Arrived Broken - What to do?

I after a finally got my Glowforge today. (After this long saga -GF post-)

But It arrived with the Side Covered in Oil and a Snapped Belt
Any advice would be appreciated.

Please See Video of the problem here:
:video_camera: > > >



The oily fluid is likely coolant (it’s harmless, you can just wipe it off)…a small bit might have been splashed on the outside when the reservoir was filled. There doesn’t appear to be any inside the case, which would have indicated a more serious problem.

The bubble inside the laser tube is normal…when you first start the machine the pump will circulate the air bubbles out and you won’t see them after that. (If you do, there is a leak in the closed system and you need to let Glowforge know about it.)

But the snapped belt will have to be replaced. Glowforge will get in touch with you about how they want to do it, whether to ship you a new belt with instructions for how to replace it, or have you send the unit back for replacement. That’s rotten luck, especially after how long you waited. :neutral_face:


Thanks for your quick reply and the explanation about the coolant.
I thought it might be it, and you are right there is no fluid inside, but the bubble got me thinking of a possible leak… thanks for clarifying. :slight_smile:

Would you know what would be the best way to contact GlowForge to let them know about the problem, I just figured posting here would suffice, but since I am new to the forum, your advice would be appreciated.


Yes, posting here has generated a support ticket. Someone from the company will contact you.


Whoa, that box opening was cool, but did you cut it apart? It’s important to keep your box, as well as keeping it well maintained in the event of a warranty. New boxes and shipping materials are something like $250 :neutral_face: The white handles on the sides have tabs to release them, then the top of the box just slides off, unless they updated the packaging even more, then I could be wrong.

Hopefully this isn’t a major problem, and they may be able to send you a new belt with instructions for replacement. Hope to see you up and running soon!


Thanks, I’m sure the packaging still works like you described it.
unfortunately for me sending the GF back for any reason whatsoever will be a suicide mission… I am in the EU (Italy) say I send it back… I’d pay €600 just from the import tax office simply to receive it again.
The guarantee is pretty much worthless for us EU folks.

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Warranty repairs get charged import duties in Italy? I don’t believe that was the case for a UK buyer who posted on their warranty experience.

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yes Italy charges everything, every time, the highest ammonth and there is never a single chance to peak even a glimpse of objection. no matter what you say on the box, they’d say you are lying and the value of the item is X, therefore tax is X…

think about it, if you could so easily say it was a warranty item, you could lable any item as that and have tax free shipping all the time… not sure about the rest of EU, but I get taxed for everything and at the highest rate possible even if the packaging says the item is valued at $10 they’ll open it check the highest retail value online and then charge the highest tax applicable, plus a fee for opening up the package.

example: I once ordered a 4K screen which arrived completely damaged, the company issued a full refund, but even with all the proof, I still had to pay import tax for a broken item.

recently I bought a lock, the package said €50, the import office opened up the package made an estimate of €300 and charged €60 import tax plus €15 opening fee, regardless of the fact that I sent them bank transfer screenshots and receipts.

sure it might not be the case with the warranty item, but I am not willing to risk it, given my experiences, because there is no arguing what the tax office says here.

Welcome to Italy.


I had a look closer and it seems that the screw on the timing belt went loose casing it to let go of the belt.

i know this clamping mechanism:

But now I have another question… how do I open up the Machine to fix it without loosing my warranty the very first day I own it? and how to do it at all… couldnt find any “glowforge teardown” manual online.


It might take a little time, but you do need to wait to hear back from Glowforge support before you start trying to take it apart. If they want you to do something to replace the belt, they will send you specific instructions. (But they probably have to type them up and do screen shots, so it might take some time.)

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From what you say, the warranty is not a high priority. The reason “glowforge teardown” manual is not online is that it is not supposed to happen (though it might be something for @dan to think about where shipping back is not an option.)

However, It is still a good thing to keep your shipping box handy as they recommend that you use it packed as you found it even when just moving it to different rooms or across town as there are a great many bad things that could happen were all the loose bits were not tied down

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Wow. I thought the whole point of the EU Compact was to prevent different treatments like that. Something I’ll need to think about - we’re thinking about moving part-time to Florence.

Any chance you can reach in there without having to open up the unit? I’m not at my machine so can’t check myself. It might be tricky getting much swing on a hex wrench to tighten it but if you can get in there with your fingers & a wrench you could get it fixed without more waiting.


Got an email from Support with detailed instructions:
:video_camera: this is what I did…
Thank you for everyone who gave input, very much appreciated!"

I know we are getting off topic here, but no you are right, everything inside the EU is fair game UK for now too… most things under $50 don’t get taxed, china and india usually are ignored, unless 1. you send via courier (DHL is thee worst) and 2 package is over $50 declared value. On eBay for example you can pre-pay import taxes from the USA. but yeah importing from outside of the EU makes you think twice.
want to have a laugh? go on the apple website see how much a mac costs there then compare to the same, but version of the italian site. it is cheaper to buy a first class ticket go to the states pick up an iMac and come back than to buy it in itlay due to import taxes.


Oh No! I’m so sorry that happened.

We’ll get you taken care of one way or another.

I’ll be in touch via email to sort out the details.

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