No longer teathered to the machine

Helped my Son set up a “GoTorch” for plasma cutting, and like any other CNC, ordinarily it requires interface with a computer, in that case via an LPT port.
That requisite necessitates a work station in the crowded shop amidst the work surfaces, tools and equipment. Not the ideal location. His is in the garage, so that is where he has to work.

The cloud based Glowforge allows me to perform the design work in a comfortable office setting and alleviates the need to cram an uncomfortable terminal into an already challenged space.
I’m going like that freedom!


This is certainly a harder problem to solve in a device that takes a parallel port (parallel in 2016??) but needing to go to the cloud and needing tethering are 2 totally separate things. My 3D printer and my CNC also would require a computer (admittedly via USB) connected, however that is a Raspberry Pi which serves as the local g-code queue and sender (just like my 2 laser printers are networked - they self queue as well). For the 3D printer it’s using the excellent Octoprint and the CNC mill uses other uses a combination of open source tools. (no way my computers are sitting next to the X-carve!).

I have no issue with cloud based motion planning, it’s a reasonable technique (as long as your internet is reliable - and since I am not commercial if I lost connectivity some client is not going to yell at me - and I have FiOS so it’s fast/reliable).

I do have an issue with lack of a physical connection (ethernet) and only Wifi. This is one of those decision where @dan has informed us is final and not being revisited (not sure why, it’s a $15 part - but it is what it is). I prefer hardwired because it is way faster in real-life (not bitrate but actual real-world throughput) but more importantly is way more noise resistant. I imagine you will need to not use your plasma cutter at the same time as you need fast wifi; at my house since I live near some TV and radio towers that even “ac” wifi only gets “G” speeds, so the GF won’t get awesome performance (it’s so bad that I can’t use inductive wire tracing tools, as they just pick radio stations way louder than the device’s tone, and my oscilloscope is hard to read for fine things if you don’t set up filtering super carefully).


Interesting. I think people are thinking that cloud component is sending the motion planning line-by-line to the glowforge. i.e. ‘traditional’ g-code senders. But what’s actually happening is the unit is getting one large ‘upload’. So slow/bad wifi would impact the ‘click go’ to ‘machine start’ performance. So assuming they are using compression by the time the glowforge hits whatever threshold it fells to start the job safely, it has most likely pre-buffered a large amount of the job. Even it it got 20% of the ‘file’ at start it’s not like it going to execute those commands in a couple secs that upload is still happening in the background. And if that job is <5mins that would most likely fit in the buffer.

Obviously that is all in speculation. I for one would love to know how that’s working at the ground level. i.e. What method are they using to start the transfer? Is it push or pull? If it’s a pull how often does it check? Would something like that cause issues with folks that plan on using there GF remotely on cellular networks? If it’s push (or pull for that matter) is the GF operating in an encrypted tunnel? Or is the unit checking a ‘userspace’ on a webservice thats just using something like HTTP/SSL.

The nerd in me would like to know.

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I understand the interference issues your location presents, that’s unfortunate.
As I understand it, the tooling for the injected molded case has been completed, and being under the gun to bring this project out of the hole on time is paramount.
Still being under development, and looking down the barrel of a deadline is motovation enough to prevent any delay you have control over. Backing up to redo an element that has been completed would qualify.

As with anything under development, I have no doubt that other ideas for improvemen have surfaced as the project evolves, but because of time commitments those will have to wait for the next iteration when the staff will have the luxury of time.
Based on what I have read on the forum, you are not alone in the desire for a wired connection, and from what I have seen of Glowforge, I fully expect they will respond to their customer’s input - but not for us, not this time - at this price.

BTW, the GoTorch control came with an LPT to interface, So we were fortunate to have an old box around that sported one.
Man, those pi’s and arduinos are really quite remarkable for their capability, versitility and price for components.

Again, this won’t really affect me per se, sure G is less than ac speed, but it works just fine for this application (heck i am sitting on my laptop on wifi now). However at schools, etc this is much more of an issue.

I do understand the case finalization, but actually if you look back this issue came up before the case was finalized. I can’t imagine the hospital would let me install this, since all Wifi accounts are 802.11x secured into our domain, and having a device have an actual username had to be able to go out the firewall is of course a serious challenge security wise (also not sure how you change the password frequently on this thing which most institutions require) - and yes, I do know that they can additionally tie the username to a MAC address for the wifi card, but it’s just one major headache to get approval to do that (many places won’t).

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