Cutting power

Is it common to have a power reduction over time? I have 2 machines and the first one wouldn’t cut so I went through the process of trouble shooting and they were able to get it up and going again. My second machine is not that old and now its having the same problem. It’s taken almost 2 weeks to go through this with the support team. Since I have been through this once already I immediately ran through the same steps as last time but the support staff makes me follow there steps broken down so it takes twice as long to get my machine fixed. I would really appreciate someone to help me get this back up and going. Thanks

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As the lens gets gunked up it can reduce power. Try a lens cleaning with the Zeus’s wipes peer the directions, particularly the left sided window

Did that already. Completely pulled it apart and cleaned it.

I am just another owner, but the power reduction is over years, not months. Something else is going on. Are you cutting Proofgrade material?

Glass laser tubes are a consumable, they leak CO2 gas and lose power over time… but we’re talking 2-3 years minimum before you typically see anything like that on a Glowforge. It looks like you joined this forum in 2020, so I’m guessing your machines aren’t old enough that this should be a problem yet. Optics are consumables too, and sometimes Zeiss wipes don’t do the job completely. I had a film of smoke residue that developed on the lens once that didn’t wipe off with a Zeiss wipe, but came off with a bit harder rubbing using q-tips dipped in 90% isopropyl alcohol. It cut much, much better after that cleaning. There’s 7 optical bits in total to keep clean, and the air assist fan needs occasional disassembly and cleaning too.


I had similar on the left laser window once. Hard to get in there and see and swore it was clean. Reached in, unscrewed it, and it was actually not cleaned very well at all.

Each window, lens, mirror etc has a transmission factor. This is usually in the high 99% range (like >99.5%). But every defect, scratch, dust particle, etc. all reduces that transmission as whatever defect absorbs power.

I know you want to get up and going, but everyone here is kind of working off limited info (us users not familiar with your ticket), so we don’t know what you’ve done or haven’t done. It usually leads to a quicker result to be more detailed about I’ve cleaned this, this, that, and this rather than saying I’ve cleaned everything - because lots of people inevitably are missing something when they say everything.

What material are you using? Have you ran a gift of good measure on Proofgrade? Is it Proofgrade at all?


4 years now with no noticeable power reduction on my unit. Not a heavy user.

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Hi @mryan I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been running into some trouble with the prints on your Glowforge not cutting through. I saw you had an open email support for similar trouble on one of your current Glowforge printers. I wasn’t able to see a response to our last email in that thread, and wanted to confirm if this is the same printer we’re troubleshooting through email. This will help clarify any needed troubleshoot specific to the printer and I’ll look forward to your response to help with any next steps. Thank you!

I think you might mean this for @mryan ?

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thank you!

Still having issues. Took it apart and cleaned it again.

Michelle RyanThe Home DepotCapital Projects469-733-8634

On Oct 8, 2021, at 3:04 PM, Glowforge <> wrote:

This is a public forum, so I suggest you remove your phone number. It could be the photo, but your lens does not look clean to me. Have you actually removed it and cleaned it thoroughly?

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Gotta agree here.

The outer metal ring should be the only not yellowish/green color on that lens. Most of the lens looks vaguely clean but there’s obvious white smudge around the outer diameter area.

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Hi Michelle,

My name is Mercedes and I’m part of the Technical team here at Glowforge and I’ll be helping you troubleshoot today.

In order to make sure I troubleshoot the correct machine here, could you please provide me with the serial number of this machine so I can move forward in the troubleshooting steps?

Also thank you so much for these photos, this actually does help a lot when trying to figure out what could be going on with your machine.


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