Machine "not eligible" for Pro Passthrough Beta?

I’ve been going back and forth with support for the past two months, trying to get the Pro Passthrough Beta enabled on my machine. At first, I got a welcome message and instructions for how to get started. But when I logged into the browser app, I could never get the feature to actually appear in the “three-dots” menu…

For a while, the support staff sent me instructions to restart my machine, logout/login to my account, clear browser cache, etc…

But then finally, this week the support engineer told me “I’m afraid I have bad news, your current printer isn’t currently eligible for the Beta software.”

That’s disappointing, and I’m willing to keep waiting… The entire reason I bought this machine (and especially since I bought the Pro model instead of one of the less expensive options) was to do large-sale work that can only be done with the pro-passthrough feature. So I’ll keep waiting until the feature is generally available.

But the whole things has me feeling a bit uneasy…

Why would my machine not be eligible? Are there significant hardware differences between different units? I bought my machine in January 2020, so I’d be surprised if it’s unable to run the latest versions of the software…

If there are different “Pro” machines with slightly different hardware and capabilities, I might be willing to sell this machine and buy a different one capable of running the Pro Passthrough, but I still wouldn’t know how to tell the more-functional machine apart from this one.

I’m a very technical person (software engineer for 20+ years) so I’m capable of understanding difficult hardware/software issues, and I’d love to hear a basic explanation about what’s going on, and when the issue might be resolved.

Has anybody else experienced an issue like this and gotten a satisfactory explanation?

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Yeah I’m curious too. I haven’t heard of anyone being refused, and I don’t think GF has publicized what exactly makes a machine eligible or not.

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I’m twelve days away from three years with my Pro and it runs the passthrough software. So hardware issues seems pretty unlikely. It may be more along the lines of they don’t want to add anymore units to the beta. Why they wouldn’t say something along the lines of, “sorry your application was accepted in error and we are not currently adding machines to the beta,” IDK, but communication has been a work in progress with glowforge.


There are a lot of ways you can do very well without the need of the software. Just today I cut an 18x24 sheet of acrylic into 136 earsavers with another 17 pairs of flexi halves, in 3 seperate cuts and lining up perfectly leaving only two quarter inch x 24 inch scraps.

The first thing you need is to make sure the material is square to the side and can remain so as you slide it down. Basically what the software does is allow large single objects to not be cut off at a vertical point but allowed but still cut off at the same place. The second thing it does is allow for imperfect matching if you are not as careful sliding it down,

You can make both of those things irrelevant, first as noted is to have the slide be straight and square, and to break your design in such a way that even if the parts are the same color the fact that some of it is above the cutting area will keep that piece gray it will not affect the part below.

When I laid out the earsavers I knew the last 4 inches would still need to be cut and made that last four inches a separate piece so I could cut just that.
Since you have set up the material to only slide up and down you can move the design using only the up and down arrows (with Shift for bigger jumps) and keep your design perfectly aligned, and not need the software to do it for you.

It’s likely related to the clarity or accuracy of the camera in the laser head. That’s what’s used to align the the next cut from the previous.

Their intent is to have it work for everyone, your machine just doesn’t fall within the parameters needed for the current iteration of the software.


Interesting! If the problem is related to the “clarity or accuracy of the camera in the laser head”, I’d be happy to wipe it off. I’ve reviewed the instructions on this page:

And my machine hasn’t done anywhere near 40 hours of printing yet, so I’d be surprised if it was a problem with residue on the lens.

Accuracy::calibration at the factory. Alignment, focus, who knows. Just speculation but the precision of alignment between print stages is hugely dependent on that camera. Machines may only have been calibrated for the focus function, and not for precision alignment of prints.

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I wonder if it’s similar to the reason that some of us never got access to Snapmarks when they were available.

That’s unfortunate. Luckily there were people using their passthrough long before the beta was available. Hope their tips work for you!


Very likely. The machine performs the same alignment dance during snapmark operations as it does with passthrough. They did create snapmarks specifically to help “perfect” the pass-through software.


Is that kind of calibration likely to be possible to end-users? Or is it more likely that if wasn’t well-calibrated at the factory, the Pro Passthrough feature will remain out of reach?

There’s no way to know, but the camera is not adjustable. I would expect they would continue to work on the software side to compensate.

The camera calibration process uses that camera as well, and it’s available to all.

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For any Glowforge employees reading this thread, I would happily (ok, not happily, but still) pack up my machine in a box and ship it back to HQ, with a check for $500, if I could get full factory re-calibration, and enable the passthrough feature…

Again, this is all speculation.

I am sure when it does go “live”, they’ll have it figured out for everyone - or offer some kind of remediation option.

Yeah, I guess I’m getting ahead of myself… Just frustrated, and feeling some FOMO, that’s all :slight_smile:

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I struggled with the pasdthrough for months and had concluded that my machine was not up to the task. However, lately, it has been working really well . so, they are making progress. Knock wood.


I’m really surprised they just left you at just “currently not eligible” considering how new yours is and the announcement that all Pros sold after June 25th would come with the beta automatically enabled. Quite curious.

Interesting. Had not seen that as it was added to his announcement later. It does reinforce the speculation of the factory calibration procedure being involved.

Unfortunately, this owners’ machine was purchased in January.

I would run the calibration and try the method I laid out. I did not get Snapmarks the first time through, but did with the passthrough feature.

I would like for that open printing even above the ability to to cut to remain but have little need otherwise. And as it is of a single thing I use the way I laid it out above. The snapmarks on a setup that can fix a few degrees angle off is far more useful.

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