Checking Glowforge temperature?


#1

With the recent heat wave in Southern California, my Glowforge has often been telling me it needs to cool down (indefinitely) before printing.

What is the target temperature it requires before operation, and how can I check its temperature?


#2

Tech Specs

MECHANICALS
Case — High modulus injection molded plastic
Linear System — Custom extruded aluminum linear rails with belt driven v-wheel carrier
Motion — Dual hybrid stepper Y axis; single hybrid stepper X axis
Cooling — Closed loop self contained internal cooling.
Air Assist — Internal air assist with no external compressor hookup required
Recommended Operating Temperature: 60F-75F (16C-24C) Basic and Plus; 60F-81F (16C-27C) Pro


#3

Thanks for the link. So is 75F actually a strict limit and not simply “recommended” after all?


#4

Yeah, unfortunately.

They got really strict on the temperatures about 15 minutes after I got my GF setup in the garage in Central Florida. It’s been living in the house ever since.


#5

The ambient temp where my Basic lives is 76-78 and no temperature issues here.


#6

Keep in mind that it is the coolant temperature that is measured. For a Basic it doesn’t cool off very fast if the air at the intake is near the limit. Also, the inside of the Glowforge can be warmer than outside ambient air. There are electonics that put off a little heat at idle.


#7

I think, in theory, if you were to very gradually increase the temperature, it would start pausing occasionally, and then pausing a lot, and then pausing indefinitely. But from what people have experienced, it seems like the ramp is pretty steep and it’s hard to extrapolate precisely from reported ambient temperature to whether any individual machine will be happy. I’m not particularly surprised, as I have half a dozen thermometers in the same room and they can disagree by as much as 4ºF. If you combine the inaccuracy of these measurements with other environmental factors like humidity, what the Glowforge is sitting on, individual variation between machines, etc., it’s going to be pretty hard to state the exact temperature at which it stops working.

Edit: Of course, they could totally tell us the point at which the algorithm decides to cool down, and display the measured coolant temperature in the UI. For whatever reason, Glowforge has a “less information is more” approach to interface design. I’m not asking for a Window-style control panel overload, but a few diagnostic indicators would be handy, especially when they help to solve problems that are constantly reported on the forums.


#8

Do a search in the “Beyond the Manual” section for out of the box methods of cooling your machine.


#9

I agree. I would love to see that feature.


#10

Thanks @hansepe, that’s correct.

@erclin
Your Glowforge features a closed-loop liquid cooling system that uses the air from the room to remove heat. It is designed to be used between 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 Celsius) and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 Celsius). Learn more about the operating environment here. Printing outside these ranges may cause your unit to pause before starting, or to pause periodically during the print for cooling. This isn’t harmful, but it can make your print take a little longer.

You can try any of these things to improve warm-weather performance:

  • Try printing with no material on the bed (so as not to generate smoke and fumes) and no exhaust hose attached. If this works, then the problem may be that your exhaust hose is constricting the flow of air out of the unit, preventing cooling.
  • Examine the bottom-right side of your Glowforge. There are air intake vents, and if they become obstructed, it could make cooling less effective.
  • Try pointing a fan at the right side of your Glowforge. If there is warm air around the intake, this could help it cool off.
  • Power off your Glowforge and allow it to cool, then power it on and print immediately. When it sits idle, the fans are off, so heat can build up.
  • Just wait. Your print may take a little longer when it’s warm, but your Glowforge will protect itself and make sure it cools enough to prevent any loss of power or damage. And it’s clever enough to pick up from exactly where it left off, even if it loses Wi-Fi during the print!

Also, thank you and @chris1 for the feedback. I’ve passed it on to the rest of the team.

I’m going to close this topic. Please post a new one if you have any other questions.


#11