Clear liquid on Glowforge Repair

4 weeks ago I shipped my glowforge machine to repair. Today I opened the box and the clear plastic the machine is wrapped in is wet with some sort of clear liquid. This machine is very dirty on the inside with a lid that is not closing properly. I did not receive my same unit back. After 5 weeks without a machine it is extremely upsetting to get a completely different unit and its wet when it was opened. When We were moving the Glowforge we noticed the laser tube has some liquid movement and looked like it could have been a leak. Is this safe or do I need to send back in!?

Yikes. Recommend you include pictures to help the support team determine what this is!


There is a non-toxic liquid in the laser tube, and you will frequently be able to see it at first if an air bubble got into the tube during shipping. It’s a closed system, so a large quantity of liquid outside of the tube would be a problem, but there can sometimes be a little splash when it’s filled, and that isn’t going to affect anything long term.

Take pictures of the liquid and show that to support so they can determine if it’s a problem. Don’t try to turn it on until you get word from them, but if they determine it’s okay, you can wipe up the spill with a paper towel and check the tube carefully with a flashlight just to make sure there are no hairline cracks.

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Thanks I updated with a picture

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The wet can also happen during shipping, shippers can be rough, so check to make sure the tube is intact. Easiest to see if you look at it at an angle with a small flashlight. If you find a crack, take a picture and post it.

Take any pictures of “dirty” and the lid not closing to show support. If you give them the information they need to see up front, the next one might not take five weeks. (Or it might take longer if supply is tight on the replacement machines.)

They have the right to send an equivalent replacement machine if it is available to you faster. (In the TOS.) Looks like they are slammed for machines right now, so if the dirt is on the surface and it does not impact how the machine functions, you might want to just wipe it up. If there’s a real problem with the lid, or the cooling system from the liquid leak, then you’re going to be without a machine again for a while, so check it over and post the pictures so they can get started.

The lid can close improperly if the machine was set down wrong though - the cases can flex slightly. Lift gently, from the bottom, just a couple of inches under the side of the machine where the lid is sticking, and pull back gently to relieve the tension on it. If that doesn’t do it, it can sometimes be shimmed with a few sheets of paper like Post-its to level out the machine.

Check the machine over carefully and post any pictures of things you think might keep the unit from functioning.


thank you for the info!


I’m so sorry that your Glowforge arrived wet. That’s incredibly frustrating.

This occasionally happens when the Glowforge coolant cap has a problem and the unit is mis-handled during shipping. While the box should always be kept right side up, the shipping company sometimes gets it wrong, and when they do, coolant can seep out.

The liquid is a food-grade product that is safe to the touch, and doesn’t cause damage to your Glowforge printer.

We’re deeply frustrated for you, because that’s not the experience you should have.

We do have some good news, however. You can be up and printing in just a few minutes by following these instructions:

  1. Use a lint-free cloth to gently wipe your Glowforge dry.
  2. Follow the instructions at to setup your Glowforge.
  3. When you turn on your Glowforge, watch the laser tube carefully. You’ll see bubbles when you first turn it on. The bubbles should clear within a few minutes of the system being powered on, at which point you can continue with Wi-Fi setup and start to print.

If the bubbles don’t clear from your tube after several minutes of being powered on, or if you see additional fluid leaking while the unit is powered on, please let us know and we’ll follow up with next steps.