Crossing my fingers that our school gets the opportunity to be a part of the beta group!
I wish I could help test, but being a complete 100% total newb I would be of zero help to anyone. A big thank you to all who volunteer and know that they are doing!
By the way, if by chance there is any thing that complete newbs like me (who have never used a laser cutter and have never even seen a cad program in real life) can do to help, then please let us know!
If you are interested, then fill out the application at the top. You never know who they will pick. They may need a “100% total newb” to test out how easy it is for a new person to produce something usable.
Please note that I am torn about every suggestion I make to someone to fill out the application at the top.
On the one hand, it will make the Beta Tester pool larger, and make it easier for the Glowforge team to find the best match for a Beta machine they have available.
On the other hand, it makes the Beta Tester pool larger, meaning I probably have less of chance to be chosen.
I guess the more the merrier. In the end, we’ll get a better product.
@cindyhodesigns: I’d bet that the 10 hours is conservative When I’ve done this kind of thing before the time mounts up far faster than you might expect. When you’re wrestling with a tricky issue it’s easy to lose sight of the time you’ve invested and keep at it until you’ve either got everything the engineers might need to fix the problem or until you’ve found a workaround yourself. And then when everything is working it’s so cool to see the genesis of a new product happening before your eyes that you keep wanting to do more - it’s kind of like getting a chain saw; once you cut your first tree you start looking for other trees that need to be cut (that might be a guy thing though)
The other thing I’v found that is a challenge for people who alpha or beta test for someone else is the documentation part of the “job”. It’s hard for some people to write well especially in a technical or engineering arena. In my “real life” we often have folks who have found out very good things in their testing but can’t articulate them well enough for us to duplicate the issues or understand just what the user was trying to accomplish.
Overall I think this was a great post. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new product launch to want to volunteer only to find out later that the whole sausage making process is something best left up for those who can maintain the passion even when frustrated and when absolutely nothing goes right - sometimes that seems more the norm than when things fall into place and everything fires on all cylinders.
Great communication from the team though. With the Kickstarters I back and the alpha/beta testing I’ve done in the past, founder communication is usually the first thing to suffer when trying to push through issues facing them right then, right there.
Participate in the forum regularly. Especially read all the old posts. Read a whole thread and ask a question that furthers the discussion. The bigger a community we have that knows and trusts each other, the easier it will be to get things done. So post a project plan in the Laser Made category no matter how simple. Put in a picture of some “found” material you would like to use. Post forum user name on the Glowforge map project so a beta tester near you can invite you over to drool.
I am excited about this opportunity!
I am R,W and A to participate. I have students, parents, administrators and the community excited about participating in this program. Myself and many of my students have been using a laser engraver, 3d printer and CNC router. for a couple of years and have become somewhat accustomed to working to the Idiosyncrasies of some the technology we might be exposed with.
Just got a very odd weird email this morning, later to find out that i miss this by 5 days!
Finals Week is great!
As I see it, there is no way to overstate the importance of how Glowforge has decided to beta test their device. I have always wondered as an early order, end user client of Makerbots first replicator model, if the initial delays on ship, and then the resulting heated build platform warping issues could have been discovered and remedied through just such a rigorous end user beta program. Not to misstate, Makerbot did right by me (and I believe everyone) in replacing the hardware when the issue was technically solved, but the cost, headache at each end, and cloud of ill will that rose in the interim was neither healthy or productive. Kudos to Glowforge both for overstating the nature of the device and beta program, and communicating consistently with us rather than working behind easy silence. Should I be involved in the beta, I know I will push the limits as pertains to an architects and production graphic designers potential use. Keep doing what you’re doing GF, and thanks to all for their daily enthusiasm here.
I will be happy to volunteer and give you feedback. I work with my hands constantly, and a vast variety of materials. I am also proficient with Photoshop, as I was a graphic designer before becoming an business owner and puppet designer.
If you have not already done so, make sure you fill out the application at the top of the page (it’s in @dan’s post).
Very true, documentation of a work flow for a replicatable issue is key! I do it all day long for my company’s developers and if they don’t have a work flow and some scenarios it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack, or a guessing game, to try and isolate and resolve the issue
Please make sure that you** read and follow directions well**. I am getting a feeling that the staff at Glowforge is/will be inundated with applications from people who did not follow instructions from the start. Some only joined the bandwagon in the middle and instead of reading. People are asking questions and thus are skip over other valuable information. Don’t get me wrong, I would still answer questions and be as helpful as possible, but to me it is just a red flag. I am not sure if others are not seeing it or just not going to say anything. I just do not want it to be harder for GF staff to make a great product. Hopefuly this post may help ease the pain.
Me too! I sent an email about a month ago. We’re a Makerspace here in Austin, TX and were hoping to get one of the beta units. I hope that email doesn’t affect our changes… fingers crossed
We would love to BETA test a machine here at Lehigh University. We currently have two production laser cutters and have hungry students clamoring for more access. If you want to figure out how a machine might break, just open it up to a college student. That said, this would be a fairly public trial with students coming with a variety of materials and making all sorts of things with backgrounds from Engineering to Architecture. I’m not sure how that might work with any NDA’s that need to be signed…
I think @dan replied that all our designs would remain our property.
Thanks for the clarification.
Thank you for linking me to that.
We aren’t announcing what we ship to who - some of the volunteers will “volunteer” to share their experiences, and some will be companies doing really cool top-secret stuff that they are not going to announce. (I can’t believe how amazing some of the beta applicants are!)