Gorgeous Paperweight?

Hi everyone,

New “user” here, not a user because apparently I bought a “stolen” unit from someone who bought it at auction and didn’t know what it is.

Long story short, I am now the owner of a aesthetically pleasing paperweight Glowforge Pro. The only things that were missing were the power cord, crumb tray and ventilation hoses. I got all the way to connecting the unit to the internet and had to reach out to support to find out 72 hours later that they “could not locate the purchase of the unit so it must be stolen and has been deactivated.” They went on to say, “sorry, if you file a police report we can make sure this doesn’t happen to someone else.”

I’m here to ask if there is anything I can do with this thing or if I should just sell it for scrap. I’m super frustrated with their business model and the built in self destruct feature they incorporated into their design. Also…wtf?! Online only?!

Anyway, I hope there is something I can do with this brick.

That’s an interesting response. I would think they know for a fact if it has been reported stolen, not just “assume so” because they don’t have a record somewhere. I would expect better asset management, but hey…

That depends.

Without modification, you’ll never be able to connect it to the Glowforge service, as that requires the device’s unique id and password. Those are permanently burned into the one-time-programmable memory on the microprocessor, and used by the factory firmware for authentication.

If you are technically savvy, the current firmware I am working on lets you change the credentials that it logs into the service with. If you have valid credentials for another machine, you could theoretically use them and connect to the service with your machine. There’s an issue with that, though. The machines are individually calibrated and those details are stored in the cloud. You may wind up with poor results.

Depending on how long you are willing to wait - eventually you should be able to use OpenGlow firmware to run the device without connection to the Glowforge service. This is still a few months to a year away, though.

There is also at least one person who is working on using the base chassis, steppers and laser tube to roll their own version. They are using readily available stepper drives and power supplies.

Hey Scott,

Thanks for the quick response! I am pretty technically savvy, but only enough to be better than the average.

I will probably wait, since I bought this thing for $360 from someone who had no clue what it was and was going to sell it for scrap metal. She had purchased a storage unit and this beast was in it.

I’m trying to see what glowforge “support” can do to get as much info from them as possible.

For as little as I have in this thing, it would be worth it to wait. I am willing to help out with y’all’s development as much as possible to run a third party open source software on this tool.

What blows my mind is that this thing is marketed towards the maker community which utilizes pre-owned tools almost primarily. I know another guy that bought one over a year ago that’s I’m the same boat. So any info I can provide, I will.

Thanks again for the info, great to know!

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I’m in a similar boat and curious how your situation pans out.