Glowforge IOT suggestions

Anyone interested in creating a Glowforge Status IOT device? This isn’t about using your laser unattended, more about makes sure everything is ready or safe before you do.

I use Home Assistant (HASSIO) on a Raspberry PI and have a half a dozen ESP8266 connected as sensors and such. I was wondering about something to keep track of the various Glowforge vitals. Using a OLED or Epaper display. Using HA adds a lot of options, like send text alerts or changing the color of a Hue light. But I don’t think everyone would want to run the overhead.


  • Exterior Temperature
  • Camera
  • Blast Gate Sensor
  • External Fan
  • Cloud Status Webhook
  • Dust/Soot Sensor
  • Air Quality Sensor
  • Gas Sensor (VCO)

Anything else?


oh yes yes yes yes yes!!! - i have a camera mounted in my GF to monitor the job, and am always looking for more data!


Sounds interesting but definitely out of my league.

@bwente I would be interested. I have no experience in IoT, but I´m a fast learner and would be willing to invest the work and time to make this.


These metrics would be great. I have thought about temp sensors and thermal imagers (of course no one needs them because they are looking at the bed all the time, right?)

Air flow in venting would be good. I was looking at VOC meters yesterday. I’ve been banging my head on getting things going, but it looks like you have rolled your own hardware. I have the docker stack from Peter Scargill loaded on recommendation of Andreas Spiess.

tonight was figuring out mqtt. Only three hours of messing around to finally get an iPhone shortcut to send a message to the broker to go to node red to drop a shopping list item in into InfluxDB to read from a Grafana panel.

Siri asks me what I want and I answer out loud and off it goes. I have never found the reminders and notes to work as I’d like. This is is efficient and exactly what I want so I can make my shopping list. The hard thing is to come up with a name for the shortcut. If any form of the word shopping is used, Siri skips the shortcut and decides I need to go visit Lowes or Home Depot or says that Kohls isn’t open at the moment. Then I tried using the name of the grocery store, Hyvee, and after two shortcut responses, she decided that I needed directions to the store. So I came up with a name that works without her second guessing me.

I am very interested in the IOT stuff at the moment since I don’t have my workshop set up and am dying for projects. Electronics seem to work great.

I have one more ESP32 free and I’m going to try and get a k-type thermocouple hooked up to it to probe my 30 year old stove. It’s temp range seems wonky and I have got to figure out what’s going on, other than it having little to no insulation and heating up the whole house!

And my cigar humidor is too high. I took out the bigger humidifier puck and swapped it for a smaller one. I might have to pull it if it doesn’t go down.

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I have been wondering about the ease of this with open source stuff these days. The automated install scripts take most of the guesswork out of it and there is minimal command line to do, but then there is always going to be a gotcha.

I haven’t done a video for ages and think it would be fun to do a live stream of starting from scratch with building an IOT server and each episode do one more thing with it. There are lots of videos out there, but it is hard to know where to begin.

I think some understanding of network address stuff and ports since each application uses a different port for the connection of clients. Most of the stuff is browser based. You run the install scripts on the server. When they are done, you go to another computer and access the apps in a browser tab.

The big question is motivation. Why? Because my house smells moldy and the basement has water in it and I want to document it over time as it dries out. So that is one clear use. The other is that I left my digital timer at the old house. I bought a new one but it keeps resetting every time I get the whole week programmed in. Works for a day or two and then resets. My espresso machine is on it and I have different wake up times almost every day. but mainly to turn it off. I forget to turn it off after I switch it on. I know it is a lot of work, but once you get the first one done, the rest are easy. And then I want to get my oven temp tracked for bread baking.

I haven’t thought about lights too much, but I think shades or blinds would be good. I tend to keep my shades always down because I am to lazy to pull them back up and I’d forget if they were up and that isn’t a good sight to see in this neighborhood.

@chris1’s flow meter install for his water is something that I’d like to have. I’d especially like to install one on the school since there are just so many things that drain water away without realizing it.


Yes, I agree HA ( would make things easier. I was wondering what would be best solution for everyone. Maybe it is Home Assistant. I also started with temperature, I know Glowforge will warn you, but I think it would nice to know before so that you could “condition” the environment before you start the job.

Here is a air quality sensor that I thought would be good for measuring dust. It would be a good indicator of when the lenses needed to be cleaned.

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He is a page that I started.

I am using a low energy bluetooth thermometer.

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remember the GF is VERY sensitive to humidity as well, you need to figure out to get the sensors into the GF chamber itself*

*without it blocking the path of the laser / gantry

My draftboard is highly sensitive to humidity too.

I second this. Exhaust is very important IMO in processing materials. This would be a solid indicator of the exhaust grate getting clogged up and needing a cleaning. Not sure if it could be done for the air assist fan also, but would be helpful.

In what sense?

Per the manual, it has a pretty wide operating range in terms of humidity.

Extreme temperature or humidity
○ Temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (5 Celsius) or over 120 degrees Fahrenheit
(48 Celsius)
○ Extreme humidity conditions (below 10% or more than 75%)
○ If venting outdoors, ensure that changing conditions do not cause extreme temperatures
or humidity to enter the Glowforge unit through the exhaust hose. Disconnect the hose
from the outside air when the Glowforge is not in use.

Probably should add to the above “non-condensing.”

Given the intended usage of these, as a home device, it seems that running it at the extremes would be edge cases. We had some pretty dry days roaming around the southwest, but I can’t think of anything below the 10% recommendation.

the ‘smoke’ density in the GF chamber is pretty dense as well, I put a miniature smoke detector in mine, that measured smoke density and time smoke is dense (to help prevent false alarms from cooking) and CUTTING the alarm was silent, but for an engrave it started ringing almost immediately - interesting!

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so, smoke, temperature, humidity, air movement (if fan is blocked) voc rating as a safety if somethings is toxic, can harm the GF, radiation / laser detection? what else?

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I like the idea of an Air Quality Sensor. The one that linked to ironically enough uses a laser and a fan to pull in air to measure the amount of particulate build-up on a sensor. I always wonder when I should clean my lens. You can’t use time to track alone because it depends on the material. It is a different use case than the measuring harmful gases.

Here is another article on using the sensor.

I remember reading an article about this and another city doing some local documentation about air quality. Something about local sensors and data gives some agency that otherwise would be lacking.

Can’t find the specific article, but it was about the employment of a homebrew network of sensors in a city that had some real problems. It led to real change in public perception and civil responsibility.

I just want to make sure my house doesn’t invite mold and want to keep that humidity down in the basement. I’m going to get some DHT22s. Right now I have the 11s and they aren’t as granular.

If I had this tech available when I was a kid, I would have gone nuts! Danny Dunn, Encyclopedia Brown, The Mad Scientist Club.

I need a sensor for my PTEG filament dry boxes. and thinking about it, it would be interesting to hook up a sensor to my dehydrator to see if it can track accurately the exhaust air for moisture and automatically alert me that we are at a desired level, rather than just waiting a certain amount of time.

What about air speed in the exhaust hose? I’d say that would be a good thing.

And getting a particulate meter connected to the exhaust control to keep it running until a certain level is reached.

@evansd2 knows all that!!

Sheep. Need a sheep detector. I hate it when they get into my wainscoting


Um, that’s an interesting word, isn’t it?

Wainscotting … Wainscotting … Wainscotting … sounds like a little Dorset village, doesn’t it? Wainscotting.

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