Air Assist Alert + Not Cutting Through PG

I’ve been attempting to cut thick PG Maple Ply all morning with zero luck. Tried up to 3 passes running 20-25 slower than PG speed settings. Only ended up cutting through on vertical lines, but the horizontal lines in the cut never made it through the back.

Just got the “Air Assist Alert” again. Of course it stopped in the middle of a cut. I checked the fan and it wasn’t very dirty, but I cleaned it anyway just in case. Since I was cleaning already, I cleaned all lenses as well.

Tried another cut after cleaning using 135/full instead of the PG settings for Thick Maple Ply. No dice. Didn’t even mark the backside at all.

I’ve tried 3 different sheets of PG Maple Ply with similar results. I finally got through once when running at 135/full and 2 passes.



  • Proofgrade materials recognized
  • all lenses cleaned. Head lens not upside down.
  • material is flat. Tried with magnets, with bed pins, and without any assistance.
  • assist fan clean
  • head seated properly
  • machine level
  • tried non-pg materials I’ve cut for months. Same result. Finally able to cut through with multiple passes and speeds of 20-30 slower than normal.

Do you have any magnets on the bed? Some people have reported that strong magnets can stop the air assist fan and trigger the warning.

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I did, but I read that so I tried without and got the same result. (Good suggestion, though! Thank you for that!)

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Might also help to check that the head is seated correctly. Turn off the machine before you take it off and set it back on.

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Have you cleaned the lens recently? Is the lens in right side up?

Does the GF show Thick Maple Ply in the materials?

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Did you clean the back fan as well or just the assist fan? sometimes if mine gets two dirty which isn’t often cuz I wipe it down probably every 8 full sheets. Mine does that too. I think I’m going to have to do a deep clean on mine soon too cuz its having some troubles lately with the non pg I use.


I’m sure @Jules is appreciative of your comment. You are one of the very, very few that appreciates the help even if it did not fix your issue. Often folks snap back with something like “your comment does not help me at all”.


True dat! :smile:

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When you remove the head, use alcohol or a lens wipe to clean the pin contacts on the head and their seat just to be sure of a good connection. How about the head mirror, is that clean too?


Ooh - the pins. I didn’t think of looking there. Good suggestion. I’ll check there this evening and post back if it helps.

I’ve been able to continue this evening since the fan assist warning hasn’t come up again,l - but cutting is still taking the multiple pass/significant speed reduction regardless of what material I choose. I’m pretty baffled.

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Thank you.

I believe in being thankful as often as possible. Not only do people deserve it, but I know it reflects on who I am when I express it.


I definitely need to check the exhaust fan. Good reminder. I can’t quite get my head around why that affects cutting. Is it because smoke and debris can get in the laser and reduce power?

Not sure but seems to affect mine. I’m guessing it just helps the air assist move debris out of the way while cutting or something. Seems to help mine anyways. Maybe mine just like to be cleaned idk lol. hope it helps

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I have it on authority (@aeva), that the smoke mitigates the power to a minimal degree. This woman worked on hardware that occupies real estate on both the Moon and Mars. I believe her.


I’m very sorry for the delay. Thank you for doing so much initial troubleshooting, and thanks to everyone else for the help. If you’re still having cut-through issues, could you please do the following so we can continue troubleshooting? This is the standard test we do to measure cut-through trouble.

  1. Turn off your Glowforge, then turn it back on
  2. We included an extra piece of Proofgrade Draftboard with your materials shipment for troubleshooting. Place Proofgrade Draftboard in the bed and load the Gift of Good Measure design.
  3. Set the score and engrave steps to ‘ignore.’ Print the Gift of Good measure using the default settings. Allow the print to finish.
  4. When the print finishes, leave the lid closed and wait until the fans stop and the picture of the bed updates.
  5. Check the completed print:
    • If the Gift of Good Measure fails to cut, please let us know the date and time of the print
  • If the Gift of Good Measure cuts successfully, please try another print of the design you saw the issue with, and let us know the results.
  1. If the issue still occurs, please let us know the date and time of the finished print.

It’s been a little while since I’ve seen any replies on this thread so I’m going to close it. If you still need help with this please either start a new thread or email