Makerspaces and Glowforge: suggestions and concerns

Let’s use this as a list so that all of us using the Glowforge in a Makerspace environment can ask questions and coordinate.
Please, try your hardest not to derail or side track this conversation so we can have a place to reference back to.


easily calculated TCO will be handy so spaces know what to charge, if necessary.


Just for future reference, this started with concerns originated here: Forge with Friends: 7/31/17 Latest Improvements

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controlled access: if you receive training by the GF owner/admin, you get a link. But those users can’t add/delete other users or their jobs.
Admin can view any jobs going on at anytime and cancel job: If I can’t sleep and I log in to see someone about to laser PVC or they aren’t watching and there is a fire starting.


I know this may add a layer of complexity, but maybe we could have “single user” settings, “family” settings, or “makerspace” settings?


i would think we need three levels.

admin (everything)
functional (everything except user controls)
guest (can’t send to print or do user controls)

or some similar variation. and that could be easily manipulated to single user (admin), family (admin/functional, maybe temp guest when you don’t want kids printing w/o supervision), maker space (multilevel control). maybe maker needs more, but that seems to me like a reasonable starting point.



The inability to control access is a huge problem.


Things that would be helpful:

  1. Ability to add users with different levels of control (remove ability to add/remove additional users).
  2. Easy access to the machines MAC address for adding to secure/dual-authentication networks.
  3. Ability to save material settings if using non-PF materials.
  4. Ability to upload more file types (and clear notes on line widths to get true vector cuts).
  5. Explanation/use of a true speed unit.

There are more, but that’s the start of my list.


Yes! All of those things! exactly!

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Yes abolutely. We are using our GF in a maker space and controlling user permissions is a must. We have a very trusting crowd (everyone has a key to the front door) but we like to keep tabs on who has access to our machine and who they are bringing in.

A simple two tier system would be good for us:
Admin: Full permission
User: Can use machine but not add/delete other users

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There are a lot of software features that are needed for effective use of a Glowforge in a makerspace. But in addition to having access rights (e.g., admin vs user level access), it seems like one of the features we really need is to be able to pull up a list of jobs run on the machine. At a minimum, it should list, date/time job started, duration, and user. It would be nice if it listed what material was used, and note whether the material was auto-detected or entered by the users (in case we want to track people using materials that aren’t proof-grade).

I don’t think there is any real reason to save the actual design cut/etched, and there might be some privacy issues there as well.

Overall, it seems like the work on the software side of Glowforge has stalled. There are lots of desirable unimplemented features, and I haven’t seen many new features rolling out.


It would be really nice if there was some progress on these issues. At a minimum, the ability to restrict adding users to administrators.

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