How does the app connect to the glowforge?

qa

#1

Hi there, I’m considering buying a glowforge for a maker space that has a somewhat strange wifi environment. How does the client (phone, computer, etc.) connect and talk to the glowforge? Do they both talking to some location in the cloud that magically figures out which device is talking to which glowforge? Does the glowforge host its own server? Does something else happen?


#2

Your client(ipad eg.) would go to a website probably glowforge.com and login(now knows which GF you want, might give a choice if you own 2+). Your GF would be connected to the same server(cloud, not locally) via wifi. And then you can get to using the GF software to layout your work and print


#3

It connects through the cloud. Although the specifics of how that happens haven’t been revealed I’m sure there will be some authorization that has to happen. Dan has mentioned (and seen in the demo video) that you don’t have to be on the same network. For a maker space environment I would consider setting up the Glowforge on its own wifi network. This would give a better connection and less traffic to compete with. Something like and Apple airport express which can take an Ethernet port and turn it into a wifi network. This way it would separate the normal wifi usage from the Glowforge.

Users would just load up the web app and most likely have to sign in or something the send their print. This is tricky for a maker space though and would like @dan to chime in because once you authorize someone iPad what stops them from being able to log on at home and send prints. Can there be some geo fence that only lets you log on in a certain location? Or for the situation of a maker space will it just have to have specific devices for the users to use and leave in the makers pace?


#4

Yes, the user and printer can be on different networks - you just need to be authorized to use the printer. We have some rudimentary management code in place and will evolve this over time. We like the idea of makerspaces letting people print from home, but that means more sophisticated print queue management of course.

Feedback here is welcome!


#5

Appreciate it, I’ll talk to my IT folks and see what they think.
I suspect I’ll have to wait 'till I get my personal preordered glowforge so we can test it before we buy one for the shop.


#6

@dan I was going to create a new topic for this question, but think thread would be a better location to ask.

What wifi protocols does the GF support? 802.11a/b/c/n? (with ac?) and does it support WPA/WPA2 (or enterprise networks that support username/pass?) Is WEP supported ? (I hope not) And is there a threshold where if the speed negotiated is too low (i.e. 802.11b @ 5.5Mbits) a job will not go thru as in hard fail and throw an error? And how does the GF handle weak / spotty connections? How many attempts does it make to resend the job and if it fails does it send a message via the GF webpage?


Enterprise WPA
#7

Our wifi code is still basic right now, but we’ll get the full suite of protocols and security options added in time. I believe our chipset is just a/b/c/n, but don’t quote me on that one. We handle really, really cruddy connections pretty well - think cell phone that drops in and out.