I enjoy your interest in finding out how certain things work on the glowforge. I feel the same in many cases and would be, or am asking the same questions. Better understanding the engineering of a device leads to being able to better utilize it and understand your limitations. It also leads to being able to make better decisions on whether a product is right for you. Im surprised more people arent interested in knowing the answers to a lot of the engineering questions you ask.
I also know the frustration of not knowing if this will be the right piece of equipment. Not knowing if you will have buyers remorse, but knowing that you COULD know, if only the staff would be forthcoming. It is frustrating. I’m in the same boat, but have been lucky enough to have an early PRU to play with.
Being of that same mind, id just like to tell you that what I’ve seen with the glowforge is a lot of really cool stuff. In January a few of us had a chat with Dan about our PRUs and he asked “do you think it’s a great machine with a few problems or a problem machine with a few great things?” I replied that at that point if I saw what I saw I wouldn’t be laying down my money for it in that state.
Things have changed since then… A LOT… and for more than the better. The software improvements that keep coming are constantly making me say “WOW, they really are making a badass machine”. The differences between this laser and any other I’ve used are pretty insane. Is it 100% ready to go? Not yet, but I know it will be.
I really big eye opener was having a release model to use at Maker Faire right down the aisle from FSL and Epilog. It made me feel like some kind of elite. Not because I had a glowforge, but because people with other lasers kept asking me why the glowforge could make all these things that they couldnt on their much more expensive lasers. I even had a few people take their just purchased FSLs on the dolly back to return after talking to me and seeing what I made on the glowforge.
My point is, is everything working right now? No. The things that are working now, however, are already blowing other laser makers out of the water, and these companies have been around for a long time. Every day they are pushing the boundaries even further. I would rather have a company say, “oh hey, btw we found that we could push our unit past the 1000dpi barrier most companies stop at, based on the hardware we ended up using” (which they demoed for the first time last MAY, so they must have known about it well before that - 1.3k lpi)
Its taken longer than anyone expected to get this done, but I really think they did it right, and with the intent of giving us something everyone can be proud of, and something that they can really keep adding functionality to for a while. If you lived close by, I would happily invite you over to check mine out to assuage any fears you might have.
Either way, Im hoping you can see the confidence I have in them through not only my words, but the amount of time I spent writing this long post just for you. I was pretty skeptical for a while, and now can only say that its a pretty fine piece of equipment, and it just keeps getting better. Ill be happy to give you any personal insight into the machine youd like, or clear up any questions you may have. Shoot me a PM whenever.