warifuru personas^h^h^h^h^h^h^h end users

Posted by on Jul 12, 2016 in Design, Digifab, Warifuru | No Comments

(I know, I know, that leaves us with two spaces between “warifuru” and “end”, but “^hend ” is a little harder to read.  Nobody under the age of Grampa Simpson even gets that joke in the first place.)

So, one of my first questions when I was thinking up features for warifuru was, “who is going to use this software other than me?”  If I’m going to distribute software and it has my name on it both as “designer” and “engineer” maybe I need to think about other end users and their needs. I made a several page outline (that will be in the source tree) but follows is a hint at the project scope.

First, some end user definitions based on what I’ve seen using laser cutters in schools, hacker spaces, TechShop, and production studios:

  • Novice / Single Use – never used a laser cutter or using it just this once
  • Hacker – built their laser cutter or a member of a hacker space where the club does all the maintenance
  • Production – uses a laser cutter as a professional, bills time and costs to clients, makes many cuts of the same input
  • Artist – working or student, might cut each design only a few times, interested in experimenting with customized cut commands

They share some common requirements:

  • real-time display of cut progress and time-to-completion
  • preferences to pick media type and thickness to determine cut speeds and power, “acrylic, 1/8in”, “baltic birch, 1/4in”
  • save/memorize job settings for each input file, call up in the future from a history list
  • load as many input formats as possible
  • report syntax errors in input files
  • report duplicate lines
  • basic image manipulation: scale, flip, rotate, replicate
  • report basic usage: number of jobs, total use time in a window, per-user or per-file use time in a window

They have some user-specific needs:

Novice / Single Use

  • rarely uses a laser cutter
  • needs to test the cut on inexpensive material (ex: paper)
  • needs a bounding box to set up the media
  • needs a good approximation of how long the cut will take before the cut is started.  “Will I be kicked out or lose my time allotment before the cut completes?”


  • shares the laser cutter in a hacker space or studio
  • has a custom built or customized laser cutter that needs unique constraints on cutting parameters
  • is maintained by someone at the hacker space, no vendor support


  • uses a laser cutter for business purposes
  • needs to cut as many objects as quickly as possible
  • needs as little media waste as possible
  • options to micromanage cut operations: “this area first”, “etch before cutting”, “make as many copies of this as possible”


  • cut customization: move z axis while cutting
  • cut simulations on inexpensive media for testing

That’s a rough guestimate, so next we’ll talk about feature details.

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