Offline Print Preview Plans

I have a question.
Are there any plans to have an offline (when not connected to GF) print preview? Mainly to get estimated print times when offline.


Probably not.

The print time is based on the actual processed print job, and the processing is all done on remote computers. If you aren’t online, you’re not connecting to those computers.

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It would be pretty easy to set up a spreadsheet estimator for cuts that would be fairly accurate since you can see the total paths in inches in something like Illustrator.

Engraves could be done also but it would be more difficult to account for things like pure white, where the head will cut the travel path short (to speed things up).

Both wouldn’t be perfectly accurate but decent ballparks since the actual time estimate shown is based off of the pulse file, that knows acceleration/decel rates etc.


(I’m asking because I don’t know…)But, are you saying that my laptop talks to the printer, then the printer talks to the remote computers? If that’s true, then if the printer is offline my laptop can not talk directly to the remote computers?

If by offline you mean the printer turned off then it could be easily done if the company allowed it. According to Dan the app processes the same file for the simulation as the printer.

The app does not talk to the printer directly.

My understanding of the process:

Your laptop first talks to the remote computer, so you can see all your previous designs and even upload new artwork. When you select or create a design, the camera output from the Glowforge appears on your laptop to allow for positioning your artwork. (Don’t know if that connection is direct from Glowforge to you, or if it’s going through the remote computer.)

When you press PRINT, the design is uploaded from your laptop to the remote computer. The remote computer processes the design and generates the control code for the Glowforge (and calculates the print time). The control code is then sent to the Glowforge in its entirety, so the Glowforge can finish the job even if it loses its network connection.

If my understanding it correct, it would seem like calculating print times while the Glowforge is offline is technically feasible (assuming your laptop can connect to the remote computers), but as far as I know, the PRINT button is disabled when the Glowforge is offline.


The communication pathways are (broadly speaking):

Your computer to the GF servers to your GF
Your GF to the GF servers to your computer

Other than briefly during the initial wifi setup, your computer never communicates directly with the GF.

You can log into the GF app even if your GF is off. You may load files, check settings, etc. You cannot submit jobs to be printed, however. Since the time estimate isn’t generated until that point in the process, you cannot those estimates unless the GF itself is on and talking to the GF servers.

Hope this helps!

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Some context and other discussion:


I think the issue is it needs to do the red dot scan before it can generate the motion file because it has the focusing motion in it. Although that only affects the time by factions of a second they would need to skip the scan and generate a dummy motion file in order to work out the time. Entirely possible but I wouldn’t expect it to happen.


Understood. Thank you. It would be a good feature to have. Similar to that of 3D printers. As long as you have a printer profiled loaded you can get estimated print time(s) even if the printer is not on.

Agreed, would really like this ability, too…