Air Assist Warning Needs A Pause

Well, I just got the lovely Air Assist warning about 9 min into an 11 min print. However, there is no way to pause the print to come back to it. All you can do is click the button provided to learn how to clean the print head and fan, which takes you to a different webpage, therefore, messing up the calibration of your previous print. The other option is to cancel the print, and it’s lost.

How frustrating!

There should just be a pause print button that you can come back to, but to really clean the air assist fan, you have to turn the whole machine off and then unplug it, so I guess that’s not an option.

This goes back to my gripe about this machine being very capable, but not very dependable/reliable. There’s no way I could use this for a business to sell laser cut things. No way! This air assist happened after trying to finish my 2nd set of coasters. It’s not reliable enough. In a year, it has not proved reliable enough. This is my 2nd machine too!

And all of this comes after a week ago, being stuck in a “centering” loop. Support deemed it was a black lid cable, and sent me a replacement. I put the new one on there, and have barely done any engraving/cutting before this happens.

I mean seriously, didn’t even get through 2 sets of coasters. Probably not even an hours worth of laser use.

And I tried to line it back up visually…no go…happened twice. One time, it was a little off. The next…WAY off! That piece is ruined!

As if it wasn’t bad enough that I wanted to jump on and make some sweet little gifts my kids could give to their mom last weekend…and couldn’t, I wanted to throw together some gifts for my kids’ teachers tomorrow…and that can’t happen either! I’m finding that I need an entire day dedicated to making a few things between software issues bringing designs in, or something breaking or an error. There are a lot of projects that would warrant quickly throwing some material in the Glowforge, printing and moving on with life. I don’t have days at a time to dedicate to making one simple thing.

As if you can’t tell, I’m pretty frustrated.


Hey…I actually just FINISHED a print! Amazing!

1 Like

If you right-click the link that opens a new window with the cleaning instructions and you don’t lose the app view of your project.

You do have to cancel the print though because even after you’re done cleaning it (if that was the problem - mine has always been magnets) you need to restart the job.


Just out of curiosity, for discussion purposes, what would be reliable enough?

There are, I won’t use hyperbole and say infinite, but there are a lot of different issues that can cause a job to fail or go wrong on any system - ranging from material to mechanical to acts of God and nature (I know I’ve lost power on several prints). Material waste, for whatever reason, is part of any job estimate forecasting (on a larger scale), it should be on a small project scale as well.

It sucks when it happens, and I feel your pain and frustration.


Just out of curiosity Bruce, are you using magnets to hold your material down? Those can interfere with the little fan in the head and cause the Air Assist shut down. (If you’re not using magnets, and your print head is seated correctly, the fan probably does need cleaning.)


I’ve had my GF since August and not once gotten the Air Assist warning. Now, I’m not cutting things all day, but I feel like if you’re getting this warning a lot, you might want to diagnose that. As @Jules mentioned, could be magnets (mine don’t appear to be strong enough to bug the fan). Or could be that you need to schedule in preemptive cleaning for your fan more often between jobs. Plenty of people rely on their GF for business work, so I think it’s possible with regular maintenance and care. Unless there’s something wrong with your specific machine.

But also, you’ll probably want to repost this in Problems and Support so they can see your request/concern.



There was an update about two months ago and I never had the warning before then. since then, I’ve discontinued magnets and no problems.


For simplicity’s sake…I’d say be able to do more than 8 cutting/engraving jobs without an issue. That would be a good start.

Yes…yes I am. And until reading this, I’ve never read anything that would tell me not to use magnets for fear of this kind of issue. In fact, many people have said to USE magnets to hold down work.

Until reading this…literally NEVER read that magnets can lead to the problem. Yes, I use some rather strong neodymium bar magnets when I don’t want something to shift.

Just FYI on the magnets, I use them for most of the puzzle prints. I took this pic, since I have one loaded up to cut the backing out.

The magnet issue seems to be when the air assist fan itself is passing over the magnets - strong enough ones (or enough of a magnetic field) seem to be impacting the fan RPM which throws an air assist error.

The trick is to not have the magnets where the air assist fan traverses. I have these set up so the far left are out of the travel area of the head, and the ones on the right are outside of the cut lines.

Technically, they’ve never officially recommended using magnets. If you can, the hold down pins are usually a very good option. I use them for a lot of other things, especially wood, where my magnets don’t work nearly as well as on the chipboard.


It’s out there.


What @jbmanning5 said, I have a new rule: magnets in the front, pins in the back. I never get air assist problems anymore.


When they pushed the air assist upgrade, strong magnets started affecting the fan and triggering the shut down. Keep them away from the areas where the head will be and you should be fine.

That’s very helpful. Thank you. I always appreciate your input. Yeah, I have those same bar magnets, from the looks of it. I had them more in the center so they probably threw the head/fan off. I’ll keep that in mind.

I knew they were never “officially” sanctioned, but a lot of people used them without issue and recommended them.

Oh, so it’s like a magnet mullet rule then?


Here’s the blessing/curse with the wifi unit that is Glowforge. I don’t have as much time to spend on the forum as I used to, so I often don’t see some of these minor/major changes that are pushed out. I go to use my Glowforge, with the limited time I have, and it might have been a week or two, and there is something that has been pushed out that I couldn’t know would be affected. Only if I read the forums constantly to see these problems or potential problems could I see this kind of stuff coming. It’s still quite frustrating.

It’s like I have to be an expert and I have to read everything on the forum to stay up on it enough to “get it.”

The magnet thing and air assist figured out (which hopefully solves that issue), what’s going on otherwise? I know you’re on machine 2, and had to replace the black cable. Is anything else in particular going on?

I realized there was some kind of outside factor when I tried the print again and it stopped in the same spots. I honestly didn’t realize the magnet was the problem even though it stopped right over a magnet. It took me a bit of searching to find it.

I hear that the hard drive magnets work well if you have the non-magnetic bar still attached.

1 Like

Dan even made a big deal of how they went with the more expensive steel crumb tray over aluminum because it’s magnetic.

The official position is to use pieces of extra PG scraps to weigh down warped material which is just silly.

Using pins can’t have been a design factor as they didn’t exist until a forum member invented them. The magnet/fan issue is an unintended consequences of the monitoring they’re doing of the machine & its components.


Ok, so I’m not crazy! That’s how I felt too…I remember the talk about upgrading the crumb tray to steel so it was magnetic too. And you’re right…the pins were not even invented until the PRUs were in the wild.

Oh, let me get some scraps of acrylic and 1/8" plywood to hold down warped material. ha ha ha. Silly is right.


Just a lot of little things that add up to a lot of frustration. A few weeks back, I was engraving some little plaques to hand out to my Patreon supporters as a thank you. I was using Proofgrade cherry veneer, and as it was engraving, everything looked good. I didn’t mess with the settings at all because it was proofgrade.

Well, I go to peel off the masking and the engrave is barely visible. It hardly even went through the paper. The whole sheet was ruined, since I had looked at the test piece and it appeared fine, so I engraved the rest of them.

I contacted support, and they ultimately gave me a credit for the material, but it seriously took about 2 weeks of going back and forth.

There are some other frustrations, but they’re not coming to mind at the moment.

I think one large frustration is being a non-designer. I’m not the first person who has had to learn a design program. I don’t think I’m that much of a snowflake. ha. I’ve just had a hard time with it. There’s just enough time to learn a few things here or there, and then I have to move on to something else. Looking back, I have learned a lot about this whole process and how to use a lot of these tools though.


Focused searches are your friend, then. A search of Problems and Support for what you’re having trouble with (e.g. “air assist error”) will often turn up an answer without having to spend hours reading. :slight_smile:

I get that, but I didn’t know I needed to search. I was following the directions on screen by the company to troubleshoot.