No internet woes

I finally received the plastic batch for my project and got my Glowforge setup. And a drunk knocked over the utility pole in my neighborhood. No wifi. No lasering. So frustrated.:sob:


Oh shoot. That’s a bummer for a bunch of reasons. I like having internet.

I think I’d be tempted to crank up my data plan for a month and use my cell phone as a hotspot.


Uncool! Hope things turn around quickly. :neutral_face:


Can you use your phone as a wifi hotspot?

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I tried using my phone’s hotspot, but the wifi connection fails after I put in the password and try to connect. It pops a message saying communication with the glowforge was lost and to restart the setup.

You may already be doing his but if not - I think what you need to do here is put your phone in hotspot mode, Your Glowforge in setup mode and then use a third device to connect to the Glowforge to tell it to connect to your phone hotspot.

If you are already doing this, just ignore me :slight_smile:


That is exactly what I’m doing. Thanks for verifying. I’ve got the GF in purple button mode. It doesn’t seem to like the hotspot from my iPhone.

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The first time I set mine up, it failed to connect a few times and then it worked. I dunno. :frowning:

Did they change it? Shouldn’t it be in blue mode?

Correct. Purple mode isn’t useful for anything. Teal is for setting up WiFi.


The only way to get into ‘purple button mode’ is to hold down the big button before booting the glowforge. The ‘purple button mode’ does not allow for wireless connection. To get to the ‘teal button mode’ start the glowforge without pushing the big button. Once it settles down push the big button for 10 seconds. That will start the ‘teal button mode’.


Last year a utility crew burying cable took out our Internet on a Thursday. On the Friday they took out our electricity.


I’m actually paranoid about internet outage in my house, so the router and wifi are both on UPS failover. Doesn’t help when the local network node suffers a physical outage though. :expressionless:

Anyhow, service was finally restored around 11:30 last night, so I stayed up late in my cold garage getting it done.

It would be great if I could manage a list of wifi networks on the GF and configure it to use any available. Maybe even an interface on to manage them. Retrying setup to change networks is a huge hassle and seemingly error prone.


It’s pressing one button, then going through the setup process that’s several seconds long. It will likely never be significantly easier than that. :slight_smile:

However, your idea to manage them in the app simply wouldn’t be a solution since it would require an internet connection to make the change in the first place. :slight_smile:

It would be good if it were like my phone or PC/laptop where if I’ve joined that network before, it’ll use it. That way I only have to add it once. Then as the network changes or I move the machine around it’ll pick up a known (to it) network without me needing to go through setup again. 2011 technology :slight_smile:


I disagree. My watch, my phone, my mirrorless camera, and my home thermostat all use wifi and all are easier to use. The glowforge wifi setup is unreliable and time consuming by comparison. Keeping multiple networks in the device is not unreasonable. Being able to add, edit, or remove networks from an online device is not unreasonable. Running a web app over a direct wifi connection hosted by a device is not unreasonable.

The cost to host the core functionality on device and broadcast over wifi is insignificant. I can do it for less than $20 with a raspberry pi.

Glowforge is still early days and under active development. This kind of utility is low hanging fruit and should be a priority.

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I’m with Tom_A in that the definition of easy is what is easiest for my mother. You have your router and wireless access point on a UPS. If I told my mother to put her router on a UPS she’d first ask which box is the router and then ask if she had to print a label first or if she could just drop it off at the UPS store and they’d know what to do.

To your point, running their own wifi to direct connect to a device to manage multiple networks isn’t necessarily in direct opposition to the primary, teal-button UI and would benefit some. To my mind it isn’t a priority though. This is marketed as a consumer device anyone can use; not a business or industrial device with QoS guarantees.

I’m not assuming “easy” is what I find easy. And I can’t speak for your mother, but I do know that I own devices that connect to wifi that required literally zero setup (my watch), devices that configured themselves without an internet connection (my camera), and devices that configured themselves without any buttons or a display (my eero network repeater).

I write software for a living. Since I enjoy breaking down UX, I’ll point out a few things here:
GF users are likely to put the machine in a room that other wifi enabled devices might not generally inhabit. e.g. A workshop, a garage, etc. It’s not unreasonable to think that there might not be a good wifi access point nearby immediately or at all. It’s not unreasonable to think that the connection speed could be severely limited. I personally placed a laptop next to my GF, I did not place my GF next to my laptop.

GF users could very well be limited to corporate wifi. There’s no guarantee the GF can even sign onto these LANs unassisted.

Internet outages happen. Tradeshows happen. People outside of urban internet connected areas would probably enjoy using a GF just as much as anyone else.

It’s almost silly that you can put the GF in a mode that broadcasts a direct wifi connection, but you still can’t configure it without another internet connection. The “we suggest airplane mode for this step” is almost laughable.

In my opinion, the only reason internet-less configuration is not an option today is because it is has not been built or is not ready. There are no technical reasons why the software could not be deployed to a laptop as a downloadable package or self contained app. There are no technical reasons why a GF wouldn’t be able to communicate with other devices on a wifi LAN to do things like setup or printing. My assumption is that these things are just not ready yet (and that’s fine). But it pains me to think that GF users would already be setting such a low bar for what is acceptable or “easy”.

All of this is about design. Design is how it works.

During the GF setup, what if you could put your wifi credentials into the setup flow before directly connecting to Glowforge-BBQ007? A simple change like this means:

  1. if you have a problem, you can actually still go to google and search for a solution.
  2. You can interrupt the setup flow and not have to keep scrolling through the eula and “click to continue” page to get back to connecting.
  3. Password managers can inject the credentials for your wifi and you don’t have to type them in.

This is a contrived example, but it is a symptom of many design choices that have not been considered or made yet. And, to your point, setup of the GF is not easy. My mother would not be able to do it. If the wifi network had to be changed she would never be able to get her GF functional again.


I know where you’re coming from. Once you start to seriously consider UX instead of simply UI, you tend to look at everything in terms of the UX it’s expressing and critique the hell out of it. :grinning: Heck I criticize the UX of door handles now :laughing::rofl:

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“The affordances on this door are all wrong!!!”