Please DO NOT become this GF


#1

I have confidence that GF will not become this.


#2

yeah this is a rush to market job, but these guys are some serious competition.
Boss ls1416 hobby laser… More power 60 watt, full chiller, Auto focus 8 inch table movement under the laser, also usa based… 1 month free try before you buy. 4 way pass through and a 4th axis chuck all for less money than the glowforge.


#3

Wow, never seen one of those before and they might send internationally… food for thought indeed!


#4

it’s not any cheaper, especially if you add the chiller and rotary attachment, and up the wattage to 60W. boss, as mentioned in the other thread, isn’t any more competition than FSL at the moment. it’s definitely an attractive feature-per-$ though for some of the other features.


#5

“When it works, it works okay.”

Ouch. That sounds like a very frustrating experience.


#6

It is always a problem when computers used for production get forced updates: http://hydraraptor.blogspot.co.uk/2010/08/friday-13th.html

I moved all my machines to Linux so I can control when they are updated. Fortunately I won’t be doing anything critical with my Glowforge as dependence on the cloud isn’t reliable enough for business. It currently seems that the behaviour of the machine can change with no warning or even any documentation of what has changed. Since I will probably only use mine occasionally it will probably be different every time I fire it up.


#7

Should mention that most of us have no real idea how often the GF firmware has been updated. In 5 months I’m only sure of once. Everything else seems to be anecdotal. Yeah the user interface changes far more often. But I often see comments that firmware or cloud processing has changed with the only evidence being that their results were different. I have no doubt that there have been many updates. I also have no doubt that most people are terrible at noticing other sources of change or errors.


#8

I built our admin database at work on Microsoft’s Access Web Apps platform for SharePoint. It’s brilliant: simple to build (even for a boob like me), flexible enough to do everything our old mixed bag of solutions could under one roof, and powerful enough to reduce tasks which used to take us hours into simple button pushes… Well it was until Microsoft decided to discontinue the service. Even with a year’s notice its left us, and many others, scrabbling for alternatives which don’t really exist (at least for our niche).

I can’t say I’m looking forward to being at the whims of a big company in this way all over again. I wish there was a way to choose (within reason) when we adopt a firmware update. I really hope GF implement this option.


#9

This is the main reason I like the cloud based software. Pushing updates to a bunch of remote systems is much more likely to have issues. And it is much harder for support to get around to everyone to fix.


#10

Full Spectrum is a good company. I’ve used a couple of their lasers. This thing came out fast as a GF alternative so its not going to be anywhere near as good. I’m surprised at their customer service, I emailed them a question about laser-able material and they called me back the same day to explain my question. I wasn’t even a customer. I do hope they can turn this around and make it right for those who spent so much.


#11

Plus, competition in the market place only refines the “product” more and brings the price down for the consumer. I’m all for both of those things.


#12

Yeah but that was just a question and not a machine problem. So was that customer service calling or was that sales? I’d hesitate to be impressed by a phone call when their actual CS issues are so well documented.


#13

When a popular product is emulated in a rush to capture a market share, it’s the customers who pay. Unfortunate, but in my view the result of that effort highlights the wisdom of pushing back release with delays as necessary to present a viable product.

I have a renewed appreciation for the support team listening to this poor guy’s struggle.
Surprising to me that a successful established player in laser manufacturing deciding to participate in this market niche failed to anticipate the support requirement. Their innovations have real potential, but to flourish you can’t leave your customers twisting in the wind like that. Salute to the glowforge support team!

I can understand why people would choose to place their faith in an established company as opposed to a startup
who kept delaying in 6 month chunks. The price glowforge offered was my only chance of ever owning a laser, otherwise I might we’ll find myself in this guy’s position, because the Muse sure looked good on paper.

I agree with @ianauch that this reflects a strength in a cloud based solution. Push to a single location instead of every customer.
Someone @ FSL will be busy chiseling in stone the Golden Rule that you never push an update on a Friday. :grimacing:

Gratitude for Dan making the command decision to delay and for taking the heat in what turned out to be the best choice for his customers. :+1:


#14

yes it is if you check the current price and pick some additions that work. I started a post on the laser. Apparently the laser is the same as what Dan had in his garage at one point.


#15

It varies, but every few weeks is not uncommon. We’re extremely conservative with firmware updates. They tend to be small and very well tested.

We also built in a lot of conservatism in those updates. For example, we store the entire previous firmware image in memory. If anything goes wrong with the update, we switch back to the old version automatically. We spend twice as much on memory per unit to make that possible (since we have to store 2 OS’s at once instead of one), but it’s worth it for the improved reliability. We also have a third, minimal recovery OS that’s redundant to both of those in case the stuff really hits the fan.

It’s possible for things to go sideways, but we spend a lot of time and dollars to try to avoid it.


#16

Gigs or megs? just curious what a over the air full recovery would feel like if both the full os’s took a digger and needed to a full cloud re install fr time and bandwidth


#17

I hope the “twice the memory” includes the inevitable ballooning size of the OS as head camera pass-through and double-sided alignment code gets added. I can imagine the complexity of that code easily doubling the size of the OS.


#18

Thinking most of that, if not all would be done in the cloud external to the unit.


#19

Ah, right-o. Thanks for catching that.


#20

Indeed.