Just wanted to say hello and offer my (moral) support to this most ambitious and excellent project.
I’m not even a GlowForge owner yet, but I’m 90% decided I’m going to get a Basic. It has the capabilities to do 95% of what I want to do with a laser cutter/engraver, and it has a UI that I find pleasing. I’ve been tempted to get a K40, but I suspect the level of work needed to get it to half-decent operation will be more than I want to deal with (especially with a busy job and small child absorbing most of my attention these days).
While I don’t love the restrictions of the stock firmware, the ease-of-use is very appealing. I see GlowForge as the Apple of laser cutters: the hardware is expensive and they lock everything down and make some simple things nearly impossible, but in exchange you get the “it just works” experience, which I’m okay with on balance. But, I’d love to see an alternative to the stock firmware/controller so that the machine can be “jailbroken” and used to full or alternate potential.
I probably won’t be able to contribute much on the technical side of development, but should things develop beyond a certain point, I’d be happy to help out with technical writing and editing (installation guide, technical manual, etc), as well as photography and videography. I could also help beta test. I’ve also done a ton of PCB design work, but it’s all analog stuff (guitar effects pedals) and probably wouldn’t apply here.
Anyway, I’m glad this project exists and I hope it gains some additional momentum. Awesome work so far!