Why there is no software progress?


#1

As time goes by and the software doesn’t seem to progress I decided to have a look at the GF jobs still on offer. On the software side it is:

  • Computer Vision Engineer
  • Lead DevOps Engineer
  • Director of Product Management
  • Embedded Software Engineer
  • Senior Product Manager, Software

I particularly like this snippet of job description:

Lead DevOps Engineer:

Your expertise will elevate the experience from “flaky web-connected gadget” to “life-changing innovation”.

I thought I was buying an innovative product. Didn’t expect it to change my life much but didn’t expect to end up with a “flaky web-connected gadget” which is what it seems to be at the moment.

So it seems that the reason there is no progress is they are short staffed in the software areas where there are big problems. Since it is a small company I am guessing that in most, if not all, of these roles there is only one person, in which case there is currently perhaps nobody. That would explain why the camera stuff never gets any better if there is isn’t a Computer Vision Engineer currently employed.

Are we not just waiting for software to be completed? Are we actually waiting for somebody to be recruited to write it?


#2

Dan has said so much as recruitment is being a major stumbling block.


#3

So it really was just a pipe dream when we bought it and not much further on now.


#4

Funny about dreams. They are inherently unreal. I’d never want any of my real dreams to come true because they basically are irrational and just wouldn’t work IRL. I don’t have the expectations that you have. That said, most of my dream has come true. Does almost everything I bought it for. Flip to cut 1/2" material with a basic was a feature I would like. Since the projects I haven’t required it, don’t miss it.

Can’t understand how you frame everything in absolutes, all or nothing.


#5

I did 1/2" poplar in two passes, no flip needed and no abnormal charring - standard laser cut edge. Pretty surprised. I thought it might take more so I set it for 3 passes and it burned through, charred the edges and made it through 1/8 Baltic Birch I had as part of the tray replacement (it was last month before they allowed the full 1/2" for focus).


#6

I have some old white oak from a barn, .4 inches. Never could get it to go on multiple passes, but haven’t tried since they upped the focus range.


#7

:slightly_smiling_face: poplar is likely way easier than oak. But for some things it’s hitting that half inch without an issue.

My PRU has the Pro tube though.


#8

I just went to the home page and looked at the 12 things because I had not in a while. Any judgment of where the :glowforge: is will necessarily be subjective, with a few here anything less than 100 fails, with others, none of the promises matter as long as it works as well or better than the competition.
I fall somewhere in between these extremes and want what was promised but don’t demand 100% to consider the project a success.

So, looking at what is partially working and what is still a “pipe dream” I’d rate this a 60-70% right now. I don’t want them to ever quite developing the software but I’ll personally declare the project a win when they cross 80%.


#9

All a matter of perspective. It’s already a win for me, I wanted a laser most of my adult life and I got one at a ridiculous price - so pleasing me was a pretty low bar.
That’s not to say I don’t want to see improvement, but gratefully the command decision to ship with the software still in beta was made, and I agreed to accept it with the current limitations. It’s good enough for me to know they are still actively developing the software and user experience. How long that takes is inconsequential for me in my application, I’m just happy to be in the club of ownership. :crazy_face:

Considering the road that had to be traveled bringing such an innovative idea out of the hole from square one, I think they can be proud of what has been accomplished thus far. Just my opinion, but I am armored with a very positive attitude.


#10

We are on the same page and on the same side of the 50-yard line, I’m just a bit closer to the center than a lot of people. I’m very pleased with my PRU and other PRU users that have gotten their forever units say I’ll experience the magic all over again.


#11

To chime in - GlowForge promised a few very hard things that they haven’t pulled off yet (e.g. flipping material over and cutting from both sides with perfect alignment). And they’re missing some easier things (e.g. sending large jobs). But on the plus side, they did some things no other laser cutter does (e.g. web interface, so my daughter at college can print, as long as I load boards and press the button). And they did it in a machine that’s safe in the home, and looks nice, and is easy enough to use that my son was cutting a half hour after I unpacked it. And there are new features and capabilities every few weeks. And the GF costs much less than other “professional” laser cutters.

So, while I’m eager for the bug fixing and feature addition to continue, I’m very happy with the Glowforge already, and I see good progress being made, so I am optimistic that the progress will continue, and the GF, which is already amazing, will be even more so.


#12

Laserweb does that. My 3D printers do it with OctoPrint and I have a live camera feed instead of stills.


#13

Does any commercial laser come with that out of the box?

There are two types of people, those who can extrapolate from incomplete data and…


#14

I run Octoprint, and have for years. What GlowForge has done isn’t octoprint - it’s an out of the box, consumer friendly web interface that non-technical people can use to drive a laser cutter. LaserWeb looks pretty good, but it’s clearly a DIY project, not a finished consumer product.


#15

I’ll chime in later. :smile:


#16

I did my part, I applied for the Senior Product Manager role. :slight_smile: I’ve got skin in the game, my Pro arrives later today.

They told me no thanks, but at least the reply was quick and polite!


#17

This sums up my opinion completely.