Charring and flames after cleaning

I thoroughly cleaned my machine, lens, mirror, etc. today. After cleaning, every cut has produced bad flames and charring. I previously made a lot of projects with 1/4" sapele, but today it is flaming and charring badly or won’t cut through. I can only assume that I must’ve messed something up when I cleaned it, but I can’t figure out what it could be. (Prior to cleaning the machine today, I cut it frequently at 140 speed, full power, and it produced a beautiful, detailed cut.)

170 speed, full power, double cut - smaller flame, chars, doesn’t cut through
150 speed, full power - smaller flame, but doesn’t cut through
140 speed, full power - flames, chars, and doesn’t cut through
135 speed, full power - flames, chars, cuts through

Please help!

Did you put the lens back in correctly? The mirror back in correctly?

I’m so sorry to hear that you’re running into trouble. I’d be more than happy8 to assist. Based on the behavior you are noticing while printing, its likely that your Air Assist Fan is experiencing trouble spinning. When you have a moment, could you please follow the instructions here and send over a photo similar to the one below?:

Once we can review the photo, we’ll send over the next best steps.

Thank you. I just cleaned the fan with compressed air. I’ll take it back off again tomorrow for a picture. We closed down for the night.

Ditto what @jbmanning5 said. If you put the lens into the head upside down/wrong way it can cause the problems you’re having.

I’m positive the lens is right side up. I’ve had my machine since March and clean the lens weekly. I put it in with the blue tool and the arrow facing into the printer head.

I did have a spare lens that I put in today when I started having problems to see if there might be an issue with the original lens.

After thinking more about when the problem began, I realized that it started when the printer head bumped an item I was trying to engrave this weekend. (It was too thick, and I didn’t realize it.) The tube moved, but I thought I got it realigned. I’m wondering if that could be related. If so, how do I fix it?

Here is the picture of the fan.

@MarcM I sent the picture of the fan yesterday, as requested. Please help.

Hello there - I’m very sorry for our delay in response, thank you for your patience. I wanted to touch base on a specific item you’d mentioned, as well as see how things were going with your printer now.

I’d like to know more about this, I’m curious if you saw the whole laser arm get out of place and had to adjust it, or if it was something else. If the laser arm itself was bumped out of place, that can happen during these bumps but shouldn’t be much an issue once you’ve gotten it back on track. Here’s the steps we recommend when this occurs:

How to replace the arm:

  1. Turn off your Glowforge
  2. Try gently sliding the laser arm towards you a bit, perhaps moving one side, then the other. Whether or not that works, continue to the next step.
  3. Placing one hand in front and one in back, gently lift up the laser arm on the right side, near where it shows that it’s off the track. Make sure your hands grip the metal bar, not the tube itself.
  4. While lifting upwards, roll the the gantry towards you, then farther away a few times. Your goal is to straighten it out, so that it’s parallel to the front door. It will pop back onto the track where it belongs.
  5. Once it’s on the track, place one hand on each side of the laser arm (left and right now, rather than front and back) and roll it to the center of your Glowforge. Then roll it back about three inches, forward to center and then 3 more inches towards you, and then do that a few more times.
  6. Move the Printer Head to the approximate center of the laser arm.
  7. Turn your Glowforge back on and continue printing.

If you’re still having issues with how prints come out, would it be possible to share a photo of a recent print so we can take a look?

Hello @lyndalhart, its been a few days since we heard from you, so I wanted to check in. Did you have a chance to try the steps my colleague Mike provided?

I was able to get the tube realigned, but I’m still having a lot of flaming and charring.

Hello @lyndalhart - I’ve just sent along an email to gather some follow up information so we can better assist you. Please check your spam and junk folders if you haven’t seen this email in the next 30 minutes or so.

Since we’ll be following up via email I’m going to go ahead and close this topic.