50 Things That Would Make the GlowForge Better

GLOWFORGE UI IMPROVEMENTS:

  1. Pre-configure specific colours to specific speed and power
  2. Highlight thumbnails and drawing that will not print
  3. Stretch horizontally and vertically independently
  4. Manually enter position and rotation
  5. Simple keyboard view zooms: selection, all items, whole bed
  6. Simple keyboard item scale: wider, taller, proportional
  7. Simple keyboard rotate: 1 degree, 10or15 degree, 90 degree
  8. When rotating, ability to specific rotation point
  9. Click the rotate icon for a 90 degree rotate
  10. Using drag and drop onto an existing drawing - ask if it should replace or add to.
  11. Colour code left hand thumbnails
  12. Reload last job from file
  13. Select single item, even if overlapping
  14. For non-US users ability to turn off “not proofgrade” warning
  15. If you need to, have standard and advanced UI options
  16. Built in test cut/score/engrave pattern or process
  17. Auto adjust drawing position so it can be cut/engraved when out of bounds
  18. Save tracing to disk
  19. Ability to find long term machine use, cut times and mileage – useful for understanding longevity and billing.

GLOWFORGE MACHINE IMPROVEMENTS:

  1. Even better calibration
  2. Flip work automatically
  3. Snapmarks for everybody
  4. Better laser handling at start/stop & corner points (it overburns)
  5. Reverse order of engrave (back to front, not front to back) to avoid residue melting in on acrylics (make it an option)
  6. Pause and restart job - with lid open
  7. Quick and dirty optimisation of cut path or obey line directions as set in draw program
  8. “No melt acrylic” cut order, spreads cut order as far as possible
  9. Support of text - even if only as bitmap engrave
  10. Printed grid on honeycomb for easy placement
  11. Integral fire sensor
  12. Better rear fan design for cleaning
  13. Fix “black cable” issue
  14. Rejig the head design so the fan sticks out an extra half inch for better/easier cleaning
  15. Increase cut area
  16. Quieter fans
  17. Better hose connection (just a bit longer protrusion from main body perhaps)
  18. Make the cut bed taller - even an inch or two would add hundreds of opportunities for engraves

CUSTOMER SERVICE IMPROVEMENTS:

  1. Still no shop outside US for designs or materials
  2. Customer support and feedback process still poor
  3. Customer shipping notes still poor
  4. More active staff support via forums or similar
  5. More “How To” from staff - or pay some third parties.
  6. Missing items from initial sales pitch, or replacements.
  7. Better estimate of tube life
  8. Better urgent ship process for spare parts
  9. More standard “how to” and/or videos for the common support issues: no wifi, no calibration, etc – the ones that crop up on the forums over and over and over again.
7 Likes

You, my good person, have just listed all of the requirements for creating a company from scratch :rofl:

I agree with many of the points on these lists, however, having better direct integration with tools like InkScape and Fusion360 would trump any UI enhancements in my opinion. The UI is not a design tool, just an alignment, and calibration tool.

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I would love to see support for dxf file straight from fusion. It is just such a hassle to convert back and fourth. I also think some simple shapes built into the ui (line, circle) would be beneficial for when you need to quickly close a cut that did not go all the way through.

3 Likes

My thoughts:

  1. Pre-configure specific colours to specific speed and power
    - Please no, what happens if I use that colour by accident?!
  2. Highlight thumbnails and drawing that will not print
    - That would be nice
  3. Stretch horizontally and vertically independently
    - Please no, do that in your drawing program. Not having to worry about accidentally re-sizing my art is bad enough. If I also had to worry about scale. Please no.
  4. Manually enter position and rotation
    - Create an art board in your drawing program - place the art where you want it
  5. Simple keyboard view zooms: selection, all items, whole bed
    - I doubt I’d use it, but I can see how it would be useful
  6. Simple keyboard item scale: wider, taller, proportional
    - art program
  7. Simple keyboard rotate: 1 degree, 10or15 degree, 90 degree
    - it does 1 degree and versions of 45 (hold down shift) already…
  8. When rotating, ability to specific rotation point
    - That’d be nice, but if it’s a specific angle you need do it in your art program
  9. Click the rotate icon for a 90 degree rotate
    - hold down the shift key
  10. Using drag and drop onto an existing drawing - ask if it should replace or add to.
    - It’s always an add to, if you want to replace you can click and delete
  11. Colour code left hand thumbnails
    - This I would love
  12. Reload last job from file
    - If you mean re-print, it would be nice, but they’ve pointed out that if you’ve touched your machine the head can move or the camera can be in a slightly different place and therefore any “re-print” would be unlikely to be identical…sadly
  13. Select single item, even if overlapping
    - It does that, but not easily I’ll grant. I don’t know of any program that can flow through layers without specifying layer…
  14. For non-US users ability to turn off “not proofgrade” warning
    - That’s a legal disclaimer. Not gonna happen. Plus they’re actively working on getting int’l shipping for PG so…
  15. If you need to, have standard and advanced UI options
    - Interesting, but what would you put where, and how would that differ from how it works today?
  16. Built in test cut/score/engrave pattern or process
    - That would be nice
  17. Auto adjust drawing position so it can be cut/engraved when out of bounds
    - Out of bounds is a physical issue…so I’m not sure what you’re asking for
  18. Save tracing to disk
    - That would be nice
  19. Ability to find long term machine use, cut times and mileage – useful for understanding longevity and billing.
    - That could be cool if you’re running a business

GLOWFORGE MACHINE IMPROVEMENTS:

  1. Even better calibration
    - Have you done the camera calibration? It’s within less than a mm for most…
  2. Flip work automatically
    - If you mean invert colours, use your art program. If you mean reverse the image, I believe they’re working on that
  3. Snapmarks for everybody
    - Snapmarks were a holdover as they worked on their final software. They got their data from that, now Pros are waiting for final software! In the meantime - camera calibration
  4. Better laser handling at start/stop & corner points (it overburns)
    - There have already been a few improvements on that, but more more more! :slight_smile:
  5. Reverse order of engrave (back to front, not front to back) to avoid residue melting in on acrylics (make it an option)
    - That’s a physical restriction - check older posts for a technical explanation
  6. Pause and restart job - with lid open
    - See comments about re-print. Once you open the lid too much can change
  7. Quick and dirty optimisation of cut path or obey line directions as set in draw program
    - It follows a system, and you can force it with use of colour
  8. “No melt acrylic” cut order, spreads cut order as far as possible
    - Haven’t had the issue
  9. Support of text - even if only as bitmap engrave
    - Easily taken care of in art program, but it would be nice
  10. Printed grid on honeycomb for easy placement
    - Would be nice, though not something I’ve had issue with
  11. Integral fire sensor
    - They released that in the last few months
  12. Better rear fan design for cleaning
    - Agree totally!
  13. Fix “black cable” issue
    - They have, but a lot of machines were sold with the iffy ones
  14. Rejig the head design so the fan sticks out an extra half inch for better/easier cleaning
    - That could be a solution
  15. Increase cut area
    - GF 2.0 :slight_smile:
  16. Quieter fans
    - Adding the/a filter fixes that
  17. Better hose connection (just a bit longer protrusion from main body perhaps)
    - That would be nice - you can buy an extension in the meantime :slight_smile:
  18. Make the cut bed taller - even an inch or two would add hundreds of opportunities for engraves
    - GF 3.5!

CUSTOMER SERVICE IMPROVEMENTS:

  1. Still no shop outside US for designs or materials
    - They’re actively working on that
  2. Customer support and feedback process still poor
    - Poor how? Chat is instant, P&S is longer but in the meantime you can get advice from advanced users.
  3. Customer shipping notes still poor
    - True
  4. More active staff support via forums or similar
    - They’re still a startup, but their turnaround time is usually less than 24 hours for first contact…
  5. More “How To” from staff - or pay some third parties.
    - Have you visited the Matrix?
  6. Missing items from initial sales pitch, or replacements.
    - Examples?
  7. Better estimate of tube life
    - As it depends on what levels you’re cutting at no lasers give accurate estimates. They specify that you’re never overpowering it so the ~10k hours is a good estimate
  8. Better urgent ship process for spare parts
    - Haven’t needed it, but that would be good
  9. More standard “how to” and/or videos for the common support issues: no wifi, no calibration, etc – the ones that crop up on the forums over and over and over again.
    - Read the Matrix, they’re really all covered: Community Glowforge Tutorials: Table of Contents it’s just that everybody skips the FAQ and goes straight to the posting questions most of the time
6 Likes

[quote=“deirdrebeth, post:4, topic:42884”]

  1. Pre-configure specific colours to specific speed and power
    --> For those making repetitive items over a period of time this would be a god-send.
  2. Stretch horizontally and vertically independently
    –> This is to mostly to do useful stuff around fitting things to other items or cutting off spare etc.
  3. Manually enter position and rotation
  • Create an art board in your drawing program –> This is about registration with pre-printed or pre-cut items.
  1. Simple keyboard view zooms: selection, all items, whole bed
    –> as above
  2. Simple keyboard item scale: wider, taller, proportional
    - as above
  3. Simple keyboard rotate: 1 degree, 10or15 degree, 90 degree
    –> not by the keyboard.
  4. When rotating, ability to specific rotation point
    - -> To do with registration against pre-printed
  5. Click the rotate icon for a 90 degree rotate
    ***–> I want it quicker!***! :slight_smile:
  6. Using drag and drop onto an existing drawing - ask if it should replace or add to.
    - -> I want it easier
  7. Reload last job from file
    –> No I mean reload, after I’ve tweaked the SVG in inkscape/illustrator (actually I don’t think its possible for security reasons)
  8. Select single item, even if overlapping
    –> Really? I want to pick an item with another item- does it do that?
  9. If you need to, have standard and advanced UI options
  • Interesting, but what would you put where, and how would that differ from how it works today?
    –> all the stuff you don’t want versus all the stuff I do :slight_smile:
  1. Auto adjust drawing position so it can be cut/engraved when out of bounds
  • Out of bounds is a physical issue…so I’m not sure what you’re asking for.
    –> If I have an SVG load that is out of bounds, I want it to move it so it is within bounds. Let’s say I’ve got an engrave in the top left or my drawing. At the moment I have to adjust by hand to move it within the engrave bounds. I want a button to do this for me.

GLOWFORGE MACHINE IMPROVEMENTS:

  1. Even better calibration
  • Have you done the camera calibration? It’s within less than a mm for most…
    –> It is much better - but I want it better still
  1. Flip work automatically
    –> No the long -standing promise that you can flip the material over and do stuff on the other side with auto alignment.
  2. Snapmarks for everybody
  • Snapmarks were a holdover as they worked on their final software. They got their data from that, now Pros are waiting for final software! In the meantime - camera calibration
    –> Doesn’t fix the registration problem - whereas snapmarks does.
  1. Pause and restart job - with lid open
  • See comments about re-print. Once you open the lid too much can change
    –> Assume I am a responsible user and I have a reason for doing this.
  1. Quick and dirty optimisation of cut path or obey line directions as set in draw program
    –> no it doesn’t!!
  2. “No melt acrylic” cut order, spreads cut order as far as possible
  • Haven’t had the issue
    –> I have
  1. Integral fire sensor
  • They released that in the last few months
    –> I mean if the thing catches fire there is an alarm.

CUSTOMER SERVICE IMPROVEMENTS:

  1. Better estimate of tube life
  • As it depends on what levels you’re cutting at no lasers give accurate estimates. They specify that you’re never overpowering it so the ~10k hours is a good estimate
    –> Where is the 10,000 hours from? I’ve never seen that before.

Added my comments to yours. This is a use case issue and we are all different. My biggest drivers for these updates are:

  1. I make (like many others) the same thing over and over again, anything that makes that process easier, error free and consistent (like colour coding) would be a big benefit
  2. Working with pre-printed, pre-cut or specific objects is still all a bit fraught - will it be in the right place or not - this still needs work. Without snapmarks pre-printed is still not really viable.

This occurred to me after - would cc3399 be cut for acrylic, or thin leather? or 333366 be engrave on cork or maple? There are just crazy variables. If you do the same cuts repeatedly on the same material do you know you can save your custom settings? There’s a save icon - name it whatever you want and then it’s as much of a one-click as :proofgrade: is :slight_smile:

With that I generally delete and upload within the same project. It doesn’t save the specific settings, but if I’ve got a bunch of funky ones I’ll save the settings so it’s single click for each function. Not sure if that’d help

Yes, hold down shift while selecting even a portion of an image and it’ll select everything you touch - it’ll make one big box, but it only selects the items you’ve clicked on

LOL!

Ah, kk. Yeah, the art board should fix that - I generally zoom out and drag it, but a button that bumps it to the edge of the engrave border would be nice!

Ah, yeah, this is easy with a square, but more complicated with anything irregular, or round

Not in the US. We are the country of sue-'em first, ask questions later :frowning:

Don’t know quite how to say this but, as you (plural you, not you-you) agree it’s not safe to leave the room while it’s cutting… I leave the room, but only when I’ve got my camera up and watching it and the feed going to the phone in my hand. An audible alarm could be nice, but then they’d have to admit their users leave the room…

I went back and found the conversation on the forum. So the official is “2 years of heavy use”. As the tube is custom they don’t have data for long term use outside of the users here. The 10k was an estimate of “what does 2 years of use mean” not something from the company
(forgot to go back and place the link: Laser replacements after using the GF)

:smiley: Loving the conversation - I think I’m definitely more of the target audience for this hobby laser, but so many people are successfully using for business that I could totes see them having a separate software package (login?) that gives higher control, with the associated “we’re protected against your errors” agreement every time you access that section. Not for many years, cuz startup, but I could see it :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Great list - added to the hopper!

8 Likes

Select the part you want to move, use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move it until it changes from gray to color. This indicates all of the drawing is in bounds and can be cut. If it stays gray, you have part of it that isn’t in the cut area. This also gives you precise positioning control - coupled with camera calibration and using jigs you should be able to get exact location on your repeated items. Keep in mind that when you open the lid things may shift slightly, so you will want to check before every run.

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Yeah, @sqw’s point was they doesn’t want to do it manually - which I can get behind, but other than using the mouse instead of the arrows your method is my way right now

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You’ve never wanted to put a quick box around another piece of art? I wish for the ability to do this constantly. I have to do measurements and make a box and import it to the GFUI, or try to use the clumsy scale tools to stretch 4 lines and arrange them into a box… It’s a mess. JUST LET ME DRAW A RECTANGLE or at least scale something I already have.

IN ADDITION, let me TURN OFF the ability to grab resize handles with a big toggle switch.

Half the time, any kind of resize screws things up. The other half of the time, it’s very handy, and half of those times, I want non-proportional scaling.

Continuous autofocus.
Autoatic pass-through cut alignment.

It is possible to use the pass-through, but fan-developed tutorials that work around missing factory features are not really what I had in mind when I bought my Pro.

I like my GF, but the company completely and totally blew it on a few things and we should hold their feet to the fire until they deliver.

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From day one they have been very open that the policy is to not be open. I don’t like it, but have to give them credit for being honest and consistent in this regard.

Threads like this, where we all complain about what we want, or about how we don’t want other people to get what they want, are the closest thing we have to a development feedback process.

2 Likes

I use the keys about this all the time. If the design is inside the machine will say ready, if not it will say no artwork. So I use the arrow keys (with shift for larger jumps) till it says "no artwork"and then single jumps till it says ready. You can do vertical and horizontal separately so I first line it up one way and then the other.

I would agree on almost every point and was ready to write it but saw how good a job you did. :heart_eyes:

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Ditto to you and @deirdrebeth both!

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Totally off topic, but I’m excited to see my first reference to Jira in the wild. We named our cat Jira because it means cumin in Swahili and our other cat’s name is Sugar. Every time I brought it up my (software engineer) husband chuckled. When I finally did my research and saw that the software Jira is named after Gojira (Godzilla), I knew it was the perfect name for our dimunitive kitty. Anyway, thanks for the smile today!

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I think this company does listen to its customers. I think maybe the response is not as fast as some customers would like, and the answer isn’t always “yes” to customers’ requests.

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Yes and I do it in inkscape.

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I have several “tool” designs; circles, rectangles, hexagons , etc and vertical and horizontal lines, that can be dropped into any design. The only one I regularly use is the horizontal line that I use to cut off a clean start when using the pass through but any design can be dropped into the GFUI on top of any other design.

3 Likes

Doesn’t work if you have two items and you are only moving one of them.

What you can do is watch the borders go from light grey to dark grey.

My very common use case is I have my main objects I am cutting out AND a horizontal and/or vertical line to cut off the remainer for spares.

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I do that all the time and if the other pieces are on ignore you have that same effect as the horizontal line does not show over the highlighting and so is hard to see. Also if the vector engraves are set to cut before going to ignore they do not hide what is underneath them making it easier to see the material. Thinking about it I have used your trick as well,

1 Like