I feel your pain, coming to this with only the information you might have skimmed from the Glowforge site and not having waded through the voluminous and varied listings of the state of the Glowforge software on the forum.
The request for shipping information routine would have lead you to a place that contained a long list of specifications as to their state of readiness. It’s a bit of a reach to go through the whole thing and find all the specific features that affect your workflow.
I am curious to unpack your experience to see how your expectations of the software were created by the things you read or your own experience with lasers, other tech, and designing things.Glowforge marketing and the main site and FAQs don’t tell the full story.
I think this is a an important issue that needs attention. So many new users are posting about problems that have been discussed and dealt with in many ways on the forum. New users are not getting the information they need to get the most out of their Glowforge.
Unfulfilled expectations become issues that can obscure the real possibilities of the Glowforge, including its ease of use.
Knowing its present specifications and capabilities is not an easy thing, evidently.
The Glowforge is capable of cutting and engraving different materials to a high degree of precision. It should work every time, and for me does.But I don’t press that Print button unless I have a design I know will work.
But, and that’s the big thing, to get it to do what you want it to do requires not just a fair bit of computer literacy, but then understanding what does work (SVGs that fulfill certain requirements, mostly standard requirements, bitmaps, with certain caveats, PDFs that are formed in a certain way with certain requirements) and what doesn’t (native AI files, DXF, CDR) can clash with what you know about technology. We assume the Glowforge should work in a certain way. Makes sense. But it isn’t there yet. But you can work around it.
In addition to figuring out how to craft a design file that the Glowforge can process in its present state (really not that hard, once you know it needs SVGs for vectors or well-formed PDFs and size limitations on bitmaps, there is still the issue of error messages that you can’t interpret. Calibration routines that can’t seem to be tied to anything in your control that last a long time.
However, once you have established a good wifi connection, have figured out some of the calibration errors and how to avoid them, and know how to design a good file, then you get to understand the whole process with alignment by the camera and what to expect and how to manage accuracy that can’t just be based on what you see in a lid camera issue.
I’d recommend the Learn by Doing tutorial in the support tab of the app. Making a gift tag from scratch.
It may be a little like going back to first grade if you design in Rhino, but it does help establish some semantic references to the processes going on so you can then have better references for asking questions.
Good luck. The tips and tricks sections are super and lots of them. Don’t worry about posting a new topic if the Glowforge doesn’t do what you expect it to do. Just put it out here. You’ll get lots of help.