Air Assist, crud

Hi Friends,
I am posting pictures and a probably a really unsanctioned way to clean the air assist fan.

I solely cut 1/8 baltic birch, uncertified material. (yes, I know) I am also a n00b at the pew pew, but I am also the target customer, maker, etc.

As mentioned in the instructions below, canned air should do the trick. For me, I am glad that I cleaned the exhaust fan about 2 weeks ago and had my electronic degreaser handy. I also grew up next to a dentist and had some handy tarter scrapers around.

This is about half the gunk that came out. I didn’t get pictures of the bigger chunks. Surprised that it’s taken this long to get that error about the Air Assist needing cleaning, I am just starting to really understand the cleaning and maintenance piece of the GF.

At what point do I budget to get a new air assist fan?

I really do love all of the tutorials, but I always seem to need extra guidance. Would love to know the material of the fan so as to know how further I could/should go with scraping the gunk.!
IMG_4329|375x500 IMG_4330|375x500

Also thankful for @PrintToLaser 's note in another post about adding the belt back on like a bicycle chain.

And, per usual, more pictures in the how-to! #visuallearner (Like in the Remove Carriage Plate section #3 - even though we’re not looking from behind, it would be a great view of the back so I know what’s going on back there while removing.)

I have my Glowforge in a trailer, and am happy to come up to Seattle to tape "The Common Person’s Guide to Cleaning the GF) I would give great running commentary.


Well done. :+1:

Although I originally used the roll-on technique to reseat the belt, the last time I removed the carriage for cleaning I found it a lot easier to use a 3mm Allen wrench to loosen one of the belt wheels. The wheel (at least the right hand one) is mounted in a slot that allows adjustment, so you can easily slip the belt over the wheel, tension it by pushing with your thumb and hold it there while tightening it.
Probably easier on the belt too.


That’s what I’m generally worried about - with that much gunk, I’ll be doing this process often enough moving forward, and I definitely don’t want to jeopardize making the belt loose.

Thanks for your awesome #protips !


My not official way of cleaning the head fan is to attach an old C-pap hose to my shop-vac and put the rubber end in the outlet of that head fan, With the Glowforge completely off the shop-vac is turned on and if gunked up enough will not even turn the fan. I then pump in the Alcohol Hand Sanitizer that is very good at dissolving gunk and the sanitizer and dissolved gunk are sucked away by the shop-vac and I add more till the fan is spinning nicely and the gunk is dissolves away.

I then let the shop-vac run spinning the fan for a half hour or more so there is no possibility of any sanitizer about, and for some time to come the gunk supply will not slow the fan.


With the gf turned off you can pull the tube right to the front and just about reach the AF without removing the belt, Can’t get a full clean, but you can maintain it.

Actually I did not bring it all the way to the front any further than it would go normally, as that would bring other problems; but with the door down and the crumb tray removed there is plenty of room and refilling the smallest container easily provide plenty enough sanitizer to accomplish the job and even a Q-tip can’t find any crud.

Thanks for checking in. There isn’t a replacement schedule for the air assist fan. If you perform our cleaning recommendations and it is still malfunctioning then it will need to be replaced. If that happens please reach out and we will get you a new one.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.