Just received my Glowforge basic model but not yet unpacked it because I’m not sure now that it’s going to work for me. The delivery email included a link to a manual, which I hadn’t seen before. This manual lists an incredibly narrow operating temperature window for the device which tops out at a fairly cool 75F.
That just won’t work in Central Texas!
In the summer we have the house HVAC set to 78F, while the AC in the garage (where the bench is set up ready and waiting) gets it down to about 80F. The bedroom at night is cooler at 73F, but I don’t really want a laser cutter in there. Given that summer here starts about now and runs through October, that would be over half the year when this device would not be usable in either my garage or my house.
My question then. Is the 75F figure real? If it’s a genuine number then very sadly I can’t use the device I’ve waited a long time for, and I guess I have a Glowforge basic for sale. I’m in Austin TX if anyone in the area would like it, and has a freezing cold workshop.
75f is the real deal on the basic units. Heat is a major impediment to both consistency and tube life (power drops off rapidly with higher temps). I’m just down the road from you, so I know how it is to keep things cool during the warmer months (ha, 3/4 of the year)… the Pro has an increased operating temperature range (up to 81) due to the active cooling, but I guess that’s not much of an option for you now. Only other way around it would probably be running a portable AC specifically for the unit; at least there you could direct the output and only run it as needed without considerable extra cost.
Many thanks for the rapid reply. I did wonder about a portable AC unit. Does the GF have a specific air intake that you could pipe cool air into, or would you have to try and chill the entire thing?
The intake is on the bottom, front right (basically inline with the button, on the bottom of the machine).
It doesn’t have a duct or anything that you’d link up to - just a fan pulling air in through a grate in the case.
However, something like this would be pretty trick for directing air exactly where it needs to go:
Yep - I already have a similar unit in the garage. Not sure the power in there could stand another 1,500W as well as the GF though!
I really appreciate your helpful comments but this is really sounding impractical. Great shame after the wait, but my own fault for not noticing this sooner, dagnabbit!
I think the best thing to do is to sell it before risking damage by trying to use it. Not sure of the best market for that. Probably Ebay I suppose.
If it was a Pro, I’d consider coming up with the $$$ for an offer - but then, we wouldn’t be having this discussion either, I suppose.
eBay might find you a buyer; I’d be a little nervous about shipping it. That’s an expensive claim (to you) if damage occurs and they figure a way to deny it.
You might look at Craigslist? Austin/SA/Houston/DFW seem to all be appropriate driving distances for a high dollar purchase. Or, maybe I just like to drive.
If the ambient temps are high enough it might not matter but if you have an assist from a filter it could be drawing air through even if the Glowforge was not operating and keeping it a bit cooler.
I have a pro and the AC is set at 77 degrees, but the machine was frequently stopping to cool off. Considering the other costs a small ac (even a used one)just for the Glowforge does not sound like a terrible idea.
Also what you are cutting makes a huge difference. Cutting a big complex design in quarter inch material would generate a lot of heat but paper origami not so much,
I can vouch for the operating temps being a hinderance at times. I live in Hawaii, and we make do with just fans, so our home is consistently above 80F throughout the warmer months. I received my forge back in September, and it was still very warm here which resulted in my unit constantly showing the orange light indicating that there was a cooldown in process. It’s recently started to get hot again and I’m starting to see that the glowforge needs cooling down, which in crunch times I’ve used a smaller fan directly inside the bed of the glowforge to cool things down, and this has occurred both after and before printing anything.
I can also vouch for the capabilities of the machine, and where I don’t know what your intended use for it is, I can say that finding work arounds have been more viable for me than purchasing another tool. As mentioned, knowing where the intake is is helpful as you can direct cooler air to that section of the machine and get by, but extended use may become more difficult to use, so I don’t blame you for wanting to find alternatives. I hope that you are able to find something that will help this all work out for you!
Thanks again to all for the continued help and advice.
I’ve decided to give it a try. I have a 15,000 btu portable AC unit in the garage and I’m going to duct a portion of the output from it towards the intake vent of the GF.
If that works then later in the year I’ll look at adding a second dedicated smaller, 6000 btu, unit right next to the GF. If it doesn’t, then Craigslist it is.
100W is about 340 BTU. So if the GF is dissipating 300W in operation, a 1000 BTU cooler would be sufficient.
Something like this, which is completely standalone, it does not need to be vented.
1000 BTU portable air conditioner
I’ve yet to encounter cooling problems, however I’m in the cooler latitudes of the PACNW. That being said, after the conclusion of my warranty should I encounter cooling issues, I’ll most definitely be modifying the GF to have additional cooling, whether from higher volume fans, or a larger coolant reservoir and radiator. I think it’s a major oversight in terms of product design. Even the for all the extra cost of the Pro and the few features it comes with, only nets a paltry 6* increase in the temp ceiling.
I haven’t really looked inside the GF. Is there a heat exchanger? Radiator or heat sink with fluid passages? Just feeding it cooler air would do the trick. But there are tons of liquid-cooling parts for high-performance PCs (like gamers or miners) that would be adaptable provided there’s a fluid “in” and “out” to hook it up to. Or something you can blow colder air at.
Do we know where the GF senses temperature? Is it the coolant or the ambient air or maybe both? That might matter for any cooling mod.
I have a liquid cooled PC rig. Sealed system with a heatsink for the processor on one end, a big radiator with a couple of variable speed fans on the other, and a pump between them. Works great. Dropped CPU temps by about 15ºC over the fanned heat sink it replaced.
The saga continues. I unboxed and set up the GF. Today is a cool day so no problem with temperature (yet). Tried to run the Founders Ruler.
Two problems, one minor one major.
Minor problem - the GF wouldn’t read the QR code on the maple material unless I centered the code under the camera. No joy if I centered the material on the bed. Is that normal? If so, how do you use larger material?
Major problem - engraving looks good, but the cut only goes about half way through the wood. Tried following the troubleshooting and cleaned everything, removed lens, cleaned and reseated, also checked if the tray was seated correctly. Made no difference, still only cuts halfway.
I have to admit to severe buyer’s remorse over buying this. First the ludicrously narrow operating temperature window, and now, even when you are in that window, it doesnt actually work as promised.
I’ve got a request into support for help, but it’s the weekend so could be some time.
You should not need to center the qr code ( or even need it to show at all) as there are a list in a pulldown of all the proofgrade materials available at the side of the screen where it says material. As for reading the QR code once read it will remain that way, with the pulldown chosen until you do a different design or change it by QR code or choice in the pulldown.
As it is a brand new machine, I wound not look to cleaning just yet, but more to where the machine is sitting. The demand for a perfect flat horizontal surface (measured on the crumb tray surface) is a more likely culprit. And of course if the material is not sitting between the two rails but on top of one of them it will not be flat even if everything else is.
Where the material is smaller than a full sheet I use those rare earth magnets to define exactly the location, then if the cut is not through I can place the material back exactly where it was and run it again.
The proofgrade cuts are supposed to just make the cut with no excess power needed but I suspect that this is a variable that would need to be different depending on conditions and is not so my cuts are almost always just shy of a total cut but breaks out easily. Where my cuts are insufficient but I have been careful to exactly define the location, then I put it back and cut again. There are times and reasons why this does not always work but it usually does.
In the end it is a machine and not actually magic ( though at times it seems so) and what does not work as expected will have a cause. Support can and will have you go through procedures to help them narrow the cause, and it may indeed need changes in how your machine is treated back at the cloud, as each machine can be given different instructions depending on local circumstances. That is why you need communication with support to sort that out.
I have a very bright LED fixture above my forge and if the code is not in just the right spot in lower right it glares out.
Turning off the fixture or dropping a piece of paper over the glass will illuminate this on my case.
Is your machine in the sunlight or other bright source?
Looking straight down to the code tag should show if is glaring out. (they really need to use a less shiny tag).
For the cut stuff, send support the date//time stamp of the design attempt so they can look at the data on their end to figure this out
Thanks again for the helpful replies. No, no lights above or near the GF. I’ve had to give up on the QR code and enter the material manually.
Finally got it to cut all the way through by increasing to three passes for the cut layer instead of one. It doesn’t seem right to me that you have to do that. Three times the cut that it’s supposed to be? Even then there were still some areas uncut that broke out and splintered.
Hopefully support will get back to me tomorrow.
Sometimes just the LED lights alone can create glare on the glossy sticker. This will go away one day when they start using the UV labels.
As for 3 passes - that’s definitely not right. Even if material is slightly warped.
First thing I would check is for a fingerprint on the laser window on the side of the head. Lots of us put one on there right from the get go. Then I’d probably remove the lens using the lens removal/installer tool and make sure it’s in the right way.
I know it’s new but if you’ve got PG in there and using the appropriate PG settings for that material then it should cut on one pass.
If it’s not I will check the following:
. Measured thickness vs what the focal height shows
. Power full & speed 130 - 160 range is likely correct
. Is the bed in firmly resting in the divots
. Is the lens in right side up? The lens has a flat side & a bump up side. Bump goes up
There does seem to be an awful lot of complaints over the last few weeks about not cutting as its supposed to.
I have to admit that this is exactly why i did not bother with a Pro, the operating temperatures are embarrasing enough without the significantly more expensive Pro having such a feeble increase in acceptable operating temperatures.