Am I the only one that wants to try making just about every example of everything that they see here? But then you realize that you have no idea how to calculate gears, or program those LEDs to do the Knight Rider thing…
Then you are left saddened by your inability, and you sit and wallow in despair as opposed to pushing yourself to learn those things.
Maker Faire made me realize that I want to do all the things. I found out that there are local robot fights!!! Seriously?!? Who’s up for forming team Glowforge and putting ForgeBot up against all comers?!?
In the end you have to tell yourself “knock it off!” It’s like that thread where someone has a hard deadline for receiving Glowforge before he backs out. I won’t go that far, but I will tell myself to knock off the crap.
So with that in mind, I’m pulling back all of my feelers, save those that will get me ready for what I am most excited for… Glowforge.
What do I need to learn Glowforge?
I need to learn the materials. We have a lot of choice from wood to acrylic to leather and more in what we can mark or cut with GF. Each one will react differently, and so getting a test print/cut in place that I can see how each reacts will be important (even with Proofgrade).
I need to learn design. I can draw parts on AutoCAD all day long and not bat an eye… but I’ve found the 3D aspect of design is appealing, especially with Glowforge to see what our 2D prints will become and to visualize it. But within this item I also need to prioritize. I already actually made that mistake by jumping in too deep with my initial designs on Fusion 360. I need to learn the basics and then start designing custom things.
I need to temper my expectations. With chocolate, if it isn’t tempered properly, crystals form in all directions that seed into the rest of the batch and you end up with a mass of bloomed, crumbly chocolate. (i.e. you expect one thing and get something else, then you become disappointed.) I know what the advertising said. In the end, we may not get some of those things at launch. Oh well, what we will get can keep us super-busy. Here’s the one thing I think they did wrong in the advertisements. They showed us all of these amazing things, but it takes more than a pile of laser-cut wood to make a drone that shoots rubber bands. It takes a massive amount of electronics to do it, and then it takes a lot of skill to pilot a drone. They show a shop full of creations with price-tags… but they don’t show the rent bill for the space, or how much it cost to build it out. They don’t show the scrap on the floor at 3am as the fiftieth wallet comes out flawed for some reason.
Glowforge is not the thing that creates these various things. It is the tool the lets us create them. But like any tool, proper knowledge of its use is mandatory. Some of you are coming from a background where you use these tools and will be able to whip out a drone in several hours. Some of you have a store that is already built out to which you can add lots of great do-dads that you make on the GF. Most of us are going to start out by failing. When tab “A” doesn’t fit into slot “B” and I’ve adjusted for kerf three times, we will be tempted to quit. But we have to power through. Buckle down, learn the tools and the materials, and expect failure, not perfection.
With all of that in mind, I move forward. I dedicate myself to spending at least an hour per day to learning and using Fusion 360. At some point I’ll be confident enough that I can start whipping out designs! Then comes the cutting!
P.S. At some point I do want to learn to make the Knight-Rider thing with the LED lights and Arduino!