Buying a Used or Second-hand Glowforge

We want everyone to have the amazing experience of printing on a Glowforge 3D Laser Printer. If you purchase a used or secondhand printer, we’d be happy to make sure you have an account and a copy of the manual to ensure safe printing.

However, we’ve seen some disappointed second-hand buyers. It breaks our heart when someone’s saved up to become a Glowforge owner, only to find that they have a defective or unusable piece of equipment, with no way to get their money back.

Stolen Units

Sometimes, a Glowforge unit is unaccounted for. For example, a Fedex shipment may be reported stolen.

When that happens, we permanently disable the unit. Unfortunately, if someone unscrupulous gets their hands on such a unit and sells it, the buyer of stolen goods - who may not know it was stolen! - is left posessing useless stolen goods that need to be returned.

There is no way to know for certain if a machine was stolen - it sometimes takes weeks or months for the theft to be reported. To reduce, but not eliminate, the risk, you can:

  • Contact support and include the serial number of the machine you are buying. They can verify that the machine has not been reported stolen.
  • Have the existing owner show you that the machine can print, since printing is disabled when the machine is reported stolen.
  • Ask to see the proof of purchase from Glowforge, and compare the name on it with valid government ID (and keep a picture of the ID).

However, these can only suggest that the machine has not yet been reported stolen. It may be that a police report has not yet been filed, or that an investigation by the authorities has prevented us from disabling the unit.

The only way to be certain a unit is not stolen is to only buy from someone who you know personally.

Broken Units

Some units may appear perfect, but have hidden and expensive defects. For example, if someone spilled a liquid inside their Glowforge printer, it might appear fine but be nonfunctional or even unsafe. Such a unit might cost more to repair than it would cost to replace.

In other cases, it might work well when printing in one area but not another, or be able to engrave but not cut.

Unfortunately there’s no perfect way to ensure a used machine is without problems. To reduce the risk, buy only from someone who you know personally, and verify that the current owner can print on their Glowforge before they sell it to you.

Improperly transferred accounts

Glowforge accounts cannot be transferred or shared between people. If the seller promises you credits or designs, they may not be able to fulfill that promise without sharing their username and password. Doing so violates the terms of service and could lead to the account being closed, leaving you without a way to access your Glowforge. It may also allow you to charge their credit card, which is bad for everyone.

To avoid this, do not use anyone else’s username or password. Instead, contact support with the serial number on the back of your Glowforge printer. They will create a new account for you personally, which you can use with your printer.

Unmet promises

Some original buyers received extras, like warranty extensions or catalog credits, that are no longer available and cannot be transferred. You will not receive any digital goods with your used unit, and the warranty that applies is at Please also review the technical specifications at, rather than counting on the seller’s description.

We hope you become a Glowforge owner

Ultimately what matters to us is that you get to experience the magic that Glowforge has to offer. Whether you buy from us or secondhand, we hope you have a wonderful experience!

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