My one concern


#1

I rarely post in forums, and here is no exception. I’m content to lurk and read and wait with relative patience for my own pro to arrive. However, this point was brought up in other discussions and I think it could use further attention. Maybe I missed a reply to allay these concerns. If so I apologize.

So my concern, what guarantee do we have that our glowforges will not become a high tech door stop should the worst happen and there no longer exists a server to control them?

I’m convinced by others’ experiences that there aren’t any shenanigans going on, and work is being done to make sure we all get the product we ordered. But things happen, businesses can be closed, companies can be bought, disasters can occur. It would be nice to know there was some plan in place to protect those with a glowforge in scenarios like this.


#2

According to @dan, they will eventually release the firmware for the machine as open source. What will be required beyond that to make the machines continue to function if GF goes out of business is somewhat unknown to us at this point.


#3

A promise to release a version of the firmware in the unit itself. The hope that the DIY community can reverse engineer the code enough to allow external control. Beyond that, just the promise that the company intends to be around for a long time. It all boils down to probabilities and hope.


#4

Your concern is valid. And likely shared by many, if not all.

The best we’ve got is

  1. hope that the company will live on forever
  2. or at the very minimum allow the application to live on even if the company itself dies
  3. they sell to another company that will continue operations
  4. the application is sold off and maintained or even developed by someone else
  5. since the firmware will eventually be released, some enterprising person or group will create their own software and hopefully release it at no (or a minimal) charge

#5

I’d be more concerned with laser tube replacements if the company goes under. From what I understand they are custom made. Is there a shelf life on unsused tubes? I have no idea and maybe someone who has more laser experience may. If I sensed the company was going to go out of business I’d stock up on tubes because I KNOW there are enough bright people around that can reverse engineer at least basic functionality

Saying all that, I really hope the company thrives and keeps going on


#6

Another valid point.

Indeed.

Indeed.


#7

In that worst of worst case scenarios I wait for the day someone can provide similar tubes OR build a system that could fit an existing tube from another company as a replacement


#9

I sincerely hope this equipment takes off, because without a large community, we won’t have people that take on the task of creating a local software solution. I’m hoping Glowforge figures a way to print jobs locally like every other laser cutter out there.


#11

It’s not likely they will release a local server version of it. They are fully invested in the cloud. Even if the Firmware is open sourced, it would take a pile of time and cash to come even close to what they have done so far. If the cloud services go away, it would spell big trouble for your Glowforges functionality.


#12

Well, I mean, yeah. We’d lose all the cool features other laser cutter DON’T have…but I’d just be happy with a local version that simply just does what they do. Cut, and etch.


#13

I would imagine you could just hack in a 3rd party board for that. Probably could even have a USB port, actual limit switches, and maybe even an Ethernet port.


#14

Beaglebone Black? :wink: