Un-Shutting Down OpenGlow

Update 2022-09-29: People frequently reach out to me asking for technical details and how-to’s that were only on this site. Seems there is still enough interest and I have a place to host for free(ish), so I’ve the site back up.

So... I'm pretty well burned out on this project for a number of reasons.
  1. While there seems to be some interest in developing third-party options for the Glowforge, there isn’t much desire amongst the community to put much effort into it. Plus, the bulk of the people who purchase these seem to lack the technical skillsets that would allow them to benefit from this project.

  2. Through all of the work that I have done, I have come to the conclusion that the Glowforge hardware is complete crap. They have obvious reliability problems and were not designed with maintainability in mind. Even if you can manage to get it apart, getting repair parts for it will be next to impossible due to its highly bespoke nature.

  3. The other products out there will get you far more for your money and are easier to hack into something you want. Had Glowforge managed to deliver even half of the original features they touted in their pre-order promotions, the calculus would be different.

  4. Finally, making it work with any off the shelf software is extremely difficult. Add to that the company’s complete disrespect to the developers of the open source software on which their product is based and I am left disinterested in continuing any work that may in any way benefit them.

For these reasons, I have no motivation to keep incurring the cost of this forum. I will be shutting it down at the end of the year.

If I can find an easy way to export the technical content to Github for archival purposes, I will.
(Narrator: There was, in fact, no easy way.)

Thanks for your interest in this project.


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I want to thank you for all your hard work and effort these many years.
I am a non-technical, early (day one) adopter and recognize that your 4 points are right on the mark.
You will be missed.

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Can’t fault your analysis. Thanks for all your efforts, @ScottW514 . I always enjoyed reading your updates.

I remain a relatively happy user simply because I haven’t been personally burned beyond the normal litany of delayed and missing features. But the way the company has behaved means that when my Glowforge poops out, I have a hard time imagining that I would replace it with another of their products.


Thank you for all the efforts on behalf of GF owners. The parts break-down schematics have been very valuable to me. Thanks again Scott, and best of luck to you!

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Thanks Scott,

Appreciate all your work but couldn’t agree more. I will miss your expertise on all things GF and certainly see it as a loss to a community of “less then technical” owners.

All the best

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All of the above Scott.
Thank you for attempting the impossible, and I wish you a safe, and healthy future.
Kindest regards,

Thanks for your help with the few issues I had.
Best regards.

I will be sorry to see this go, but I totally understand. I’m not a hardware person, and this forum was really helpful when my exhaust fan crapped out. I will be eternally grateful for the help you have provided.

As with the others, I really appreciate all of your support and information! I don’t blame you for the disinterest; it’s hard to be the only one carrying the torch. But we appreciate the effort you have put in!! Good luck in all of your future efforts!

Thanks for taking up the good fight and sorry that it’s burned up so much of your time. To my mind putting no more money or time into the project is a smart move.

@ScottW514, I am really sorry not many of us could contribute to your effort, but then again, very few achieve the level of expertise you have.
I understand your disapointment and why you came to your decision. Many of us agree with you in your reasons and had come to the same conclusion on the user maintainability of the machine.
On behalf of this community we wish you well and the best of luck on your new endeavor.

I just discovered this forum! And bummed to hear you’re shutting it down.

I’d be interested in helping you archive everything that is here. Let me know if I can help.


1 - let’s try to keep this going. if you need webhosting, that’s easily available, if that’s the cost that you are worried over
2 - you are burnt out but it was a great start and there will definitely be more deadforges around
3 - let me help! (and I’ll bet I’m not the only one)

I discovered the forum new.
it is a pity that you stop
the idea of an offline version is very good.
i am from germany and have never seen a worse laser machine like the glowforge (cloud connected).
it must be feasible to develop offline software. maybe we could support the programmer with patreon. or find cheap programmers from india.

As I can see from the contributions, there are many members who would like to continue to support the project.
A premium membership from Glowforge costs $ 50 per month. This is not a normal price (previously 15 USD)

We cannot adjust the laser thickness like other laser devices.


Thank you for creating this incredible resource. You’ve really done an amazing job tearing into the forge to document how it works. What you were attempting to create was amazing and ambitious, but they sure didn’t make it easy for you.

And for the most part, we didn’t either. I haven’t found the time to test your code or even poke around inside the machine very much. And it seems that very few owners of these machines are the technical types who would even think of modifying them or running unsanctioned software. It is not a typical “maker” community in that regard.

I have benefitted greatly from the documentation you’ve provided, and thank you again for everything you’ve done. Sorry to see it go.

Feel good about what you’ve accomplished here. No matter what happens to the content on this site, I’m sure this won’t be the last we’ll see of your work.

Bump for update.


Welcome back, I have saved every scrap of information from anywhere I can find it, and I am personally glad you raised this group from the dead!


Good to hear of the revival at what ever level …
I would say :
Thanks again for your support to keep usable parts out of the trash bin.
For anyone interested … here’s a link to how to salvage some of the bits and pieces.
A once unusable machine is now making useful things.


Thanks so much for opening this back up! I’m just now discovering this community.