Glowforge has flipped the switch to on for pre-orders of its 3D laser printer. Makers can now purchase the machine in advance on the Seattle-based startup’s website starting today.
The Glowforge 3D printer isn’t really a 3D printer, but a laser cutter. It’s confusingly described but actually cuts into and reduces material to make objects from plastic, leather and the like, whereas a 3D printer adds on and builds up material objects.
Glowforge raised a solid $9 million Series A from Foundry Group, True Ventures and others earlier this year to build a cheaper and smaller laser cutter that could maintain the same quality as higher end cutters found in professional shops and maker spaces.
The startup’s maker machine is a similar idea to the Cricut Explore, an inexpensive laser cutting machine. However, Glowforge says its machine is more precise than others out there.
Using subtractive technology and autofocus to achieve depth and precision, Glowforge creates a number of objects – from lamp shades to drone frames – in a matter of minutes. All it needs is an upload of a pre-determined design and for someone to pop in the chosen material. The machine cuts down to reveal the pattern and the user then pulls the pattern out and assembles the object when done.
Professional laser cutters can retail for tens of thousands of dollars and are usually used on a rental basis. Some of these printers can also be ordered from China for around $3,000 to $5,000. The Glowforge retails for $1,995 on pre-order.
Check out the video above for more on how the Glowforge works.
For a look at some of the stuff this machine can make, look no further than the gallery below: