Air Assist Fan not spinning up

A little over a week ago I was running a print and got the air assist fan speed alert where the GF would start up for a job and then immediately stop with the yellow button and the air assist alert popup. I followed all the recommendations, cleaned all the contacts and fans, even took the carriage assembly off and verified everything was clean and free spinning. I got on with support on the chat and they disabled the warning for my machine noting the warning was a new feature. After running a few prints I noticed that my fan wasn’t running at all (now that I knew it existed), not just slow as the warning suggested. I reached out to support again, this time through email (WAY slower response times. Days between contact) I included photos of the print head and carriage and noted that the fan itself spins up when a 3.5v battery is applied to the positive and negative contacts on the board. I’m a hobby forger so I have probably less than 100 hours of prints even though I’m a founding supporter. I still have a bunch of PG material that came with the forge because I just haven’t used it that much.

My latest contact said that they agree the issue is likely in the print head. But since my warranty is up and the print head can’t be field calibrated I’d have to pay to send my entire forge in for service before they could even quote a cost to fix it, if it can be fixed. I’m seriously upset that that is the response. The warning is a new feature, therefore I had no way of telling there was a problem with a fan under and behind the gantry, especially because I don’t run prints all that often. The issue isn’t even with the fan being dirty, or warped from use as I’ve seen with other posts, as the fan runs fine with an outside power source and looks practically new. This seems like a manufacturer defect that existed in my unit well before, but I had no way of knowing about it until they enabled a new warning after my warranty was up.

I am at a loss for what to do, because I don’t want to pay $200 to ship my forge away to maybe have it fixed for an additional unknown cost. But I also, don’t want to attempt to track down the issue in the print head myself and run the risk of breaking my forge further.


Yeah, I personally wouldn’t try to fix a print head issue myself either. Too much chance of making things worse. :neutral_face:

I think the only sensible answer is to send it in, (even though it stings a bit), but if it’s any consolation, I don’t believe they are out to gouge their customers. Glowforge has been more than fair with them from what I’ve seen.

You won’t know 'till you try though. Hang tough and send it in for an assessment. (And good luck on the diagnosis.)

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I assume your unit is out of warranty?
I guess first make sure the contacts where the head seats are clean, and if so, I would check the fan connection itself once I had the carriage assembly in my hands. (take care when unplugging the air assist fan, the board iit plugs into is thin and could break)

If there is still an issue I would ask to escalate the troubleshooting sequentially, starting with the company’s blessing on sending just the head and carriage mechanism in to them for analysis.
It is easily removed from the gantry by bracing your thumbs against the gantry and with your fingers pull forward on the carriage plate until the front wheels clear and it will drop. (the rear wheels are spring loaded)
You can then either roll the belt off like you would a bicycle chain, or loosen one of the belt wheels with a 3mm allen wrench. (the wheels are mounted in a slot that allows movement, and I have found that loosening the wheel makes reinstalling the belt much easier)

Seems to me at least that way there is at least a chance the problem is in the carriage assembly (unless support says otherwise) and you wouldn’t need to trust your whole laser to the delivery gorillas.

All that is just what I would do and is in no way an official response, support would know volumes more than I.
Good luck!


Yes, warranty is up and I’ve already gone through taking the head and carriage off and testing/cleaning everything as I noted in my post. They can’t send me a print head or refurb mine as it has to be calibrated to the machine, which is why they said I have to ship the entire forge to them.

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Not to be a @jules contrarian but I’d just leave it alone. I’d live without the air assist fan. Drop a larger auxiliary fan into my exhaust setup and laser on. You said they disabled the alert so it won’t stop in the middle or fail to start up.

Until something else goes, based on your not wanting to spend the shipment & diagnostic money (& potentially some larger amount for the repair itself), it doesn’t hurt to run it with improved exhaust capability but no assist. Not everything that is broken needs to be repaired. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I’m sorry for the trouble. Since we’ve already been working on with you this via email, I just followed up there with some additional information.