5th Replacement Glowforge Won't Cut

Just received my 5th Glowforge replacement yesterday, but running into a similar issue with cutting proofgrade.

Overall, this new Glowforge unit is acting a bit strange. I set it up, did my very first cut on it using the gift of good measure, and it didn’t cut through. Not even almost, it barely showed on the other side. I cleaned all the usual suspects, took pictures, put it all back in, and did a 2nd cut and filmed most of it: https://youtu.be/7lR2W02W7TQ

So, spoiler alert, it didn’t cut through on the 2nd cut either. You’ll notice it acts a bit strange at the end because it just sits in the “cooling down” phase. I’ve never experienced that one with any of my units. I could feel the air rushing through when I opened it. Going back to my computer, it said it was still “cooling down” and to wait before opening to minimize the smell, etc.

I’ve got pics:

I haven’t sent back my old Glowforge yet simply because I didn’t trust that the new one would work. My old unit is somewhat functional on other things, but it’s just weaker and won’t cut through proofgrade.

I’m getting a bit worried because I think my warranty is ending soon, and I haven’t gotten a solid unit yet.

Both cuts were done around 2pm EST on 6/13/20.


Not have an answer for you, but I would imagine 5 units must be some sort of record.
At least I hope you broke the curve.

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Geek2nurse mentioned having to go through 5 as well. I’m not too sure how common it is but it sure is a bummer.


Man, I feel for you. I don’t understand the disparity between machines. I’ve had mine for almost 3 years and never an issue that wasn’t user failure. After 5 tries you should have had a winner.

I will take this opportunity to salute your calm, collected expression of the frustration you must be experiencing.

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We are waiting on our third, since march 12th… i wonder if they will extend our warranty for the amount of time we spend waiting for replacements…

Yeah, I received my first unit right around when the pandemic was starting. My Fedex guy has been asking me what the heck is going on with these giant boxes I keep getting.

I’m curious if I can ask Glowforge if they can open a new unit, test and confirm it can cut a gift of good measure, then send it off to me. It feels like there’s a QA element missing that could possibly save money in the long run.

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All machines are tested after assembly and alignment on a calibration bench before being sent out. Beam alignment takes specialist equipment and a dedicated test stand. They aren’t just bolted together and thrown into a box.

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Yeah, I’m not saying they have zero QA, I think there may be a piece missing simply because of my experience thus far.

Looks like many of the tests are on the same draft board piece, have you measured it to ensure it didn’t expand any due to humidity?

Draftboard doesn’t expand with humidity.

My mistake, I thought I’ve seen cases where the MDF has expanded form its original size. Maybe they are sealing it now and this is no longer an issue.

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Sweet! No longer need to feel pressured to get the 10 sheets of MDF out of my garage and into the basement before it gets super humid here, kept getting told by people that it was going to swell and have issues. :smiley:


5 Units! That is ridiculous! From what I and several others have experienced with glowforge, it seems like they make and send out faulty units. I have had issues with my laser from when I received it. Being new to lasers I thought it was me, but after trying everything to fix the issues I realized that it was the unit itself. Of course by the time I realize the unit is faulty the warranty is expired and support tells me to send the unit in and pay upwards of $1200 to fix it!

If possible request a refund through glowforge or through your credit card company. It’s up to glowforge to send out working units and from what you and others have experienced they cant seem to do that. The users should not have to do their Quality Control for them.

I’m so sorry that you’ve run into this trouble with your current Glowforge. Our team has extracted logs from your unit, taken detailed notes and we’re currently looking into this issue.

Great, thanks. I tried a single cut today with my 4th unit’s laser head, and it did a better cut to where I could press on it and pop it out, but it’s still not a real cut like my original unit did.

Something to consider is that they are probably banged around during shipment and since the Glowforge is so heavy a lot of damage could be happening. I had 3 shipments sent to me and all of them were delivered in their ends.

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My keep was the fourth.

1st wouldn’t do anything after put on WiFi.
2nd was so damaged, the FedEx guy didn’t even put it on the truck, just sent it back from the depot. 3rd got turned around mid shipment. Finally fourth showed up and still works today.

Did you see the one recently that was basically tossed end over end from the FedEx truck all the way to the porch? It was caught on a Nest cam or something similar??? I’m sure if anyone has that FedEx driver they are going to go through multiple GF too!


Thank you for letting us know. That’s interesting that you got an improved print result with the other printer head.

We don’t recommend that you switch a printer head from one unit to another. However, that may have changed the position of the head on the carriage plate.

I have another test print for you that would be to helpful to narrow down the source of the trouble.

Could you please try the following?

  1. Turn off your Glowforge.

  2. Remove the carriage plate from the other unit and install it on this unit. You can find instructions here if needed.

  3. Install the original head on this unit.

  4. Check the tension of all three belts. You can find instructions to check and adjust the tension here if needed.

  5. Print another Gift of Good Measure and post a photo of the result here.

Please let us know how it goes. I’ll be watching for your reply.