I can understand the skepticism from your perspective, but from my personal experience of having used two different machines over 10 months, my assessment is the opposite.
All of which are new to the desktop laser platform, and don’t diminish basic laser cutter functionality. Since the software is still under development you do have that prerogative.
Not surprising I think for a new design still under development introducing innovative features that set it apart from a basic laser cutter. A skewed comparison I think. The glowforge is in a class by itself IMO.
I don’t dispute issues others have reported with placement accuracy, but they don’t exist for me. When I open an existing file from the dashboard or upload a prepared file, it is executed exactly where I place it regardless of where I put it on the bed - as long as my caliper measurements are accurate. Subsequent file placement to an already accomplished design using the camera for placement is more problematic at this point, so I don’t rely on that workflow.
Being a neophyte in the technology I was very excited about the trace feature incorporating camera vision, thinking I needn’t learn or rely on design software to use this machine. Although that’s true to a degree, as my experience and understanding grew l learned there is no alternative for the precision of design software.
Because of that I rarely use the trace feature anymore. For me, where it shines is the ability to allow a quick rendering of a scanned image like demoed at the maker fairs. It does offer that avenue in contrast to a basic laser cutter.
Your expertise and experience go miles deeper than mine and I respect that, but what this machine has enabled me to do, and my faith in the company’s vision leave our perspectives at opposite ends of the spectrum.
I was prepared to purchase the pre-release for a fair price, and would probably already have it eviscerated to extend the Z axis and perhaps cooling capacity. I think if I had your ability I would be a lot less apprehensive about what this machine could be made to do.
And then there is the price. What the glowforge offers for what we paid can’t be touched elsewhere.
I am also very pleased that my machine was manufactured in the U.S.
Just my perspective.