SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Glowforge, a Seattle-based hardware startup that raised $9 million earlier this year, today announced pre-orders for their 3D laser printer. The Glowforge desktop laser creates beautiful and useful products, from leather wallets to hardwood jewelry boxes, with one press of its single button. Designs come from software like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, the Glowforge premium online catalog, or even an intricate pen drawing, making it suitable for uses ranging from children’s art projects to professional production. During the 30 day pre-order campaign, it will be available at a breakthrough price of $1,995, which is half off the MSRP of $3,995.
Unlike traditional 3D printers, Glowforge uses subtractive technology that cuts and engraves dozens of materials, instead of additive technology that builds up plastic. The process is straightforward. First, the creator chooses a project and places a piece of material like paper, wood, or leather inside. Glowforge automatically produces a 3D scan of the material, adapting the design based on its measurements. Second, they preview and make any adjustments on their Mac, PC, or tablet. Glowforge’s dual cameras capture the material and render an accurate preview of the final product. Third, they push Glowforge’s single button. Glowforge runs automatically, using autofocus to achieve accurate depth and position. Typical prints take between two and twenty minutes. Some projects are ready immediately; others snap together with tabs and slots.
“When I got access to a laser, it changed the way my family and I thought about the things we use every day. My kids started asking me to make things instead of buy them, like costumes and furniture and birthday presents for their friends. But the laser was slow, hard to use, and far too dangerous for kids! I wanted one for my own home, and there were no affordable choices on the market,” said Dan Shapiro, Glowforge CEO and cofounder. “When we set out to make the laser affordable, our first decision was to put the software in the cloud and make extensive use of smartphone components. We quickly realized that we could use these technologies make Glowforge as intuitive and delightful to use as our favorite smart devices. Now, I see designers, artists, and creative people of every stripe walk up to a Glowforge, and make incredible ideas come to life.”
Glowforge has the following specifications:
- Maximum material size of 12×20 inches
- Laser tube rating of 45W
- Capable of cutting plywood or acrylic up to 0.25 inches on one side
- Cuts and engraves organic materials like hardwoods, leathers, acrylics, plywoods, fabrics, and even food
- Engraves stone, metal, and many consumer electronics
- Dual cameras, wifi, laser distance scanner, removable tray, dual doors, and glass lid
Glowforge also offers a number of unique features:
- Performs a 3D scan of materials to accurately measure height, so users can effortlessly work in materials from ¼ inch hardwoods to origami paper
- Autofocuses continually as it moves, allowing precise creation of three dimensional products
- Uses its dual onboard cameras to preview what something will look like before printing on the actual material
- Tracing feature that runs the laser directly over the designer’s pen marks, allowing a designer to create their masterpiece directly on a piece of wood, leather, or acrylic
- Powered by wifi and the cloud, so it works in a browser and across a huge variety of devices
- Dual-sided cutting that allows materials to be engraved on both sides using the camera for alignment, or extraordinarily thick material (up to ½ inch) to be cut in two passes
- A premium catalog of paid designs, from lamps to picture frames, that are automatically adapted for any material chosen
Glowforges will start shipping at the end of 2015. The base model is available at a pre-order campaign price of $1,995, half of the anticipated MSRP. International shipping will be available to over 100 countries at launch. Pre-orders can be placed at http://glowforge.com. Glowforge previously raised $9 million in funding from Foundry Group, True Ventures, and executives from Google and MakerBot.
Glowforge is a Seattle-based startup that makes a 3D laser printer. Glowforge’s wireless desktop system makes it simple for designers and engineers to take products directly from digital design to reality. Unlike 3D printers that build objects out of plastic, Glowforge uses lasers to print products out of durable and beautiful materials like wood, leather, acrylic, paper and fabric. Leveraging advanced software stored in the cloud instead of expensive hardware, Glowforge is both affordable and easy to use. For more information, please visit http://glowforge.com/.