Contained Flames When cutting

Every GF has at least 4 fans (very early units have 5)…

The air assist fan is clearly documented, however, along with cleaning instructions in the official support pages.

That’s what I get for not using mine enough to need to have cleaned it much. Working 2-3 jobs at a time really kills free time but I ain’t giving up my forge. I always saw 3 mentioned here and there so thought that was it…

Thank you for providing us with a detailed video. In order to investigate this further, I’d like to take a close look at your unit from end-to-end and check for anything unusual, and then have you run a test print on Proofgrade material using default settings. The test on Proofgrade will allow us to extract logs from the test on our end and review them along with any photos or video you share from the test.

So that our team has complete information to work with, I’d like to review photos of the following:

  • The air assist fan
  • The purge fan on the back of the printer head
  • All optical surfaces
  • Images of the exhaust system

While taking the photos using instructions listed below, if you happen to see anything which needs cleaning, please do so by following our guide here.

To take a photo of the air assist fan:

  1. Turn off your Glowforge

  2. Open the front door and carefully remove the crumb tray

  3. Remove the printer head

  • Holding only the finished black surfaces, grasp the printer head as shown. Pull gently up and back to disengage the magnets and remove the head.

  • Push down fully on the wire ribbon tab to unplug the wire ribbon from the printer head. Pull the wire ribbon gently away and tuck it into the laser arm.

  1. Unhook the belt
  • Push the carriage plate to the center of the laser arm so it’s out of the way

  • Reach under the laser arm on the right side and feel for a black belt and pulley

  • Take the belt off of the laser arm

    • Placing your thumb between the belt and the laser arm near the pulley, push down on the belt while sliding the belt to the right towards the pulley. The belt will slide off of the pulley. Don’t be afraid to use pressure.
  • Unhook the belt from the motor on the left side

  1. Remove the carriage plate
  • Place both index fingers on the rear corners of the plate and both thumbs on top of the front wheels. Use your other fingers to support the plate. While keeping the laser arm stable with your thumbs, use your index fingers to pull the plate towards you as far as it will go. Then push down with your thumbs to angle the plate down and towards the back of the Glowforge until the plate pops off of the laser arm.

  1. You’ll find a black plastic fan on the underside of the carriage plate. Please inspect it for damage or debris and send me a photo of the fan blades. Please also check the fan shroud on the underside of the fan (the “scoop” which other community members mentioned) and clean it if you notice any buildup

  1. If you see any debris stuck in the blades or shroud, you can use some canned air clean them.

Once you’re done inspecting and cleaning, you can replace the carriage plate:

  1. Reattach the carriage plate
  • Unwrap the belt and hold the carriage plate as shown

  • Placing your index fingers on the back corners of the carriage plate and your thumbs on top of the front wheels, hook the rear wheels on the groove under the laser arm. The front wheels should be mostly visible.

  • Pull the plate forward until the front wheels clear the laser arm then angle the plate up until the the wheels are in line with the rail. Release the plate – it should grasp the rail firmly.

  • Pick up the right side of the belt and make sure it is not twisted. The outside of the belt should be smooth and the inside should have ridges.

  • Hook the belt onto the pulley on the right side.

  • Make sure that the left side of the belt is not twisted and is smooth on the outside and ridged on the inside

  • Attach the belt on the left side

    • Using your left hand, set the belt on the front half of the motor (the silver piece on the left hand side below the laser arm) and support it with your fingers by placing them under the motor. The belt will not be fully on the motor. Use your left thumb and fingers to clamp the belt firmly in place and apply pressure.

  • Still holding the belt and motor firmly with your left hand, use the pressure from your left fingers to guide the belt clockwise around the pulley as your right hand slowly pushes the carriage plate to the left. The belt should roll onto the pulley until it is secure.

Here are the photos of your unit’s optics we’d like to review:

  • Both windows
    • The printer head window, on the left hand side of the printer head
    • The laser window on the inside left of the Glowforge
  • The printer head lens
    • Both sides of the lens, top and bottom
  • The mirror inside the printer head
  • The bottom of the printer head with the lens installed

While you have the print head off of the carriage plate, please also send us a photo of the purge fan on the back of the head:

Please follow these steps to send us photos of your unit’s exhaust system:

  1. The exhaust fan from the inside of the unit. To capture this photo:

  2. Turn your Glowforge off

  3. Open the lid

  4. Using both hands, gently pull the printer arm towards you as shown below:

  5. Move your phone or camera inside the Glowforge on the left-hand side, past the metal rail, pointed away from you towards the exhaust hose, to capture a photo like the one below:

  6. A photo of where your exhaust hose attaches to the Glowforge, where your exhaust hose exits the room, and the path your exhaust hose takes from your Glowforge to the exterior vent or Compact Filter

  7. The exhaust connection on the back of your Glowforge, with the exhaust hose removed:

After capturing these photos, please run the following test print. A piece of Proofgrade Acrylic would be the best option for this test. If you don’t have acrylic currently, please use a different type of Proofgrade and let us know which kind you used.

  1. Turn off your Glowforge, then turn it back on
  2. Place Proofgrade material in the bed and load the Gift of Good Measure design.
  3. Set the score and engrave steps to ‘ignore.’ Print the Gift of Good measure using the default settings. Allow the print to finish.
  4. When the print finishes, leave the lid closed and wait until the fans stop and the picture of the bed updates.
  5. Please let us know the date and time of the finished print, and provide photos of the front and back of the finished print.

Thank you for your patience, and for working through these steps. If you’d prefer to email the photos to us, you can send them to our team at

So the only problem here is no one has profgrade. Im going to take the photos today

The machine was shipped with a spare piece of draftboard to be reserved exclusively for troubleshooting.

If you used it for other purposes, you can’t blame that on support.


I don’t want to delay in getting this resolved for you. I’ve just sent you an email with the next steps. Please send me the photos when you’re ready.

I’ll continue to work on this through email with you, so this post will be closed.