Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Forgotten Dream: Our Glowforge Arrives! (PART 1)

Back in October 2015, we pre-ordered the Glowforge. We, and other Glowforge potential owners repeatedly received delay-of-shipment emails, to the point where many people began to jump ship.

The space had been taped off for so long and it had become a joke. Someone wrote "The forgotten dream," back in 2016, and earlier this year, someone else added "We will love love u and cherish u what scared u away?" We still don't know who wrote these messages.

And then, we received "the" email.

Thursday, October 19th

On Friday, November 3, the box arrived. (Teacher's note: Friday was parent-teacher conferences, so there weren't any kids to freak out with. I sent them an email, but it wasn't quite the same.")

Sunday, November 5, we assembled for the unboxing.

We made the same mistake we make every time we open a box with something expensive in it: we cut the tape and then realized we had opened it wrong. We carefully turned it on its side and took the laser cutter out. Looking at the unboxing guide, with the link conveniently located inside the box, we found that we shouldn't have even cut that tape.

Once we got everything out of the box, we removed the protective foam and assembled the "print head."

We cut out some cardboard to seal the window we were venting the exhaust through, and set up a table near the window. Then we plugged it in and turned on the machine. It worked as expected, making some bubbling noises from the water-cooling system. The setup process was super simple and only required us to connect it to the school's WiFi before we could start making things from their web based software (that can run on a Chromebook!).

Someone drew a simple not-so-accurate square on a piece of paper and placed it in the machine so that we could scan it. We scanned it and then put some acrylic in the machine. When we went to cut, we ran into a problem.

Here's the thing: the Glowforge was so popular because of how easy it is to use. In order to make it this simple, they made their own material presets. These material presets are only for their "proofgrade materials," which means we can't cut with our own materials. They do have a way that you can set it yourself, but the controls are very ambiguous and you can't save presets. We also didn't have our introductory proofgrade material kit, it came the day after.

So, we estimated, choose only to engrave, and ended up with this >>>