Printing with Glowfriends


I was talking with a fellow Glowforge supporter and we got talking about an idea. I know this has come up on the community before but I can’t seem to find it. We were wondering if it would be possible to send a print to someone else’s Glowforge? (with permission of course). It would be a lot of fun to be able to have your friend (where ever they live) put in a piece of proofgrade and then you could send them a surprise print (with them standing by). In a couple minutes out pops a surprise design!

It would be a fun way for all of us to connect and I’d be curious to know if @dan has loaded this into the hopper or if there a kind of a work around with logging in remotely. What do you think?


That’s one thing that has been brought up before. But never had a direct answer too.

Mutli-user accounts or guest accounts. Or sending invites to a non-glowforge owner to use one.
I’d assume they’d have something in play for Makerspaces.


This is kind of a cool idea, to allow a friend, forum (or otherwise) to send a print to your :glowforge:. I know I’d be happy to accept any print @Jules wanted to send, for instance.


A really good use case for this is all of the “PLEASE HELP” emails and posts that we are going to be getting.

There are a number of super awesome folk on this forum with some serious editing skills. There are also a number of us who have never created a design before, or our skills are not even at “grasshopper” level yet. If we reach out to @smcgathyfay, @Jules, @takitus, @karaelena, @markevans36301, @marmak3261, or any of the others and they take the file in question and “fix” it for someone, it would be great if they could just send it to the person’s machine to print.

The less steps in between the fixed file and the GF doing the lasering, the better.


No, nonononono, let’s not turn this into a full IoT device. Allowing a “friend” to queue up cuts will lead to not friends wasting my time sending stuff to my machine (or worse). The online requirement for camming / gcode generation is enough, lets not add new an exciting attack vectors.

The amount of setup required for a print is such that having them email you the photo or design will be the least time consuming part of the process anyway.


This is easily solvable by either whitelisting ‘friends’ you trust, setting your machine to ‘open to receive’ mode, or a combination of the two.


The simple solution to that is not to use that option that if you have that fear.


I highly doubt that something “sent” to your Forge would not show up in your GFUI, you still will have to place it on the material that you physically put into your GF and push that glowing button. I don’t see how there can really be a “surprise” cut unless you can give remote control of your local GFUI to move the design and hit the submit button, but you still will have to put material in the bed and push the button


y’all assume a perfect implementation even with those suggestions. This is a mistake. This is redundant and only weakens security, full stop.


youre assuming a flawed implementation. It wouldnt be a very hard thing to do properly


Unfortunately, the overlap between friends and acquaintances for whom this would be useful and people who like to click on things they shouldn’t might be higher than I would like.


It’s not something I would like at all!


counterpoint: The literal millions of vulnerable IoT devices that exist in the world today.
second counterpoint: email has existed for almost 60 years, and is completely capable of sending your friend a photo for them to engrave on the glowforge. friends wouldn’t (hopefully) just randomly send stuff to your queue without notifying you anyway, so why not just attach it in the message? this direct send to your queue solves nothing.

there should be no “surprise” when operating a laser cutter! maybe one of those cute internet connected thermal printers that spits out messages on a little roll of paper, but not a dang laser.


If they just implemented the ability to share with other approved Glowforge users it would not be any more unsecured then it is now. Since the whole UI is handled in the cloud and you log in with your GF account to access it.


You do realize that the glowforge is a network enabled device right? Which means your concerns would be an issue even without the suggested sharing feature. Secondly- Even if someone sent a ‘rouge’ op to the unit. You have to press the button to start it. Basically a ‘mechanical interlock’.


Can’t wait, since right now my kids give me the thing to laser on the GF. My son is perfectly capable of lasering (he’s used a Chinese 60w) but I’m not giving him my account info…


It’s like using any of the remote control software to be able to help someone troubleshoot a problem. I’d like to be able not to just send a file to someone so it’s in their catalog but also be able to set the parameters of the job for them. It would help with diagnosing issues (why is mine coming out like this but yours comes out like that?) as well as helping someone with something tricky. Way easier to do it real-time in the UI than it is via email & reliance on them (or me) to communicate every detail. Implemented so I (or someone else) could do that up until the button gets pushed would be really helpful.


This reminds me of the time recently when my 13 yr old went into the bathroom at a restaurant with his ipod and sent a “scarey” face picture to their wifi printer. Needless to say, managment thought it was hilarious and was going to bring it home to scare her kids, but sending unwanted things to someone elses printer is not cool.
That being said…if there was a way to have a one time passcode generator that you could send a code in the request with your “I NEED HELP” message, then you could send it straight to the machine for printing…
But I think just attaching it to an email might be good enough especially since you could open the “fixed” file and learn from it as well as keep it to edit or modify later.


I can see where this could he helpful…I often did this with my mom when she was learning new software.
I’m guessing you could do this anyway on a PC with remote desktop.


Yeah but now you’re adding another software thing for someone to install. If it’s just a matter of someone giving you their printer name or an invite code, that’s easy. Oftentimes with remote desktop controls you end spending a fair amount of time getting that setup correctly. The users of these things may not all be tech heads :slightly_smiling_face: