What's going on with the web app


#1

For work reasons, I had a LONG hiatus from using my GF. Once the work pressure eased up a bit, I then spent a few weeks of spare time learning Fusion 360. All charged up at having this new tool in my toolbox, I prepared my design for printing, fired up my GF, and prepared to launch the GF web app.

“What new features will be there?”, I wondered. The answer, apparently: nothing! Not even a metric ruler! I even ran into the old bug where it sits there in “scanning” mode forever.

What the heck is going on at GlowForge? I checked their web site, and and I see in addition to web designer, there are now even more open software development positions, including one for director of software development. There has been no May update announcement, and it’s June now, and so far no June update announcement.

I hesitate to post this. I don’t want to come off as negative, but it does seem like there should have been some improvements in all this time. The fact that there haven’t is, well, disturbing. I know it may be counter to the planned business model, but I urge GF to provide an API so that we can open source a project to develop our own tools.


#2

You aren’t the first person to point this out, @palmercr and @jbmanning5 and @mnemosyne and @rbtdanforth and many others (myself included) have had similar concerns.

The silence from GF about future plans has always irked me.


#3

the silence about future plans might not be as annoying if things didn’t keep sliding further and further into the future…


#4

…add to that the complete lack of movement on the international material store (not planning to use much PG, but I do intend to spend my US$280 credit), and the air filter (which, if you check the announcements, needed “only minor improvements to the case” about two years ago)… even the “latest improvements” are two months behind. Doesn’t exactly make me feel good about the future - at least the openglow board is making progress!


#5

Yah. I hear you.
No update on Passthrough. Clunky interface on operations. No precision alignment with the head cam. No native ability to save custom materials. A user managed to figure out how to do it in a week, on his own! I find that a little shameful, oh and he ditched inches too. So much for those being difficult challenges for the Dev team!
Certainly the software team can’t be too busy helping out with the Filters, or production at this point.


#6

To be fair a user figured out how to do it in a very narrow set of environmental parameters. GF needs to be able to say it works reliably for all users (or at least the vast bulk of them) which is a much bigger task.


#7

Well, it works a fair bit better than nothing!


#8

I haven’t tried it yet so I’ll believe you :slight_smile:

That being said, I’d much rather have a way to say “all cuts are x speed and y power in this job”. It would be more useful to me than a custom material settings gizmo.

This illustrates GF’s other major challenge, meeting the needs of a massive user base, from a meticulous user in Ukraine (@ativanvl) to a typography wizard in Austria (@ylene) to a laser savvy veteran maker (@shop) to a renaissance woman (@geek2nurse) to the most patient person in the universe (@jules) to a stubborn doofus with more ideas than sense (me).

There’s a lot more to getting this right than just hurrying up. That being said … GF, come on, hurry up!


#9

I hadn’t heard about OpenGlow before your post. I’m really excited to see Scott’s reverse engineering effort has progressed to this point.


#10

Blush Thank you!


#11

All right there in the username, geek 2 nurse. Also, you make f(l)eathers!

(see: Leather Feathers if you don’t know.)


#12

Does it? I was hopeful but it wouldn’t work for me. The settings that I applied did not achieve the same results as me inputting the settings manually. Perhaps it’s been updated. I don’t know. But that was my experience.


#13

My experience with it has been great. I rarely input custom settings anymore. I use far more non-proofgrade than proofgrade, and the plug in has been a real gamechanger for me. Being able to switch between materials quickly like from cardboard for prototyping, and Luan for final, has probably saved me an hour of time, let alone materials cost if I forget to change a setting for a custom material.
While they claim to be working on a lot of the “Behind the scenes” things to improve our glowforge experience, the minor tweaks they are doing don’t really seem to be making as much of an impact as getting to some of the hopper items. I can’t say my Forge is any faster, more accurate or more reliable than when delivered. It does seem to calibrate even if I forget to move the head under the camera.


#14

Yes, they did seem to fix that one bug. One thing I didn’t check is if the bed alignment is any better. It’s possible there’s been improvement there (or maybe not).

But the fact that we don’t know, is another disturbing sign. Lack of communication is usually a sign of an unhealthy company. I would say GF started out with some really awesome communication. The fact that this has apparently changed makes me wonder why. Hopefully I’m being too pessimistic, and any day now GF will cr*p out a huge release with wonders aplenty.


#15

Really not intending this to be rude… but where have you been the last 3 years? While we’ve always had a fair amount of direct interaction with Dan through the forum, the actual level of communication has always been very low. The actual information expressed through those communications has always been low. Information regarding problems they are encountering has always been low.

Now - this isn’t a diss to Glowforge. It’s the way corporate communications are across 99% of companies. Glowforge seems to have adopted both a Kickstarter-representation of an idea with a Corporate mentality re communications.

People backing crowd-sourced projects always seem to think they are investors in the company, and lots of KS-operations give a very transparent view of their processes, problems, etc.

On the flip side, very few corporations give any meaningful data/information to outsiders. You can get some financials through publicly traded companies, but actual meaningful communications is very little. I’ve sat through a ton of investors calls - and the information conveyed in this calls is on par with how Glowforge disseminates information.


#16

Completely disagree. During the initial product launch delay, and the subsequent shipping delays, there was pretty good communication. And if you look back in the announcements, you’ll see we were getting status updates monthly (albeit with pretty minimal software improvements). All that seems to have stopped.


#17

Dan generally does an update when he has something to report. If there’s nothing new, he’ll delay it.

He mentioned a June update, so we’ll probably hear something before the next few weeks are out.


#18

Agree. I predict it will be more announcements about shipping, and nothing about software at all.


#19

Agree with the concerns. I am new here, and am waiting to return my glowforge. I have emailed the company twice now with zero response. This community is awesome, but considering how bad the web app is you would think they would compinsate with stellar communication but its vacant.


#20

Can only add a “me too” voice here, there are so many issues and missing features in the software. Even fixing some small bits would help us all feel a little better.

What’s confusing me is that most of the stuff people complain about should not be that difficult to fix - the fact that it is becomes a worry in it’s own right.

For example, switching inches to millimetres - should be trivial, so why isn’t it done?

Maybe they are brewing up for a big release, but I would say that is an error - the vocal and active community would be happier with regular small releases I think.