The thing about cloud outages

Is that folks tend to act like there’s zero downtime with a local solution.

I wanted to play a game yesterday and I spent 90 minutes restarting software and hardware and updating drivers and digging through settings menus. Then when I got into it, it crashed in the middle of a complex puzzle. I have another piece of hardware with an app that communicates locally through Bluetooth (I won’t tell you it’s my barbecue grill because you’ll laugh at me) and I had to stand outside last night for 45 minutes to update the firmware, because if I touched anything else on my phone or walked out of range, it would fail and I had to start over again.

It’s frustrating to feel like some distant force you have no control of has broken your machine, but I bet if you had a full accounting of it, a few hours a year is less than the time we spend fixing stuff on our own computers. It’s just easy to discount that in the heat of battle.


Although it can be a pain. I, personally, like it that Glowforge does all the updates, etc. That is not something I keep up with well.


If I recall correctly, it’s been quite some time since any update impacted the ability to print.

The only better option, in my opinion, would be to have a USB port and the option to prepare files locally to load directly if wifi is not reliable/available, or in the cloud if it is.

That would require development and maintenance of software on multiple platforms, however, and there is little incentive for them to do that.


Yeah and that software development would need to include the path-calculating stuff which who knows how much hardware you need for that.

I think the cloud solution has worked out great but if it were up to me I’d take the wi-fi out of the equation. Given how many support issues they have with wifi connections I’ll bet Glowforge feels the same. It’s just a point of failure.

Give me a nice hardwired connection in version 2 if it ever comes.


There is provision for an ethernet module on the main control board, it just isn’t populated. There were USB ports on the original machines as well, but those were later removed.


I remember the last big, half a day outage. It happened on a Saturday afternoon as I was trying to demo the GF at maker faire. *sigh


Yeah on the main board but not exposed, right?


My Spectrum TV service goes down more often then the Glowforge - and it is bundled with my wifi and landline. 1st World problems, but still irritating. Last week the buzz in my neighborhood was that fiber optic cable was coming and although some people were happy, most of what I heard was complaints about the holes being dug in our yards and the equipment being parked on lawns.


They were accessible, at the front of the board.

(credit to Scott Wiederhold who tore apart an early machine…)

The ethernet module would go where you see those solder points at 4D/E.

Note the MicroSD socket as well.


Right, I meant they didn’t have a hole in the case to be externally used.


No. Likely for troubleshooting during initial development…


There will always be some people who complain no matter which choice you give them :upside_down_face:


That’s for sure. I’m surprised that the same decision not to include a wired Ethernet port appears to have been made with the new Carvera CNC I ordered. I’m already reading on the discord that people are installing dedicated routers next to the machine because its Wi-Fi can be flaky. Why why why.


I was hearing early on of folks who were getting wifi errors because the router was too close. Fortunately I have not had major issues there. My 3D printer does not have wifi built in and I have never had it running after several years now.


Never had an issue with WiFi. My router shows 44 recent devices (a few are occasional, like the GF, a couple of tablets, etc.).

The only issue I can report is that when the GF camera calibration was first released, it would never complete. I had to set up a 2nd wireless access point and it worked fine, never needed it since. The replacement GF ran the calibration just fine.


My Glowforge’s Wi-Fi connection has been rock solid as well, but clearly that’s not the case for a lot of people. It just makes sense to identify and address weak points.


I don’t disagree, but a wired connection would not be useful to me. I would have to buy some kind of wifi->ethernet adapter.


I wasn’t saying they should abandon wifi entirely, just that they should add an ethernet jack. You could hardwire it when troubleshooting to convince people that it’s their wifi.

You spend plenty of time in the community support section, you know full well how many people just won’t listen about their wifi being sketchy. As a support thing, there are just so many more variables with wifi. Being able to wire it to test things seems like a win-win.


I agree.


Would definitely prefer both WiFi and ethernet options.