3D Engrave Leather

I think you are mixing up three features here and interpreting what the Glowforge promises to do quite differently from me.

3 . 3D Autofocus

The lens moves as the laser travels, so you can cut & engrave materials that are curved, uneven, or irregular. Glowforge’s dual cameras measure the thickness of the material to a precision of four one thousandths of an inch.

I interpret this to mean the cameras scan the surface for depth and the head focus dynamically follows the surface contour.

4 . Recognize materials

Glowforge’s cameras recognize a variety of specially-coded materials, plus your iPhone or laptop for perfect settings without any guesswork. It also supports presets for other materials you use regularly.

This is image recognition to get presets for common objects. I don’t think it means it gets a 3D model of an iPad from the cloud for focusing on its curves.

10 . 3D high-res engraving

Engrave complex, three dimensional curves with 1,000 DPI resolution. To get perfect detail and sculpt with real depth, Glowforge can carve away material with multiple passes, each one focusing more deeply than the last.

I interpret this to mean convert grey scale to depth using a combination of dynamic power control, dynamic focus and multiple passes.

It has never been seen doing any of these things. This is why I think it is miles away from being what I ordered and you seem to think it is all but completely working.

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When I read 10 way back when I took it to mean the user is responsible for the grey scale bitmap and we’ll worry about vaporizing material because 1) it may be nonlinear and 2) we need to change the focal length as we go deeper. Also YMMV with natural materials and non-homogeneous synthetic materials.

It’s clear they aren’t there yet, but I do think they’ll get there: time to be determined.

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Yes I only expect it to be remotely accurate with homogeneous materials. If it is non linear then I can measure a gradient and make a correction curve, as long as it is repeatable. I have a micrometer accurate to 1um and I have various machines with Z probes that could automatically sample a gradient to a lesser accuracy.

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Yeah, I’ve gathered that we had vastly different interpretations of what they meant when they offered the machine. Chuckle! :smile:

Eventually we’ll find out what they have in store for us. And in the meantime, the functions that have been enabled are doing exactly what they are supposed to do.

And it’s just going to get better. :wink:


I have to disagree here as well. For example cut and score over burn in the corners. The workspace is smaller than even the revised down size. Power control is not working properly. These are very basic things, not the revolutionary features.

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Hmmmmm OMG it’s a 1/2 inch smaller in one dimension (but nearly 1/2 LARGER in the other) OH NO!!!

It must be by magic that Glowforges in people’s homes are get parts replaced, or maybe it just SOFTWARE updates and improvements that are making power and resolution (and will CONTINUE to get updated).

Continuing the discussion from Glowforge shipments underway, schedule update, and more (June '17):

Upgraded engraving
Our software and design teams are always thinking of ways to squeeze more out of your Glowforge. We’ve been making improvements to our engraving quality and we thought the best way to demonstrate that was to find the 3D engrave that we shared in December and re-print it. You’ll see the original on the left, and the new version on the right - smoother, more accurate, and with better detail.

Now most people wouldn’t notice - they both look great from a few feet away. But we’re excited about the level of detail, precision, and beauty you’ll have available to you! And the software is constantly getting better.


I never disputed that it is getting better or will continue to do so after delivery. Just Jules’ assertion that it already does exactly what it is supposed to do.

One has to wonder how long some features will take and if the GF will even still be under warranty when they roll out.

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You took to critical commentary on 2 specific components (that once they were addressed as “straw men”), you moved on to hypothetical “what ifs” as to the non-existent unfulfilled features before the warranty (which does not start until your GF :glowforge: ships) expires.

You have repeatedly accused and implied deception, lies and thievery being practiced by Glowforge as they have made changes to delivery, production and features. Dan and company have always wanted to deliver a solid product that did not require tinkering and skills which their target market does not have.

Even when they have increase (beyond the specs that you complain that the falsely marketed) -

You attribute it to incompetence, deception or just blind luck.

If you want a tinkering laser, please buy a Muse and get all the satisfaction of having the specs, nuanced features and hands on changes that you keep demanding that Glowforge come clean on.


And from my experience, natural leather is not a perfectly homogenous material. The best method of getting a 3D result on leather would be to make an acrylic (or some other more homogenous material) stamp and then pressing cased leather.


I have never accused GF of thievery. I can still get my money back and make a big profit due to currency changes.

Just seems like something they didn’t think about when writing specs. A bit rich saying they tweaked it to make it better when they had no choice without changing the hardware. That is a again a form of deception, although only a mild one. Putting positive spin on what seems like a mistake.

Yes this has drifted off topic, apologies. I don’t expect to get accurate depth engraving natural materials.


How about addressing the overall sentiment you have expressed. Quit focusing on the points that could possibly be in dispute and address the large components.

Implied theft


I don’t see how any of those statements imply theft. Some even argue the opposite. So I don’t see what point you are trying to make.

While I can get my money back I haven’t lost anything, so how can there be any theft?

I believe the point @PFI-Guy is trying to make is that helpful comments can be made without the constant sly innuendo that @dan and Glowforge are somehow dishonest.

Everyone is well aware of your opinions on the matter by now. No need to keep pointing it out. And I believe it might be starting to become annoying to the others on the forum. :slight_smile:


It isn’t sly innuendo, history has shown them to be dishonest time and time again. I.e, reality, not my personal opinion.

They went to BAMF and sold GFs on the basis that they were shipping and the previous time scales would be met. About two weeks later shipping started and as soon as three were received the new time scales were revealed. Not surprisingly that caused an immediate cancellation.

I predicted that would happen in this forum. So my views are no more negative than reality.

No, but you can accomplish a lower fidelity version (like the December engraving, not the June one in the last update) by monkeying with manual settings.


any thoughts about when you guys plan to push that out?

It’s a placeholder for proofgrade settings that let you carve deeply into material.

Lots with my inside voice, but none with my outside voice.


haha, i figured, but this made me chuckle. cheers.


I confess I paused before hitting send and thought… “Is @jrnelson cool?.. yeah, he’s cool.”