Glowforge Says Its New 3D Printer Technology Will Transform Small Businesses

The Glowforge 3D laser printer company has made upgrades promising to quadruple the profits and output of small businesses using their product.

A 3D laser printer company has made upgrades promising to quadruple the profits and output of small businesses using their product.  The new features added to Glowforge products cut down the time to make items.  For example, a customized engraved cutting board went from an hour to 23 minutes.

Small Business Trends contacted Dan Shapiro, founder and CEO of Glowforge, to find out how this technology works for small businesses.

More About the Glowforge 3D Laser Printer

“Glowforge is a Seattle-based start-up that created the 3D laser printer,” he writes. “Glowforge’s wireless desktop laser makes it simple for designers, artists, and others to take products directly from digital design to reality.”

It works with a cloud-based app and a subtractive technology. Most other 3D printers build up material layer by layer. It’s called additive. With Glowforge’s subtractive technology, laser light carves the product out of a raw material like wood or leather.

How the Product Got its Name

Hence the slight name change from 3D printer to 3D laser printer. It’s a real bonus for time strapped small business owners.  Shapiro explains.

“The Glowforge 3D laser printer is a powerful tool that helps SMBs create corporate giveaways, new product prototypes, and full production runs — everything to take their dreams from idea to creation.”

How the Product Works

You can also use more materials to make things.  Many 3D printers build objects out of plastic. Glowforge can cut and engrave products from materials like wood, leather, acrylic, paper, fabric – even chocolate. 

There are some other advantages. The ability to scale the output is a big one.  Shapiro supplies more details about how Glowforge works.

Glowforge Uses Smartphone Technology

“We used smartphone technology to bring factory capabilities to any home or office,” he writes.  “Then we created powerful, simple software that can turn anyone into a creator.”

There is no huge learning curve or the need for a massive IT department either. Glowforge uses many of the products like Microsoft Office and Adobe that small business are already familiar with.

The app is versatile and can even work if you’re on the go or traveling.

“It works with your Mac, PC, tablet, or smartphone. Plus, it can print PDFs, JPGs, PNGs, and SVGs,” Shapiro writes. “ Or, if you’re new to digital design or prefer to work by hand, all you need to do is grab a pen and paper or drop in an existing image into the printer. The camera in your Glowforge can scan the design and make the magic happen.

Simply put the material of your choice into the printer, drag and drop your design into the app interface, and push the glowing button! “

How Glowforge Helps with Marketing

Glowforge works to get the word out on your goods and services too. Shapiro stresses the marketing upside.

“For those who are leveraging Glowforge to support their marketing, events, and promotional needs, it means they can do more with less.”

Still small businesses need to be aware Glowforge only works with certain materials. Those are wood, leather, cloth, cork, cardboard, glass, metal, rubber, tile, acrylic and chocolate.

The product comes with a printer and web-based app and hardware.  Learn more here.


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Rob Starr Rob Starr is a staff writer for Small Business Trends. Rob is a freelance journalist and content strategist/manager with three decades of experience in both print and online writing. He currently works in New York City as a copywriter and all across North America for a variety of editing and writing enterprises.

One Reaction
  1. Time is essential and the energy the machine it consumes. So if they can reduce that, they can definitely drive profits up.