Is this the forum category to whine and moan in?

Yes? Ok, perfect! Can I just ask if I’m the only one out there frustrated with this guideline of only posting actual laser settings to the “beyond the manual” category? What is the reasoning behind that, if any? It seems counter intuitive to decouple this highly-relevant info from all other discussion of a given project. Just this week there was a great post in the Made on GF category, someone asked for the settings, OP posted them, and BAM! - the smackdown was nearly instantaneous. Settings were removed, not re-posted in the Beyond section, and now users don’t have that info.

Why would you constrain settings to one section, making it more difficult (or impossible) for users to get the info? An argument could be made that it’s nice to have all the settings in one area, but that doesn’t hold much water when you have a search function. I can see the potential logic early in the game, but in practice it hasn’t worked out very well (in my opinion).

/rant paused pending other comments/


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It is a liability issue for GlowForge. If the settings are posted in general forum and someone uses them and damages the machine, there is a chance that the consumer will go after GF. The rule is that settings that are not provided by GF are only in the Beyond the Manual category to ensure that there is no confusion between GF official settings and those provided by customers. I agree with the delineation being required; if I use a GF setting it is covered under warranty, if I use your settings it is not.


What @ben1 said. The #beyond-the-manual section has a warning to say that the info is not supported or reviewed by Glowforge.


Thanks @ben1 and @joe. I don’t buy it though. I mean I get that liability issue, but I don’t buy the solution. So post a disclaimer at the start of EVERY section! Or a generic TOS when you sign up. Or some other of the infinite legal options available. There’s a significant volume of other info in the forums aside from laser settings the people could hurt themselves with. Oh, did you drink some acid because you read “I then soaked it in a 50 50 solution of muratic acid and 40 hydrogen peroxide” in a section NOT Beyond the Manual? Sue GF!

I just think it’s a weak legal protection, if it protects at all, that undermines the overall situation. Early on it might have been a good concept, before it became obvious that so many discussions would evolve into lengthy and deep explorations of highly technical aspects, during which inclusion of the settings would be an excellent thing. Or, on the other hand, just simple discussions of how to get a good result on cloth!


The issue is that Glowforge uses the Forums as one of there main avenues of providing information and support to customers. Before they had the #beyond-the-manual section, they did not allow any talk of safety at all, even if it was theoretical discussions of modifications.

Is it the best solution, I don’t know. Is it the solution they are currently using, yes.

If you have a better suggestions, great. You can make a post in the #problems-and-support section so it gets the attention of Glowforge Staff.


To reframe this: the viability of the legal argument behind the reasoning is irrelevant to us forum users. It’s axiomatic that, once a company has consulted lawyers, their advice will be followed, regardless of its relation to logic.

What is relevant to us: Glowforge has a rule that manual settings can only go in the BTM category. If the rule is not enforced, they will not allow posting of settings at all. That would make the forums a lot less useful.

Feel free to register your complaint with Glowforge directly. They won’t engage with you about it here. You are only talking to other forum users who can’t change the rule.


You just saved me a whole lot of typing.

Pretty much exactly what I was going to say. , so +1


I wasn’t trying to engage with GF. I was trying to see if I was the only one who questioned the logic. I guess so.

/rant concluded/

you are not alone in this.

You’re not the only one however we weren’t allowed to talk settings at all before the Beyond the Manual section was added in July 2017. After the section was added as a concession, people still complained about it.

The legal argument for it is stronger now than it was almost 2 years ago. The user base is opening up from the initial tech geeks that supported the crowdsourcing, to crafters and mainstream makers. We have seen several cases of new users causing fires in their units, some causing minor damages but a few have caused total losses of the machines.

At any rate, we have the BTM section of the forum for talk about settings, and there’s Facebook pages, so doesnt seem to me there is reason for yet more locations to scour looking for settings, particularly when it’s so easy to find them manually anyway.


So yeah to what others said but I wanna address
“someone asked for the settings, OP posted them, and BAM! - the smackdown was nearly instantaneous. Settings were removed, not re-posted in the Beyond section, and now users don’t have that info”

No one deletes those posts - they just move the entire thread to BtM. If the settings disappeared it’s cuz the OP deleted them.

That info is on the category head - in the hamburger menu - but I agree, I missed it too when I first posted. The easiest thing to do is post a “Hey isn’t this neat” and then create a BtM post with details and link the two. A pain yes, but way better than the info being lost!


Far from it, but over the years you become resigned. It is what it is.

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Don’t forget GF is based in a country that has to have “Do not eat” printed on urinal pucks and “This garment does not enable you to fly” on a superman costume for kids… :wink:


Good one! :+1:

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It’s not an easy thing to search for but if you’d hunted around the forum a bit I bet you’d have known the answer before you even typed the post.

The logic is hard not to question because it is lawyer logic, which makes no sense to anyone but other lawyers. You’re definitely not the first.

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wait… what??? :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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I’ve made a huge mistake


I think it’s important to write “so-called” in front of “legal argument” every time it is used here.

The idea that there’s some sort of legal insulation for GF because certain numbers are on one part of their forum instead of another is nutty.

In real life, there are actual legal arguments that are actually worth making. This isn’t one of those.

I think to be accurate, it should be called a “marketing argument” because that’s what it is.

The business model of GF depends on buying their products. Razors and blades, it’s as old as King Gillette.

It’s also a lot easier to swallow and understand. “Due to reasons of profit maximization, we don’t permit you to easily share data about using non GF products here, on our forum, the one that we maintain after selling you a device at a price we discounted because we’re counting on you buying GF products.”

Because that’s the real reason.

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…except that it is incredibly easy to share data about using non-proofgrade products here on their forum, and that sharing is permitted (encouraged, even)… as long as it is in the right place.

I, for one, do not think “profit maximization” is easier to swallow than “our lawyers told us not to”.


it is for me, because it’s true.

lawyer fables are frustrating, because they’re pretty easy to see through.