Long wait time "preparing"... even when printing the same design

I often experience long wait times while GF is preparing the design. It is tolerable (barely) except when I am mass-producing a lot of the same design. It seems to me that if I take out a cut piece, put in a new piece of wood, wait for scanning and hit “print”, then it should really take no time at all to prepare the design – it has already done so. To have to wait 10 minutes +/- for it to prepare the design it has already prepared is gruesome.

I’m interested to know the reason why it needs to prepare every design every time (surely a good technical reason?) and if this could be addressed in an update? When you’re trying to cut out many of the same design to sell at a fair it just eats up your days…

it all has to do with the upload to the server and then back to the GF. So we are all at the mercy of the internet and it’s speed…

It’s developing a new motion plan each time you push print. After each job is ran, it discards the current job in memory.

A “manufacturing/jig mode” has been requested, but another request never hurts :slight_smile:


Yeah, that’s too bad. My GF already has the prepared data sitting in it, right? The whole project is in buffer and it doesn’t need any internet connection or need to get more data once it starts printing. If the GF would keep this in memory and not discard it after every print, then it should be able to start up printing immediately after I hit print and it scans the material.

It seems it shouldn’t be too hard for (a) the Glowforge to hold the file in memory in case it will be reprinted (costs nothing to hold onto it, right?) and (b) for the interface to know if you’ve done something that requires their server to do some computation with the file and if not for the server to skip that step and send the go-ahead to the printer.

Problem is that the data downloaded to the machine is not really a file. It’s a motion plan. So the only time a repeat would work is if you put the exact same material in and cut at the exact same place. So generally only folks that are using brand new sheets of material every time or using a fixed jig would benefit. Might help my jig operations but I represent a very small percentage of users that do this.


I do most of my prints on 30 cm x 50 cm mdf and they are smaller objects that give some leeway in placement on the wood. So I really don’t need to do any repositioning of the image when I switch in a new piece of wood. Maybe they’re aren’t enough users who want this to justify making a change, but I’ve requested it anyways.

Today I’m getting about 1-2 minute wait time on preparing, which is acceptable. I do get 10+ minutes some nights, which is not good.

Preparing has a ton of file-dependent variables that can impact the time required. I don’t think there is much one can do on the design-side though to influence this.

Had the first day of the market today and Wow! Sold out everything. That was 22 puzzles… it is a very small rural Christmas market and we usually sell very little. We sold out 3 hours in and have a list of products that people want tomorrow. Got home at 8 pm and went straight to the GF to make more copies, knowing it’s going to be a long night.

An hour and a half later I had not even STARTED one print. After waiting 12 minutes for preparing the file the UI gave up. Tried again. Same thing. Tried changing networks to run it through my phone on 4G. Again bombed out after 10 minutes.

I then ran a simplified version, one copy of what I’m printing and then duplicating with the UI. Again, 10 minutes and the UI bombed out.

A different file went through – 6 minutes to prepare – and is printing now… Maybe the file has some kind of hidden complexity. I think I’m going to go to bed and get up early when there is less server strain. Hopefully I can print out enough to satisfy tomorrow’s demand.

This is frustrating and may cost me sales.

An example of what you’re trying to process might help.


Update this morning – up early to print. Tried the same file that kept bombing out and it bombed again this morning during low server pressure time. The file in question was one I made from Sketchup exporting as pdf. I ran an extension called Curvizard to simplify the contours, Reduced 8000 edges to 3000, and now the file has uploaded and had about a 3 minute preparation time. I’m back in business!

So one lesson is to simplify files. But it would still save a lot of time to hop over the preparation stage once a file is already prepped!

That’s a great idea for a feature - thanks for the suggestion! We haven’t announced anything like that yet, but I’m going to send it to our product team with a note that it came from a customer request.

I’m glad you resolved it! I’m going to close this thread. If you run into any other trouble, please start a new topic, or email us at support@glowforge.com. We’re here to help!