Life, the Glowforge, and Everything

In our feelings about the GF release timing, I think the critical part of the thing is to look at the essence of what we are feeling, and follow that through (and as much as we might admire the fictional Star Trek Vulcans, in the real world feeling and “logical” or “rational” thought are inextricably woven together in the fabric that is us). There are those here whose essence is ease – the GF will make things faster and easier. The essence of patience goes hand in hand with this. From what we have been shown, this will be an amazing tool, and I for one am very excited for it. Most of these folks seem pretty patient and understanding.

There are others here whose essence seems to be something else – entitlement perhaps, impatience, or completion. From their reaction to the delay, some folks even seem to feel that the GF will provide a deeper answer to something they are seeking. I’ve read here of folks who have become angry, hostile – some who have hinged their businesses on the GF, and others who have hinged their faith in business and their fellow man on this. This anger and distrust bubbled up quickly, as if simmering for some time – threats of legal action, vilification of business acumen, oddly enough even comparisons to parenting strategies.

The GF is a tool. It is an amazing tool and I think when it hits the street it will be a “game changer” if you will. Like home 3D printers, I could see it becoming a pretty common household “appliance”. But it is still a tool.

As incredible as the GF is, there is nothing it can do that cannot be done by hand. Just like sculpting – there is nothing I can digitally sculpt and then 3D print that I cannot sculpt by hand (I have been a sculptor for over 40 years, but only a digital sculptor for the last 5). In both cases, the hand work is slower and more time consuming to do, requires a level of skill and artistry and practice and patience that need to be developed, but it can all still be done. So, while the GF may streamline and speed up our processes, cleanly and quickly and easily produce an end result and enhance our work flow, allow many of us to leap frog over the stage of having to learn the skills and artistry necessary to hand produce similar results – it is still a tool. If you need to do something, you can still do it today with a GF.

So – long story short – I think we need to look at our response to this latest news, look at the stories we have told ourselves (and continue to tell) about the whys and motives and agendas, and recognize these are just stories each one of us has made, driven by our own wants and desires and interests, colored by our past experiences and how each one of us has chosen to react to those. Our stories really have no bearing on “what is” as they are just stories. “What is” is defined by what we have seen in videos, in person at maker faires, and in the testimony and evidence of the reviewers, beta testers, staff members, and pre-releasers we have chosen to trust. Further, “what is” is defined by an agreement each one of us signed. These are the things that define the “reality” of the GF. Not wishes, not impatience, not guesses, not speculation, not rumor, not innuendo, not judiciously edited out-of-context statements.
In today’s world, patience is a precious commodity. In the world of next-day-delivery and on-demand everything, we have fallen out of the habit of having to wait for anything (and many of our children have never had to wait for much of anything, ever). But waiting is still a fundament part of our reality, and we have to wait for our GF.

It took me 58 years to find the love of my life. It was, without a doubt, worth the wait.


I’m out of likes, but that deserves something so here you go :heart: :thumbsup:


Don’t worry! I’m not. I liked it for the both of us!




Can’t agree more, well put.


Found that if you press the LIKE icon twice or a multiple of twice you won’t use them up. So for now on will give y’all double the likes every time.


Fixed what I think is a typo.

But I don’t think this is entirely true. I’m a profound believer that really good tools are a requirement for an average person to achieve quality results but only a helpful addition for the skilled craftsman - in effect they level the playing field. A skilled craftsman or artist can work beyond their tools’ capabilities. An average user can only work up to the capability of the tool.

So you can sculpt, craft, create things by hand that you could also do on a GF (although faster on the GF). I cannot sculpt, engrave, cut or create many things by hand that I can on a GF within any reasonable timeframe. I don’t have the years (decades) of training and practice needed. I use the tools I have to make up for that lack of time to invest in the training and practice before I become competent.

I can do average work with average tools. With better tools I can do some really cool stuff that is out of my reach otherwise - e.g. using a laser vs. hand carving or cutting using scroll saws or hobby knives. Without the laser my cuts are never as fine and detailed as they are with it. I could spend years practicing and get to the point where I can do complex marquetry and inlays or I can take a super awesome tool like my lasers and be doing that tonight.


Thanks – it is a typo, but for some reason every time I tried to edit it to fix it, it gives me an error msg and it won’t save the change… :frowning:

42 reasons to wait there are.


Well said!

Very good posts. The new tool will inspire new ideas that will beget new ideas that will leave you breathless.

While Gutenberg could be seen as merely producing the same item that scribes had been doing by hand, new writing and forms of thinking also emerged and became the book in a way that hadn’t been done. Mcluhan used this as the primary example of his famous dictum about the medium. I’d rephrase that to say that the tool is the object.