Forgive me if this is a really dumb question, but…
Would it be possible to put a “phantom” server of some sort (Raspberry Pi, virtual server instance, etc) in between the GlowForge and the internet to provide the “phone home” call and response the machine needs to operate?
Just thinking out loud here.
It certainly is possible.
I’ve reverse engineered the protocol the laser uses to communicate with Glowforge’s servers (you can find a Python library here that emulates the laser), so that part is pretty much done.
You would need to write the server end of deal - which may not be super simple, though.
And, to get a stock Glowforge to connect to it would still require console access. The factory firmware contains the signatures of the “official” server’s encryption keys, and verifies that you are actually connected to their service. It can be bypassed, but only via the console.
As discussed elsewhere on this site, newer Glowforge’s won’t have the parts on the main circuit board that are needed for console access. So, that may be a significant barrier for most.
Ah, well. That does sound a bit complicated. Thanks for the thoughtful reply.
ok, kinda new to raspberry pi usage but I am learning quick, if I wanted to do so, what am I looking for on my gf control board to know if console is possible
If J13 in the picture below is present, then you can easily get console access:
You can find my instructions for console access here.
If it is missing, please send a picture of your board, as it is the new version and I’d very much like to see it.