The Glowforge Alternative: Muse Desktop Lasers

Posted by Travis Richards on Oct 13th 2022

The Glowforge Alternative:  Muse Desktop Lasers

The Glowforge Alternative: Muse Desktop Lasers

There are many different options out there that you may choose from when you are deciding to get your first laser cutter and engraver. If you have chosen to get a desktop laser, you’ll have your options narrowed down, but there will still be a lot to choose from. The first stop for many will be to search Google and see what is out there. Perhaps visit YouTube and see what videos you can find. Chances are you’ll most likely comes across Glowforge laser machines. No doubt, Glowforge machines have a good reputation with beginner laser users. But if you are looking for a machine with more versatility and capabilities that can expand as your laser needs expand, then you might be looking for a Glowforge alternative. That is where the Muse series comes into the picture.

The Glowforge Alternative: Other Options

There are many Glowforge alternatives. When you start looking, you’ll see options such as the Gweike Cloud, and maybe even the xTool D1 which is a diode laser and not a CO2 laser system. You may even see recommendations to skip any of these options and just get what is called the “K40” which is a more basic and bare-bones option that is great for those who already know a lot about lasers and have a pre-existing setup. Purchasing a laser cutter and engraver is an investment. You’ll probably want to go with something that has a dedicated support system and warranty to keep your purchase safe. The Muse Series desktop laser systems are backed with strong warranties and US based support from our team in Las Vegas, Nevada. Best of all, Muse laser machines can handle just about everything that the others can, plus more thanks to some exclusive features.

The Glowforge Alternative: Muse Series

Full Spectrum Laser offers the Muse Series desktop laser systems which are some of the best Glowforge alternatives available. In fact, there are so many features and options included with the Muse Series that some makers would probably look at the Glowforge as a alternative to the Muse Series, and not the other way around.

Metal Chassis: The Muse Series desktop laser cutters and engravers are built with a solid metal chassis whereas the Glowforge is constructed from plastic with minimal metal structural components inside. While this makes the Muse Core and 3D laser systems heavier than the Glowforge, it gives the entire unit more structural integrity, providing more interior space while maintaining greater stability. It even allows for the electrical components, such as the control card, to be separated into their own compartment away from the workspace preventing any smoke and debris from contact with those sensitive components.

Interface: The most obvious difference you’ll notice when examining the Muse compared to the Glowforge will be the display on the right side panel of the machine (instead of just a single button like the Glowforge). The Muse Series includes a 7” LCD touchscreen with every unit. This gives you control over your laser and its systems directly from your machine, as well as giving you access to vital information. The RetinaEngrave v3.0 (RE3) software is installed directly on the Muse itself and can be accessed by any computer or device connected to it via your network or direct connection, and unlike the Glowforge, there is NO internet required to operate so if you can't get a WiFi signal in your workarea, it's not an issue.

Cooling: The Glowforge and the Muse utilize the same water cooling method, but they are constructed in different ways. The Glowforge has the water-reservoir built into the unit as well as the radiator. This reservoir is small and the radiator sits in a position that doesn’t get optimal air flow. The Muse Core and 3D laser machines on the other hand use an external water source such as the coolbox accessory. This coolbox has a larger water reservoir and has a radiator positioned for optimal air flow. Because of this, the water running through the CO2 laser tube in the Muse will be much cooler than the water running through the Glowforge. Cooler water can provide better and more consistent results while giving the laser tube a longer lifespan.

Removable Floor: The Muse Core and 3D laser cutting and engraving machines come standard with a patented removable floor. This exclusive feature allows for the expansion of the Z axis, which means you aren’t necessarily limited to what can fit inside of the workspace. Because of the removable floor, you can add on the riser attachment which will extend the Z-height of your workspace allowing for much taller objects to fit inside of it. This includes a rotary system that enables you to engrave on round objects such as cups or tumblers. You aren’t limited to this riser option, though. With the floor removed, you can place the Muse on much larger objects such as a door, a table, or even directly on hardwood or tile floors, allowing you to engrave on much larger objects that wouldn’t otherwise fit inside of the workspace. On the Glowforge, the highest model has a passthrough door that allow for engraving on longer objects, but you are still limited to the same minimal z-height. There is no room for a rotary unit in any form to work with the Glowforge without significant modifications not sanctioned by the manufacturer that void any warranty. 

Grow your craft: Whether you are using your laser system professionally or just for a hobby, Full Spectrum Laser offers a wide array of CO2 laser cutters and engravers beyond the Muse Core and 3D machines. If you want to expand your creations into larger projects and higher volumes, you can upgrade into the Muse Titan which is the largest desktop laser system available with a 48x24 inch workspace and tube power options up to 100 watts yet still fits through a standard size doorway. If you are moving into more industrial scale laser cutting and engraving, you can look into the P-Series units which are intended for higher volumes and increased production. Even if you want to expand into specialized engraving or marking, the Muse series has the Galvo options that will give you the ability to mark on metals and more. Since all of the P-Series and Muse series lasers come with the same RetinaEngrave v3.0 software and the 7 inch touch screen, everything you learned on your Muse Core or 3D laser system can be taken and applied to these other machines, allowing you to hit the ground running. If you have a Glowforge and want to expand your laser capabilities or needs, they really have no option other than their desktop models.

The Glowforge Alternative: Takeaway

These are just a few of the aspects that make the Muse series desktop laser systems the obvious choice when it comes time to look for a glowforge alternative desktop laser cutter and engraver. There are many other things that weren’t mentioned, and it doesn’t stop with just the Muse Core and 3D systems. If you’d like to learn more, contact us at any time and we will make sure you get all the information you need.

Full Spectrum Laser is a leader in easy to use, highly versatile laser cutting and laser engraving machines. Our systems range in size from desktop units and high-volume machines through industrial-grade production equipment. Our machines are running all over the world: from grade schools to National Labs, garage startups and many Fortune 500 companies. Contact us today to learn more.