Many moons ago, I picked up a Makerbot Cupcake 3D printer. That was an educational experience for me, which while being plenty of fun, made me realize that what I was after was a useful tool, and not a hobby project. I have way too many projects already, and that thing required lots and lots of fiddling around.
So when I heard about Glowforge the first time, the one thing about it that caught my attention was that it seemed that it could be a very useful tool that didn’t require fiddling about–something I’d have to do with a cheapie laser cutter, or even a big professional one, which assumes a commercial environment that can provide care and feeding.
From that perspective, at least, I am amazingly happy at what Glowforge has delivered! For the most part, it just f’in works. I’m happy to buy the Proofgrade materials, because for some projects I simply want to build X and I want it now because I have other stuff to do. And it does exactly that.
I was concerned that it’d turn into a vendor lock-in situation, which I fervently hate, but I think they found the right balance. I can use whatever I want in there, and twiddle the settings to suit. And it works great that way, too. Which is good, because I’ll end up using and abusing it in all kinds of strange ways. The cloud-based software was another big concern, but the commitment to opening up the control protocols for open-source developers to work with again strikes a good balance.
So anyhow, my hat off to you, Glowforge creators! This thing is amazing, and, for me, delivered exactly what I had hoped. Granted it’s only been a week, and I’m still digging into everything, but while I’m sure I’ll run into plenty of rough edges, I’m ok with that because of how good the rest has been so far.
I just wanted to say thanks for an excellent machine!