The fundamental difference between the two machines is the laser technology. The Glowforge uses a CO2 laser tube to generate its laser where-as the Emblaser uses a laser diode. CO2 lasers can generate much higher laser powers than a laser diode but at a cost.
Here is a “very” basic difference between the two:
CO2: higher laser power hence can cut thicker materials, NIR laser frequency which means it can work on transparent materials, bigger, heavier and more complex to setup and keep focused. Generally more expensive.
Laser Diode: limited laser power hence can’t cut as thick materials as CO2. The 445nm laser frequency produces better tonal results on materials for engraving, small compact and cheaper. Longer lifetime.
The Emblaser was not designed to compete with the Glowforge but it seems from our customers it is ticking many of the boxes they are looking for in a laser system, especially being half the price of a GF. We designed it with the experience from our Emblaser 1 which already has a very large customer base. We concentrated on the things that are important to customers and tried to avoid what we call “novelty” features are great for making demonstrations but will be rarely used.
The Emblaser is designed to be used continuously if needed. It is not a once-a-week machine. We have many customers running them around the clock for their businesses all over the world.
Hope that helps.