First, my AP is in my workshed and connecting beautifully to every other device in there, and I’m getting good throughput to all of the various web services I use to test (> 90 Mbps down + 30 Mbps up).
Second, the bulk of my experience is with OMTech 80W laser + Lightburn SW talking to OMTech’s RUIDA controller, so this whole “cloud print” thing is a little weird but, hey, the OMTech is currently down for some well-deserved repairs so I thought I’d check out GlowForge Plus since the HW looked solid and, more importantly, it doesn’t take up enough room for a small car so I thought maybe it would be a good “small job” laser.
Enough preamble. One of my problems is that “cloud processing time” takes upwards of 15-30 minutes if I import any “reasonably large” SVG file (~1MB) with not even that many polygons in it (maybe less than 100) and then it also places the artwork way off the object, like several pages down from where the object is displayed, which threw me the first few times because I thought it simply didn’t import. Once I find it, I have to select all of the elements then scale and drag them on top of the object, something which is also a PITA because bringing artwork to the edge of the view doesn’t make it scroll - you have to move, then scroll, then move some more, etc. Am I missing something? A hotkey to press while moving the artwork, perhaps?
Another problem I’m having is in figuring out what the HW device itself is doing. With the RUIDA driven laser I have the UI on the OMTech laser itself to look at while it’s doing its thing, and I can very quickly see if it’s having difficulties, whereas the Glowforge SW seems to treat the HW like a magical black box that is always working except, of course, it does not. Sometimes it “air cuts” (laser head moves around but laser is clearly not on) and sometimes it just returns an error code when I go to print and suggests that I turn the whole shebang off and back on again, which, OK, but that’s kind of drastic. Not even a reset button, folks?
My third concern is what happens if this company goes tango-uniform and all of the cloud services die. They’re already pretty slow, even for smaller objects, and it’s clear that their off-device processing model has limitations when the servers are overloaded or unreachable. Meanwhile, personal computers are getting ever more powerful and I can say from experience that even with a modest license fee, lightburn works great and is very intuitive by comparison (perfect? No. More intuitive? Yes). I am not finding the glowforge software, even with the “premium features”, to be particularly maker-friendly and I wonder if people are modeling all of their work elsewhere and then just importing it?
Hurgh. Did I perhaps make a mistake here?