Idea Hopper: A fun (borrowed) way to share settings


I know we’ve talked about this before, but this came to mind, so I thought I might share.
My favorite coffee timer is the bloom app on my phone. I’m pretty sure the company is defunct as of 2013, but in their prime, they were wonderful.
You could record your bean and water weight, grind settings, and compound timers for pour, steep, stir, and so on.
The best feature by far, was the ability to share those recipes with others via a link. People could tweet out their settings with #params @bloomapp (you should check out the old tweets) with whatever description and share it with the community. I loved it! I could walk into my local shop and pick coffee based on already tested recipes and know I’d get the best results. I take my coffee home, click the link and I have the specs.

I’m aware we’ve mentioned similar software hopper ideas before, but I wanted to share something we might be able to borrow from. An idea ahead of its time.


Super good idea! It would take out a lot of the guess work


The CEL Robox is a 3D printer that uses a similar concept for filament. The filament data is all stored in a file and that file can be shared and can also be written to the SmartReels that the filament is shipped on. This means that once a material profile is generated, it can be shared via the forums, emailed, or put on a shared drive for a company to access. The print profiles use the same idea, meaning that one person can generate a print profile for a specific type of part and can share that profile. This makes it much easier to involve the community and also easier for users doing the same or similar parts to get consistent results.
I wonder if something similar could be done, and all the ProofGrade materials could have a small identifier that GlowForge would read, if that would even be required.


that is exactly what is being done with the proofgrade material. I think this hopper idea might be for non-proofgrade materials, unless I am missing something here.


Yeah I don’t think you would need it for proofgrade unless you had a very special scenario/project where you needed something different from the proofgrade stock settings and wanted to share them.
I imagine @dan has many similar ideas already I bet.


Proofgrade materials will have all the settings preconfigured. Unfortunately non-proofgrade materials vary so much that any ‘presets’ are just as likely to steer you wrong as right - for example, we find settings vary by 4x or more by supplier for many materials.


Addl hopper material: I’d love to see some kind of vendor or business account program set up (like most companies, with tax ID, etc) or bulk purchase discounts! Having something that works all of the time (minimizing material waste) AND at a savings would help all of those using the 'forge to get new, cool stuff out in the world.


I can definitely attest to that. I’ve ordered several sheets of acrylic in one order several times and had to adjust settings for some…even same colors where you would think it would be safe to assume they were cut from the same batch and would perform the same…
My lasers give settings for wood as hard, medium and soft wood. Having preset settings based on the specific proofgrade AND being able select the color you want etched is fantastic. Will save on material waste and loss of hair out of frustration…:wink:


Hahaha! I’m more likely to destroy something as opposed to pulling out what little hair I have left!
I have mellowed (emotionally matured) over the years, haven’t punched a hole in the wall or had a restraining order pulled on me in about 20 years now. Diminishing testosterone is not altogether a bad thing! :no_mouth:

I’m sure the value of proof grade will become pronounced as my education progresses.


So, do you always do a test run on any new material? What is the process to do this with the least amount of waste?


I do run tests on most new materials. I figure out what I need to cut and where it fits on the material. In the open spaces I can run the test cuts and etching.


how big are your “test cuts”? I envision the testing of a new piece to take something like a 6"x12’ piece or something huge like that. From what you say, it sounds like you can do your test cuts in a quite small space.


Depends on what you are wanting to…if I can cut a 1" square, it wont be different cutting any other size or shape. Etching a few letters or shapes is enough to see the depth and color.


I have a little file I use that has 10 squares each defined with a different speed (I just about always cut at 95% power). I run it on every every new material I cut. That way I can see that say 25mm/s almost but not quite cuts but 20% works fine. The boxes are from 5 to 50mm/s in steps of 5mm/s. The appropriate speed setting is engraved in each box. The boxes are 10mmX10mm so the whole thing is a simple narrow strip that I can squeeze out of scrap (or what will be scrap). I cut the whole thing out using 5mm/s as that works with just about everything I do. I end up with a little sample of the material with a bunch of holes and one or more engraved boxes that didn’t cut. My laser software allows me to set speed & power by color and I use a different color for each box.

I have a separate file for engraves but in this case it’s a grid of power & speed settings - say 40% & 500mm/s vs 40% & 300mm/s.

Creating a couple of these kinds of calibration files is a good thing for everyone to do as an initial project for a new laser :slight_smile: