Cloudy Laser Tube

So we’ve had our GF for around a week and have noticed that it’s building up a somewhat cloudy residue inside the laser tube. Is this normal?

Also on two seperate prints last night I started up a job and the laser did not fire, even though the head was moving. On the first incident, I cancelled the job via the webpage and rebooted the GF. About 20 minutes later it happened again, and I hit the button on the GF, and the laser immediately started, part way through the job.

I don’t know if the two are related, but I didn’t notice the clouding until the last day or two.


It’s smoke grime buildup on the outside of the tube. It won’t hurt anything, but I don’t care for it much, so I clean it off occasionally.

(If you do decide to clean it, make sure the machine is turned off. I wipe it with a soft cloth that has been lightly moistened with a vinegar/water mixture - about 50/50.)

Not sure what’s going on with the laser not firing until you hit the button. That sounds like a support issue.


have you used it daily for a solid week?

Everything @Jules said. I’ll have to try the water/vinegar mix, I’ve been using just a damp cloth.

You need to clean your lenses at least every 40 hours with a good quality pre moistened lens cloth. I usually do it every 10 or so depending on what I’ve been cutting/engraving.

The laser not firing well could be a support problem especially if it happens again. A lot of things that happen once I chalk up to Mr. glitch.


Thanks for the advice!

After I told my wife I posted this, she’s like “its dust. Your just filthy!” Hehe. Whoops.


So do you report those?


I clean mine more often than necessary, I’m sure. Just because I’m OCD about stuff like that. The Glowforge is so pretty and looks so great when the laser tube is sparkling in there… :star_struck:


For a guy that tries so hard to be Mr. logic, I have to admit that I go with my gut in this. Most times I don’t report but if it smells funny so to speak, I will report it on the first occurrence.

40 years as a electronics tech. (industrial/military) has taught me that 95% of all anomalies are just that. A good reset will usually fix it. For the :glowforge: that can mean turning it off and maybe going so far as unplugging it. Closing the GFUI and restarting it, and even opening it in another browser on another machine as well as trying a known good file.
Yes, when I DO make a report it has a lot of information and it most often has been repeated.


Er, did your OCD have a day off? :smiley:


Cleaning the exterior of the tube is not required for regular operation. Dan has weighed in on this a few times. The April discussion shows a picture of one of their test units. So it is mostly cosmetic if you want to clean it. I do clean mine regularly because it does allow me to see the pink glow and have a better view of things to note if something goes wrong.

Lens cleaning after 40 hours or particularly tough runs like cutting Corian or stone which can kick up a lot of dust.


You will see that smoke deposit everywhere in the machine, but predominantly on the inside front where the air assist blows it and off to the left where the exhaust pulls it. The deposit just shows more on the clear glass of the tube.


:rofl: Ha ha ha! I guess so…but not for long…I’ll be fixing that! sheesh!


She was dyslexically OCD (CDO being the correct spelling but ODC being an acceptable substitute :slight_smile:)