Tested Gets a Glowforge - Second Pre-Release Unit in the Wild

I noticed that the camera saw some glare from their lights. I saw the same problem in person at Seattle Maker Faire. The simple solution would be to just cover the lid with something while the camera is acquiring, but did you consider putting an LCD film in the lid to block outside light while using the camera?

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No wonder I didn’t get a pre-release! There is no way I can compete with Tested and Adam Savage! Lucky guys!


well hopefully you can get all the UV QR codes to be consistent in size which would offer you a second level of scale/material warp checking on top of the depth camera.


They actually have two units, don’t they? Pretty sure I heard Norman talking about having one at home as well. So that makes 3 pre-release units in the wild unless I’m interpreting incorrectly.

I think he may have meant that he took it home for a couple days. They did mention that they’ve had it for several days now.

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Oh, okay–the way he phrased it was a bit ambiguous.

No just one. Exact words “…of this pre-release unit both at our office and having it set up in my home office for the past couple days”.


I agree. However, I can see a future (with cross fingers and toes) where Home Depot/Lowes/Big Box’s start stocking proofgrade material with these kinds of tags. Online material costs are normally within reason, it is the shipping costs that always are the deal breaker for me.

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Interesting to hear that Adam is a consultant. Also… highly visible QR code on the cover paper… but clearly marked as BETA proofgrade. So hopefully we still wind up with the “invisible” markings.

Trace being a scaling issue instead of an offset issue could make it a bit of a problem, since it means press-fit parts won’t work. But I do not expect many people are doing size critical parts with hand drawings. So probably not a real issue.

The frame cut from the double line edge… that is beautiful. Thickness is quite consistent looking for the view we had available.


It’s possible. But for me, I have an almost unlimited source of free exotic veneers and other lumber. Sorry made an agreement with the company foreman not to share with others.


@dan says they are working on UV markings to get rid of the temporary stickers.

It’s funny. I have not at all thought about using the camera as an input device for designs. It’s all been roll my own. So with Tested talking so much about the camera, and I know Glowforge is selling the camera as a deal maker, I’ll have to figure that out. Never thought of it as a handicap to have to design my own thing with other software, but as I have read stuff, it does take work.

They are flawless. will post better pics later.

He is a tech hero. You all have a great spokesperson there. I’m just so tickled to see this. Figured they would have one though. Way to go @norm!

I’m still pinching myself that I’m in this type of company. But then, after this year on the forum, I know the caliber of the forum members and am in constant awe of what they know and their insights.

I just imagine that most of those who notice all these things will be the ones most likely to do preprocessing in design programs and not just rely on the camera for input.


Ditto. It may potentially open new approaches for me but we existing designers aren’t the core target market - it’s the people who don’t roll their own now.


Well I’d point out that one thing the camera may be used for is the scan functionality, too - and the parallax issues, which will hopefully be corrected in a future update, definitely change how well that works.

While the utility to hand-draw something and go straight to lasering (did we settle on lasing? lazoring?) is undeniable, part of the enormous appeal of a cnc laser is I don’t need to rely on my sub-par to average hand drawing skills or scroll-saw work.

That said, I can think of fantastic applications for a mix of both input methods though: engineered, CAD precision parts that have hand-drawn features that would be tedious to digitize without having to fire up any other programs.


for me the camera just brings in some additional options that could be fun and helpful in the right circumstances. I’m sure 99% of my files will be coming from illustrator, photoshop and F360, but the scan and trace feature will make it possible for things like my wife, who’s a 3rd grade teacher, to let her class hand draw some bookmarks, ornaments, etc., and then cut/etch them for something fun and custom for the kids.


Having just viewed the Beta Ouija board design, I could see someone trying to duplicate one by scanning an actual board and engraving on a similar sized piece of plywood. So in that case the slight enlargement from the camera would be a significant problem (this was a tiny cut, and the shift was already perceptible. A full size game board would certainly grow significantly).

So, I suppose for camera-input but not hand-drawn issues… this would be a problem for typical users.

As well as all of the long ago ideas about replacing broken parts by just slapping them in the Glowforge, snapping a picture and cutting a new one. Though in the case of tool drawer cut-outs, the offset is a benefit rather than drawback.


The offset IMO is in no way a benefit. What you put in should be what you get out. I know theyre shooting for this and will hopefully get it all dialed in at some point. At the current state, however, the camera functionality is pretty much useless to me for anything im making, even some of the simpler christmas presents im working on.

For foam cutouts it would be even worse, because the foam melts back from the heat, so the kerf would be monstrous and tools wouldnt fit snugly.


Great vid. I’m a big MB fan (Jamie, where are you…?)

I’m amazed that the tube is mounted on the carriage. Interesting design decision. I am sure there are benefits but can all that movement be good for the tube? I mean that thing moves fast at times…

The more I think about the camera / trace feature, the less I think I’ll use it. Dan mentioned something about a 1/4" error margin at the edges on thick material(?). That’s a lot. Hopefully I misunderstood. The kids will have a blast with that feature though, I’m sure…


Oh the offset is in no way a benefit, please let’s not start cheerleading bugs. If you wanted an offset, you could dial it in.

For me personally, I don’t expect to ever use it except for making stuff out of my friends’ kids’ drawings, so having the feature delayed doesn’t really bother me too much, but it is a bit disappointing.