Is there any way I can use my Glowforge Pro without internet?

My internet service has been getting less and less reliable, and because the company has a monopoly on my neighborhood, I can’t go with any other companies.

As a result, anytime the internet is down or slow, I can’t use my Glowforge…and it costs me hours when I need to be working. It’s deeply frustrating.

There has to be a way, right? If not I think I need to sell this thing and find something more practical.

Use your cell phone’s “hotspot” feature. The GF does not need much bandwidth.


Mobile hotspot, or if that’s not an option either, satellite internet like Starlink. There’s some cool folks that even drive around the country with a Glowforge and an RV, and laser wherever they happen to be. Cellular hotspot’s the way to go most places. If you don’t want to keep your phone in the room with the Glowforge, all the carriers make separate little hotspot devices you can buy and get another line of service for. T-Mobile sells 4G/5G home internet packages that could even replace your internet service for everything.


I have done that before, but honestly, my cell service is even less reliable. And even when my internet is up, it often takes half an hour just to figure out why the cutter isn’t connecting…turning off laptop, restarting wifi, turning off cutter…my wifi is running splendidly and I haven’t been able to get the glowforge to successfully connect for 40 minutes. It’s just getting to be too much and while it has paid for itself, I regret not purchasing a different machine.

Is there really no way to use the machine without an internet connection? Every other cutter I’ve used doesn’t require this. I’m wasting so much time just trying to get it to connect.

No, there’s no way to use a Glowforge without an internet connection. It runs 100% on instructions that are calculated remotely on servers in Google’s cloud. Centering, homing, autofocus, the movement plan for each job all get processed on those remote servers and sent to your machine over the internet. It can’t do anything useful without wifi.


This is where I’m at. I’ve tried everything it suggests. A couple times.

That is not an internet connection issue.

That is a local wifi issue.

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The wifi is working perfectly on everything else…my phone, my laptop…

Your phone and laptop aren’t buried inside a fully enclosed laser cutter with an EM-noisy high voltage power supply next to their antennas. There are many, many discussions in this forum in which people have issues getting their Glowforge connected even though their computer and phone are connected in the same room. Mine used to occasionally go “offline” while I was connected right next to it, and swapping my router for a mesh wifi system that increased the signal strength on the second floor of my house (where my Glowforge is) solved that permanently.


Unless your stuff is all pretty old there’s a good chance your phone and laptop are on 5 GHz, not 2.4 GHz like the Glowforge. Good signal on one doesn’t tell you anything about the other band.

You could try changing the channel on your router. Even if you don’t have the means to check signal levels, try setting your 2.4 GHz band to channels 1, 6, and 11. Test the GF on each. You may find one channel that works better.

My GF worked flawlessly for years until a few weeks ago when it suddenly took an hour to get connected and cut a tiny shape. It turned out that some other 2.4 GHz signal showed up in the neighborhood and screwed up my connection. Changing the channel solved my issue… even though my fancy AP on automatic mode said everything should be fine.


We’re putting a mesh network in our new house but here where my router & GF are on opposite ends of the house and 2 different floors I put a $25 TPLink wifi extender in the basement with my GF. No issues.

I’m trying everything. The router is like 15 feet from the GF…it’s never not been able to connect before. I’m on the phone with my internet company’s tech support and we’ve tried everything. How is it not even an option to hardwire it? No ports on the machine anywhere…

My internet company is asking if I want to try “port forwarding”. Anybody know where to find this info for the GF?

Internal ports, external ports, and protocol. UDP, DCP…or both?

Well…it’s somehow connecting now. I have no idea why. I’m guessing that it has something to do with the Glowforge server which just wasn’t working properly for me before?

Two days later, with no success and multiple attempts…and now it’s working just like it’s supposed to for no apparent reason.

So whenever the server doesn’t feel like cooperating…this machine is basically trash.

This cutter is a fucking joke. Anybody want to buy it off me? I’m done with Glowforge.

I don’t know exactly what’s up with your wifi issues, but I don’t think it has anything to do with server troubles. My Glowforge hasn’t gone offline once since 2019 when I bought the Netgear Orbi mesh wifi system. Post a for sale thread in the Everything Else forum, on Facebook Marketplace, or on eBay. Someone will gladly buy it off you for almost full retail price. A Glowforge Pro just sold on eBay for $5705 last week. They’re a high-demand item.

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I sincerely appreciate your communication and attempts to help out. While I’m not stoked on the machine itself, the community is really great.

Thanks to all of you!

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That’s not required for the Glowforge. It’s a reasonable proposal from a support guy who is ignorant of how the Glowforge works, but it is a red herring.

What you have described is most likely a 2.4 GHz wifi signal quality problem. If your Glowforge had a perfect wifi connection and your ISP was dropping so many packets that the Glowforge could not work, you would notice other problems with using the internet.

But we know that your machine doesn’t have a great wifi connection because you posted a picture of how you can’t get past the “Connect Your Glowforge to Wi-Fi” stage.

If you want to make your Glowforge work better, improve the quality of the 2.4 GHz wifi connection. If you are unable to evaluate the data like signal strength, do Hail Mary changes and test your Glowforge after setting your 2.4 GHz wifi to channels 1, 6, and 11. Other options include moving the wifi access point closer to the machine or even trying a new access point.


Yeah, I tried that but apparently I have a smart router that automatically changes between 2.4 and 5ghz and also changes the different wifi channel bands automatically for best signal. I’m getting the best speeds I ever have, but basically there’s nothing apparently I can do if the Glowforge doesn’t want to connect. I just had to wait a day.

I work in the film industry and have brought my Glowforge to location before to cut adjusted pieces and dry-fit on site and just having to stay connected through my mobile hot spot presented serious delays.

I should have researched Glowforge better. I got sold on their community (which is great, and much needed since tech support takes days to get back to me)….but I think it’s just time for me to upgrade to something bigger that doesn’t require an internet connection and isn’t limited to a proprietary browser-based software interface. It all just slows me down.

I appreciate your suggestions though!

…Aaaaaand…back to not working for no reason. I guess sometimes it works with a smart router, and sometimes it doesn’t…and I have no control over when it will. I checked with Spectrum, my internet company, and they don’t send out outdated versions of routers. So this is the only internet company I can use, and the only router they provide, and thus my Glowforge has been rendered completely unreliable.

This is why professional shop equipment should not require an internet connection. I just didn’t think my $8k machine would become obsolete in less than three years.

Sorry no, based on your descriptions the trouble you’re having isn’t on the server side - it’s something in your local environment.