Extreme hacks

Has anyone tried coming up with a hack that would allow using Lightburn on a Glowforge? Is it a hardware or software only issue or both? Before someone says it’s impossible, it may be impractical but it’s a relatively minor problem for someone motivated highly enough.


As far as the software goes, people have used Lightburn to create SVG and PDF that can be used with their Glowforge.

In terms of trying to make the glowforge a standalone laser cutter that can be operated with local files rather than a cloud connection… There was a whole organization called openglow that tried to do that you can still go to their website and read their research.

Spoiler alert: they never solved the problem, and the project is pretty much dead. The archive posts are very interesting but they never solved the reverse engineering problem in any usable way.


Also I think you may be understating things here. You’ve got a huge user base installed with no doubt some highly motivated technical users and rabid competitors who would love to reverse engineer the glowforge and figure out a way to do what you’re suggesting. Dunning Kruger effect aside, if this were in any way minor it would have been done over the course of the last 7 years.

Just because you can state the goal in simple terms doesn’t mean that it’s a simple problem to solve. That said if you figure out a way I’m sure lots of people would love to hear about it.


Sure, “relatively minor” if you consider ripping all of the control hardware out and replacing it with something more generic “relatively minor”.


I was thinking of the problem with funding. If we were all stuck with a paperweight, the incentive to find some kind of solution suddenly takes on a fresh urgency.


In that situation it would depend on if the firmware was open sourced as promised or not. If so, basic function would be a software only solution. If not, probably back to a replacement motion control system.


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