Blurry camera, spots on lenses, and stuck on scanning

Hi! We own a Glowforge at school. I already wanted to post this back in March, but due to the Corona crisis I didn’t have access to the Glowforge until last week.

I’m experiencing more than one problem, so I hope you don’t mind me addressing them in one post; I have a feeling they all might be causes by the same undelying thing, since they appeared alle around the same time.

  1. The Camera image is very blurry and overexposed; the GF can’t even recognise the QR code on proofgrade material.

    (The material in the picture is Medium Clear Acrylic.)
    I cleaned the camera with a Zeiss wipe. That didn’t fix it.

  2. The laser doesn’t cut through the material. Could this be caused by the spots on the lenses, or the tiny speck on the mirror? The spots can’t be wiped off with a Zeiss wipe.

There is a also a very tiny spot a near the center of the mirror, but I cant show a picture because I’m not allowed to post more than 3 images.

  1. The GF hangs on “scanning”, but only after a print is done. I have to power the GF down and up again every time to make a new print.
    I searched the forum and read that other people are experiencing the same issue. I tried all the things mentioned in the first post on, but unfortunately nothing helped. The 5 connections are all in place. (Otherwise the GF wouldn’t printer after turning it on, would it?)

Thanks in advance!

What does the lens inside the head look like?

Those optics look damaged, possibly from how someone cleaned the machine.

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The spots could be baked on residue. You could try soaking a soft cotton cloth in isopropyl alcohol and holding it against the windows for a minute to let it soak in, before attempting to wipe it off.

I’m also wondering if there’s too much light entering the top of the GF – if it’s next to a window, or something, you might have better luck covering the top with a towel to reduce the glare inside.

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O, I forgot the lens in the head :blush: It has some speckles too, even after I wiped it.

That one looks fine…

You were right about the light. I rolled down the window blinds and the overexposure is gone. (I should have thought about that myself, because I moved the glowforge to another place to check for better wifi reception :blush:)

But the image is still blurry…

I’ll try to clean the spots with some alcohol. Are you sure that won’t damage the glass any further?

It’s not really going to matter, at this point.

Blurry image is pretty common; that won’t interfere with operation—but those lenses will for sure!


Just don’t use force. You’re supposed to use Zeiss wipes but a microfiber or soft cotton cloth with alcohol will be ok.

I’m sorry that you’ve run into trouble with your unit. Regarding the camera, would you please share a photo of the lens of your lid camera?

Regarding your optics, the spots I can see in your photos of the print head window, mirror box window (window with the silver frame) and the lens in your printer head could cause issues with print results including trouble cutting through material. Will you please let us know if additional cleaning improves them? If not, replacing those components would be the best next step.

When you checked your unit’s optics, did you also check the mirror located inside the top of the print head? I would recommend checking the mirror for any build up which won’t come off with cleaning as well. Please let us know how it goes!

Here’s a photo of the camera:

I cleaned the print head and mirror box windows and the mirror inside the print head:

As you can see, the dirt came off fine! Cutting through material (I tried Medium Clear Acrylic) goes a lot better now, although it’s not perfect: at some places I have to exert some force because the pieces don’t fall out by themselves. But for now I don’t mind that, because it’s a huge improvement already, so thanks for all help so far!

Now the only problem that remains is the “stuck on scanning” issue. Like I mentioned before:
I tried all the things mentioned in the first post on Stuck Centering/Focusing: How to Troubleshoot for potential Lid Cable issues before contacting Support 😲, but unfortunately nothing helped. The 5 connections are all in place.

Thank you for working through all of those steps, and for sending over the updated images. Basd on the photos, your optical components do appear to be properly cleaned, and installed correctly. I’m glad to hear that you’ve seen a large improvement in your prints.

Regarding the scanning trouble you’ve been experiencing, I’ve extracted the log files from your Glowforge to review your most recent prints. Since you’ve already ensured that the black lid cable is connected properly, the cable will need to be replaced. I’ll close this thread, and follow up directly via email on the next best steps.