Offline Standalone Application for Glowforge®?

Is there any way to use Glowforge® offline without the web app ? 3rd part developer ?

I would love love love it if Glowforge® offered a offline app because uploading work takes up time and would be cool to use it when my internet is down.

any news ?

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Not likely, as much of what happens is not actually in the Glowforge but in the c;loud and then sent.


Second what @rbtdanforth said, I can’t see this happening. Glowforge hardware is nice, sure, but I think their biggest competitive advantage is their software. Allowing that special sauce to leave their control seems risky.

I wonder how much computing power it would take to even do all the calculations locally? Dewarping an image isn’t that hard (computationally speaking) I suppose, but converting a raster to an engraving seems pretty heavy. It’s possible that the average home PC doesn’t have the power to practically do it… let alone the cross-platform problems that would come up.

Anyway, totally guessing but I think it’s a dead end to wait for the offline part.


well truthfully most laser machines are for offline use, a official 1st party offline app is much needed even in this day and age.

the software really doesn’t handle my heavy files at all.


Been following this carefully since September 24, 2015. I do not see this happening. I can’t imagine another model even coming out that would require a stand alone application. Even the folks who are looking to roll their own are dropping in a bespoke board.

Glowforge seems to have projected a target market very carefully. There must be a clear hardware vision. And there is a clear software vision.

I can’t say how they would justify their scope of development, but it seems to me that focusing on a web browser app eliminates a lot of development goals that just aren’t worth it. Take the issue of PC/Mac/Linux applications. Sure designing for different browser platforms is a stretch goal, but total functionality was delivered immediately for each of the those platforms. The Chrome bet certainly was a no brainer.

Being tied into a Wifi connection and an cloud backend is going to cut out certain customers. Heck, there was initially a problem because it didn’t work with Enterprise wifi. But even though they may sell a Pro laser, from what I understand through reading the posts of lots of folks who make their living doing this, the Glowforge might not be for best for commercial enterprises that require a certain level of speed, reliability, and control. Not saying that there aren’t some good businesses getting a lot out of their Glowforges, but for many it’s one tool in a bigger tool set.

Then there are some of the development choices that may not really speak to selling more machines but instead are a way to pad the value of the company. Making a decision not to use GCode surely has been one of the things that has slowed down getting these machines into the market, but in the long run, Glowforge isn’t just in the business of making lasers, it is in the business of being a business. Who knows, in the long run, the actual machines may be discontinued, but the intellectual property might be worth more than all the lasers sold. I certainly don’t know what’s up financially with this company.

I have learned so much in this experience that what I want or expect regarding this laser has little or no meaning in the big scheme of things. But Glowforge has provided a platform for you to ask your question, and it is valid. And there is one thing I do know is that everything that gets shared in this forum is important to the company. They are paying attention. You might not get what you want, but putting that desire out might just come true in a way you never thought possible.


For generic manual control it’s not unreasonable. Though the company’s business model may depend on cloud control. There has already been significant third party reverse engineering looking at basic laser operations without cloud control.

However, the original concept of Glowforge operation was designed around optical recognition. I don’t believe there is the necessary built in controller or processing to pull that off with the existing H/W. Additional H/W would be required and there is no easily accessible electrical interface for that H/W. Not a simple add-on.

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It is indeed possible to write software like this, but we’ve decided not to to date. It would take an enormous amount of time and resources that we’d rather spend making our current software better. We appreciate the feedback, though!


This is something I’d love to see Glowforge provide five years from now when it’s a bigger company and has more resources to allocate but for now I appreciate your continued focus on fixing bugs and providing new features to your existing product.


I (thought I) largely desired this when I started out on my trip. It would make life a little easier, perhaps. One less thing to worry about. And it might.

But it hasn’t proven to be a very big deal.

And even if I end up in one of those barren white voids, I won’t be able to even get order notifications, or create shipping labels.

That’s just my story, and not everyone’s.


I live smack dab in the middle of your largest void on the east coast. Good ole Highlands of WV.


I’ll make sure to point a Pringles can at your house, if I end up out there.


I’m willing to wager the one in Maine is bigger :slightly_smiling_face: The backwoods up there are awesome. Nothing like the 100 mile wilderness to get you into the spirit of the next 2000 miles of hiking (or relief that the 2000 are behind you if you’re headed north on the AT) :+1:

The only lonelier place on the trail was Centralia. Spooky.

I like WV. Now I ride (be there next month for a motorcycle rally in Martinsburg).


Nevada has superb coverage; you just need the right provider :alien::flying_saucer:

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I appreciate your replies, I don’t know some meant about coverage, I’m actually not residing in the states.

I’m just having issues with the cloud app.

if I have a 150 mb file its really hard to break into 30 mg files and the need to align them.

also my camera doesn’t show my lasering bed correctly so its been lots of trials and errors with uploading simplified files, it really limited my creativity and exploration.

I feel a tool like " distribute objects" in illustrator for aligning would do wonders for project since I need to print individual pages of scripture on 30 90x90mm squares.

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Are you aware that if you start with a 20-inch by 12-inch art board your placement will be identical every time? This allows us to create jigs for placing items. If you secure some plywood, cardboard, etc… to the honeycomb and then cut out a series of 90x90mm squares you can keep dropping in new 90x90mm pieces and then engrave on them. It looks like you could get 15 loaded at a time.

If each square has 15-30 mb of data in it, I don’t think there is much help for you there.


Yes, I think a bit of file optimization could be done. I’ve uploaded some pretty high-res images and am well below those file sizes.

Curious if it’s a BMP file or what? (I think Glowforge will accept bitmap files). BMP’s are lossless and uncompressed = big files. PNG’s are lossless but compressed = same quality (at same resolution) but much smaller file sizes.

You could definitely do some file optimization before uploading.

1.) Simply converting a 32-bit color raster image to 8-bit grayscale will cut the file size to 1/4th!
There’s no need to upload color information to the GF app, it’s going to get stripped out anyway for engraving.

2.) Reduce the file resolution. A 20" x 12" (full bed size) raster image at 300dpi and grayscale is 20MB. 300dpi is plenty of resolution for most materials like woods or acrylics because the materials are grainy (wood) or melty (plastics) and can’t reproduce higher resolutions well enough to see the difference. Anodized aluminum is an exception, higher resolution is beneficial there. Even so, 600dpi at full bed size (grayscale) is 80MB, half the file size you’re currently dealing with.


do you mean I should cut out the squares 1st without engraving then upload the scripture one by one ? will it snap to the red squares or do I have to eye ball it ??

do you recommend I use PNG ? also what is the Max Dpi a glowforge can handle ? my text is really small so I will need the highest possible

great tip thank you ! do you know what is the highest dpi the glow forge can handle ? my text is pretty small so I will need as much as I can