Lightburn for Glowforge?

It looks like interest in OpenGlow has died down somewhat in the past month or so, but has anyone looked at collaborating with the LightBurn folks to see if it would be possible to use their software on a modified GlowForge?

There are a lot of barriers.

The first being the nature of the factory hardware. While running a custom firmware image is theoretically possible, none exist. And if one did exist, installing it would not be an easy task - especially if you are the recipient of a newer revision that lacks a console port.

Another barrier may be the licensing model for LightBurn. Many people are not inclined to expend free labor for the benefit of a closed source, commercially licensed product.

Scott - too bad, but understandable in the context you laid out. Lightburn is a pretty good product for the $100 or so and the author(s?) have been adding features and fixing bugs like crazy. Quite a change from Glowforge’s approach.

Is work continuing on Openglow or is the current state the end of the line?

Work is continuing on OpenGlow.

Lightburn should be able to get their software to work with the OpenGlow board once the firmware is a bit further along. It will be very similar to Grbl, which they already support.

Plus, this project is pure open source, so if they need to make any changes to the firmware to make it work better with their software, they’re free (and encouraged!) to do so.

I’d be open to it, yes. I looked at the original GlowForge firmware when it was released, and was very disappointed to see it was basically just trickling a bitstream to the motor drivers and laser. If it had more brains it would be easier to send data to it - it’s almost as though it was designed to make it unattractive and difficult to circumvent their tool chain.

I was a backer of the GlowForge until I discovered there was no possibility for offline use. I got my refund and purchased a 100w Chinese laser with a 700x500mm bed and a Ruida controller, and decided I didn’t like the software it came with. GlowForge is indirectly responsible for LightBurn.


I chose to keep my Glowforge because of the catalog offerings that are not available elsewhere, but I too got tired of the limitations of the online software. I bought a Dremel LC40 which has a similar browser based controlling software but the internet is not needed. You browse directly to the IP address of the machine and the image of the print bed is visible and much more accurate than the Glowforge camera. You load the pdf or svg file and hit print. It is then autonomous after that. It also has a library of materials which saves a lot of trial and error and you can add your own to save. It is also 20-40% faster than the Glowforge.


Glowforge just released a new calibration tool today that makes the camera view much, much more accurate. (It’s almost perfect on mine!)

The announcement on the forum:

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Finally, a major improvement to their product!

They’ve had a lot of minor ones too lately. As well as the “Set Focus” command, which is hugely useful, if not quite as major as the camera calibration. (But I use it every time now, if nothing else because it prevents the automatic height sensing operation at the beginning of every print, which inevitably landed off the edge of my material.)

All I’ve ever wanted was the ability to manually zero the x and y :frowning_face:


But that requires those expensive switches and wiring doesn’t it?