Offline use on the Glowforge is it technically possible?

So let me be the first to start this off. I’m not against the cloudbased glowforge service at all. BUT I would like to know if it is technically feasible that in the future there would be a chance that through 3rd party software the Glowforge would be able to operate offline through a laptop, tablet or PC? I’m not software tech savy but I feel no problem with modding my machines with plug and play 3rd party firm- and software. I wouldn’t even have a problem cutting the Glowforge open and be able to laser thicker or bigger materials without shields or limitations in place.

If this is not the place to discuss this please let me know.

It is absolutely feasible with the existing hardware.

It could be utilized in a similar fashion as a network printer, with either a local printer driver on your PC and/or using a post processor in CAM software (like VCarve).

It would need new firmware to make that work with the existing hardware, obviously… and, currently, there are some challenges on the replacement firmware front - so it won’t be trivial, but certainly doable.

That’s great to have in the future. I hope this will also include the OSX platform…

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Resurrecting an old thread here: I’m not sure a new firmware would be necessary. Here’s my train of thought:

  • Let’s assume the forge receives movement files from the cloud, say, Server xyz,glowforge,com (for example) (had to use commas, otherwise discourse complains about too many links for a new user. Blah.)
  • Set up a Raspberry Pi or somesuch with a program that converts svg into movement files
  • Configure your local DNS (or your hosts-file) to give xyz,glowforge,com the address of said Raspberry Pi
  • Send SVG there (or write a fancy web frontend…)
  • forge - assumedly - polls for movement files, finds one, glows button, and lasers away…

…and the GFcloud is completely out of the picture. I assume the communication between the GF and the cloud is reverse-engineerable enough - after all, we’ve already seen how to generate pictures from movement files… Unfortunately, I neither have the skill nor the time to write the in-between-software - but I’m sure someone could.

…and I’m sure somebody had this idea before, the longer I think about it. If not, hey - there it is :wink:


The only issue is that the factory firmware validates the server’s TLS certificate by comparing it’s fingerprint with hard-coded values.

This can be overridden by modifying a configuration file (/data/glowforge.conf) on the device, as can the server addresses that the device connects to.

So, as long as you can still get access to the device’s console port (which may be an issue on later production models), you’d be good to go.

Already done! Also see Glowforge Utilities and usage here.

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