Many would like access to the UI to learn it, seems like good use of the dead time, but I can understand their reluctance to allow thousands of people in to bang around in an interface that is still in development.
The UI is very intuitive, and it will be second nature very quickly. Without the machine there isn’t really anything you can do except click around a bit and there isn’t much to see. It’s pretty simple.
Here are some screen shots explaining some of the fundamentals. There are only two screens - Home and Bed.
Home screen with the provided files and a few I have saved there. This is where files you have printed or purchased will be stored. I tend to delete completed files unless I anticipate running them again, all are saved in the programs they were created in anyway.
Notice the 'Upload’ and ‘Trace’ at the top left. Upload a file or trace a drawn image on the bed.
Click a file and it is dropped on the bed screen to be sized, rotated, positioned and possible options listed on the left side bar. The side bar is where you can drag the thumbnails to be accomplished in any order. Operations are accomplished from the top down. In this case there are two, cut and engrave.
Notice on the upper left where the material was identified by the QR code. If no code was detected that will read ‘unknown material’.
Clicking on that presents the list you can choose from that @karaelena mentioned, so the code isn’t necessary.
You can also have any material in the bed and choose from the list, say, 1/8" hardwood and engrave slate with the presets for the chosen material. Edit; (adjusting for material thickness). You can also ignore any presets and choose to engrave, cut or score manually.
The presets are really for ease of use for beginners like me, after using the machine for a bit you quickly become familiar with the settings, and results and your intuition begins to take over so you want to experiment.
Edit; I forgot to mention the ‘Add Artwork’ where you can upload a PNG, JPG or GIF file that will be dropped on the bed screen with your other file. Add more, have a party!
If you use ‘uncertified material’ you are presented with a dialog that asks material thickness. This gives focus height. (if you wanted to defocus using you would convert to manual and specify a height above the actual thickness).
once that is accepted you set the other parameters for the file.
Engrave Will allow ‘engrave by color’ for 3 or 4 options depending on material, or set power/speed/LPI/number of passes for manual.
Cut power will be set for and can be set manually (whether or not you are using proofgrade) where you can convert to engrave or score.
score will offer depth options for or power/speed/number of passes and focus height in inches can be set manually.
clicking on the drop down arrow next to ‘Manual cut’ gives those options.
This is from an inexperienced user, so apologies for anything I failed to make clear.
That is essentially it. Pretty simple stuff, and a tribute to the designers to make this laser accessible and easy to use. As Dan said “make it not suck”, which they definitely did.
The UI is simple compared to the design software, so don’t concern yourself with that. Worry more about the software - Inkscape and Gimp in my case. That’s where I hit a wall, not the UI.
Seriously, you will have this down in no time. That’s the magic of glowforge.