Maintenance tracking

qa

#1

A topic of maintenance regarding the Glowforge crossed my mind, but I didn’t seem to find an concrete answer…

Are there plans in the cloud software to track recommended maintenance cycles based upon schedule burns? I’m thinking that if the CO2 tubes need eventual replacement, and they have a certain life expectancy, having some sort of death counter would go a long way to ensuring maximal up-time so a replacement can be pre-ordered if desired.

Of course, the above could apply to just about anything… filter replacement based upon burn hours and/or material fumes, etc. Is this feature being looked at being implemented?


#2

If the tool is essential to revenue or if I just want very high availability for a tool like this my approach is usually to always have a spare on hand. Another gets ordered when the spare is used. That assumes shelf lifetime is not an issue - do CO2 tubes have a shelf life?


#3

I believe I saw a 2 year expected life with heavy usage somewhere. Somebody please correct me if I’m wrong. In any case, I agree with @MikeH. I intend to keep a backup on hand.


#4

Previous response way back in September.


#5

I somehow just knew Google @rpegg would have an answer on standby… :slight_smile:


#6

Having a life expectancy on the interface will be a shaky concept. You could take the oil change or house filter approach and do a simple time based estimate that has so much wiggle room that it is impossible to go bad before it (and likely you will have as much use past the deadline as before it).

But, that winds up being rather useless to everyone. Window dressing for the unknowing novice which may lead to premature replacement of a perfectly functional laser. And utterly ignored by the experienced users.

If you put an approximation actually useful to the experienced user, then many times the tube will die before that, and people will throw a fit.

I suppose you could just go with a green/yellow/red lifetime safety indicator. Vague enough to keep people from saying they had no warning, and still somewhat worthwhile to the business users working on a dime.


#7

Here is a thought…
What if there is a standard calibration/power test file.
You run it and trigger a test when you first get the machine, and the camera sends the result back to Glowforge.
Do it every X number of hours of tube usage, and if the result starts to change then the software can detect the delta, monitor it, and alert you if necessary.

I could see it running on a standard piece of copy paper doing a series of engravings at varying patterns, power levels, and speeds. Snap a picture of the result and compare it to the original saved image for your machine.


#8

As I understand it, the print button on the machine will be lit up. If we used jacobturner’s idea, the button could cycle from green, yellow, the red via lifetime statistics sent from the cloud.


#9

Predicting filter expiration is definitely something we’re thinking about.


#10

Hi @dan! Just bought my Pro today (yay!) but have been following threads for what seems like forever.

I had a thought/idea: Can each persons GF count up the hours that it has spent working (lifetime hours)? If I have followed correctly, I don’t think there is a known lifetime for the laser/the unit as a whole before needing to replace parts (?). Knowing how many hours the GF has worked could be relevant and I would consider that information valuable.

P.S. I’ll be visiting the Seattle area week before Thanksgiving, any chance you have a Pro available to show off? Or just to say hello and perhaps hand deliver a resume?


#11

Welcome to the fun house!

I like the idea of having a lifetime counter! It sounds like an awesome idea.

Fair warning, the forum used to auto-flag posts with referral links in it. You may want to remove it.
From way back when:


#12

I appreciate the warning @joe. #removed :innocent:

Since I’ve read so many, it’s hard to know what I’ve read now that I’m “starting over” as an owner reading threads.

Have a great night.


#13

Great suggestion! Will put that in the feature hopper.

Don’t wait until Thanksgiving! Shoot us your resume to jobs@glowforge.com ASAP so we can see if there’s a fit right away. :wink: (And if we bring you in for interviews, you definitely get a tour and demo as part of the deal!)


#14

a lifetime counter and/or resettable counter on the filter units would be useful too.


#15

Great idea, thank you!


#16

This thought of jkopel’s is interesting again because of the care that the company is taking in carefully calibrating machines, especially at the low end to support the new low power settings. But laser tubes lose power gradually as the gas gets absorbed into the glass and the initial calibration would no longer be accurate. This could be somewhat addressed through monitoring the usage of each tube and adjusting the calibration curve appropriately. Another way would be to run ‘a standard calibration/power test file’ to adjust the calibration curve. Or do both.