I appreciate your response. I’m not sure you’re understanding my issue, however. I use high end design software such as Rhinoceros 3D and Adobe products, so it seems like silly that I should have to use some janky open source thing (Inkscape). However, if choice of software is what causes GF’s cloud to literally not process some of the stuff I’m feeding it, even though I’ve tried outputting as a vector PDF, or WMF, or AI or DXF, they’ve got a serious problem. I’ve tried various different PDF postscripting software (Bluebeam, PDF Creator, the built-in Microsoft PDF creator) as well, and they all have the same issues. I’ve also tried importing files to Inkscape and outputting to SVG files, and still have issues. The main thing is apparently solid hatches (or a “fill” if you prefer that terminology) are either totally messed up, or in the case that I encountered last night, cause it to get stuck in the “rendering your design” phase. The reason I wish they would just make the dang thing work like a printer is then there isn’t any need to output to any file format. It just acts like a printer, and to your point about computing power, the laser doesn’t require any more than your typical $80 inkjet printer. The computing is done by your computer. It would just need enough memory to store print jobs or portions of jobs. Besides nothing I’m doing at the moment should require any significant processing power on the part of the laser anyway. Most of what I’m ultimately producing is around 1 mb, but have LOTS of vector curves and a few fills. The software limitations and cloud have turned into major hurdles as noted above, though. This means nothing about their system or process is “easy”.
To give more context, I’m using Heron (GIS data processing plugin) for Grasshopper (node-based scripting plugin) within Rhinoceros 3D (3D modeling). I use the 3D topography information extracted from USGS data to produce a grayscale bitmap that can be 3D engraved, or extract topography lines to etch on a surface. The projects also include some text which would be engraved. At issue here is that, as far as I know, there is no possible way to achieve that with their preferred software, and my output, although fairly basic compared to where it comes from, is not playing nice with their cloud. I also use Grasshopper to do parametric automation so that I can rapidly customize things. It’s a major problem if their systems can’t accommodate users designing with that kind of software, and operating like that.
In summary, my beef is with the fact that I’m apparently limited to using the Pinto of software packages, the laser is bricked without a wifi connection, and I have to wait, and wait, and wait, and wait for their cloud system despite relatively small file sizes. On top of it all, I’ve been finding that their “proof grade” settings are pretty bad too, meaning I have to do test after test. And finally, after fighting the issue of solid fills causing an implosion of their cloud system for hours last night, I wound up getting stuck with the “lid open” error!!! Further research has shown that basically means this unit is a brick, and I haven’t even accomplished anything of consequence yet.
It seems as though you’re very happy with yours, which is awesome, but I can’t seem to find one good thing about mine right now.
You’ve added some interesting points to my technical concerns. I will almost never use their proof grade materials, as it only makes monetary sense to buy in large sheets and cut down to the bed size. The potential monetization of data would certainly be more typical, unsurprising, groan-worthy tech start up nonsense. I wonder if these guys are Facebook or Amazon alum? I also wonder if I’m going to violate my EULA for griping about their shiny garbage? Not that it matters, since some software glitch in their cloud means my unit is likely a paper weight until they send me a new one. Which brings me to…
I am glad to hear that your experience is good! From the view point of my experiences, I have to take some exception to statements about quality, reliability, and service though. I’ve had the thing for just over a month and its cloud system already got it stuck in the “focusing” mode once. I got it out of that. But now that it’s stuck in the “lid open” thing as mentioned above, quality and reliability are not adjectives I can use. I’ve got a ticket in to have that issue addressed, but I hate to imagine how long it will take to get service on that based on another time I sought support and it took over a week to get a response. If I do stick it out with GF after all this, I hope you’re right about opening up the software, and removing the cloud process.
At this point I’m hoping GF can get me back up and running, so I can see if my side hustle scheme is viable. If so, I think I’ll make just enough to go buy an Epilogue Laser so that I can just hit the dang print button!
Phew… well this turned into a rant. Thanks for being a shoulder to cry on, strangers! Now if only GF could wipe away the tears.