Need a Filter?
- So, Which One Should I get?
- More Glowforge Posts You May Enjoy:
Glowforge Model Comparison
A few notes:
Speed – This is only in regards to the engraving speed. The Pro cuts at 120% of the speed that the Basic and Plus cut with. It is nice to have something that cuts faster. If you are cutting and engraving A LOT of projects for customers, then this might be a feature that tips you over to the top-of-the-line Glowforge. If not, slower speeds may not be that much of an issue for you.
Passthrough – Materials must be 1/4″ or thinner in order to use the Pro passthrough feature. There are people who have shown a passthrough “hack” for the Plus or Basic, so you can look into that if you want.
Cooling – This is in regards to the operating temperature in order to run the machine. So if you live in a warmer area without A/C, then the Pro can operate at slightly higher temperatures. Some people say just to buy yourself a portable A/C for a couple of hundred dollars and call it good.
Questions to Ask
What is my budget?
This should be your number one question – what Glowforge model can you afford? While they do provide financing, I recommend purchasing the Glowforge that you can most easily afford and justify spending.
If you really want to go all out, take the time to save up for it as much as you can. You can also click here to learn more about how much a laser cutter costs.
What am I going to use my Glowforge for?
Consider what you will be using your Glowforge for.
For Occasional/Personal Use:
The Basic might be a good option for you. The Plus has some additional features which might sway you to get that one, but at $1000 more, you have to ask yourself if they are worth it (or $750 more with our coupon code)
For Business Purposes
While you can absolutely run a Glowforge based business with a Basic or Plus (and you could always upgrade later), getting a Pro would be a justifiable expense (though, honestly, I think it really comes down to the Pro or the Basic for me). However, many believe that the Basic is definitely the most bang for your back, so definitely look at the features and decide what you want to do.
How much room do I have?
This actually isn’t really something that should weigh into your decision, as all the machines have the same dimensions! Regardless, you need to have a big enough, stable place for the machine to sit, because it is LARGE!
Will you be happy with the features of the machine you are looking at?
There’s nothing worse than buying a new crafting machine and realizing a few days, weeks or months later that you really need the features of a larger machine. While I am very much a believer in not spending above and beyond what you need, I’m also a believer in, “Buying it right, buying it once.”
If you feel on the fence and think you will eventually need the features of a more deluxe Glowforge, that is something to take into consideration. It might mean saving for a little bit longer, but it’s important to think of the long term.
On the flip side, look at all the features available for the more expensive machines and ask yourself, “Do I really need these?” A lot of people find the differences between the Plus and the Pro to be negligible, and they opt for the Plus and are very happy with it.
Glowforge Coupon Code
The Glowforge is a pricey purchase – so we know that every penny counts. We are thrilled to be able to offer you all a special discount on the Plus or the Pro Models:
You must shop through our link in order to take advantage of this special pricing.
What all three machines have in common
All three machines have a lot in common, including:
All three machines measure at 38″ x 20.75″ x 8.25″
The only difference in work area is with the Pro and it’s maximum material depth – due to the pass-through slot, it is around 18″.
For everything else, it’s the same. The maximum width is 20″, the cutting area is 11″ deep and 19.5″ wide, and the maximum height is 2″.
All three machines are powered by the Glowforge App, which is compatible with a variety of different file types.
They all use a custom CO2 glass laser tube. The Pro does operate at 45w, while the Basic and Plus are at 40w. From what I understand, it’s not a HUGE difference.
They all cut and engrave the same types of materials!
Now, let’s talk about these machines a little more in depth.
The basic Glowforge model comes with a 40-watt CO2 laser and is good enough for most crafters and creators – including consumers and those who are hoping to make a business. The Basic model comes with a six-month warranty and is classified as a Class 1 laser product.
The Glowforge Basic comes with a price tag of $3,995 with monthly installment options. Honestly, this is a great machine that a lot of people are very happy with. It is most affordable, so if you aren’t sure if it’s right for you, definitely decide if the additional features of the Plus or Pro, as well as the extended warranty, are worth the upgrade.
The Glowforge Plus model comes with a 45-watt CO2 laser has a top engraving speed that is up to twice as fast as the Basic model and is perfect for crafters and creators that have a lot of projects to work on.
It has upgraded parts for better performance and faster working. The Pro model comes with a 1-year warranty and is classified as a Class 1 laser product.
The Glowforge Plus comes with a price tag of $4,995 with monthly installment options.
Honestly, I would say this is the most “meh” option. If you don’t need the pass-through slot of the Glowforge Pro, then the main differences between the Basic and the Plus are that it has 2x faster engraving and is six months longer on the warranty. Is that worth the extra $1000 to you? That’s up to you to decide!
The Glowforge Pro model comes with a 45-watt CO2 laser and cuts 20% faster and the engraving speed is up to three times as fast as the Basic model and is excellent for crafters, creators, and business owners. It has upgraded parts for better performance and faster working.
The Pro model offers upgraded cooling components, so you can cut all day long, and features a pass-through slot to cut materials indefinitely long. This feature is very useful for projects like making long wood names, signs or other large format projects.
I would say that the pass-through feature is, by far, the most alluring feature of the Pro. The faster cutting and engraving speeds would also be very helpful if you have a large volume of customer projects that you are working on.
The Pro model comes with one warranty and is classified as a Class 4 laser product. The Class 4 laser designation is only because the laser is not contained within the device housing.
The Glowforge Pro comes with a price tag of $6,995 with monthly installment options.
Do I Need a Filter?
After selecting the Glowforge that you want to get, a lot of people ask themselves, “Should I get the Filter?”
This is a very nuanced question, and after spending a lot of time in Facebook groups, many people find them to not be worth having in most situations. If you are in a situation where you are unable to vent through a window, then the filter is probably a must. Otherwise, I think it’s one of those items that you should put on your “maybe” list and see if it makes sense to you to buy it later.
Overall, most people seem to do well without it. In fact, I find a lot of people have more complaints about it than not. So unless you can’t vent out a window and you can’t find another alternative filtering solution, I would say the Air Filter isn’t worth getting.
So, Which One Should I get?
Still unsure? I’ll make it easy for you – if you will be cutting and engraving frequently and in high volume, and/or you want to be able to easily do infinitely long projects – then I think the Pro is right for you.
The Plus has a couple of nice features over the Basic, though, as I mentioned earlier, you need to decide if it’s worth the extra $1000 for them ($750 if you use our coupon code, which does make it more appealing!). For some, they are, for others, not so much.
The Basic is a great machine that a lot of people find success with. I’m in a lot of Glowforge groups, and when it comes down to it, there are many happy and successful Glowforge Basic owners.
Regardless of what you choose, don’t forget to use our referral link. You can get $125 off a Basic, $250 off a Glowforge Plus and $500 off a Glowforge Pro!
Did you buy a Glowforge? Make sure you check out Glowforge for Beginners Guide to prepare for its arrival!
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Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others – especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts. She is currently training to be a Certified Lactation Educator. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life.