Does my laser tube need replacing?

Hello. Is my laser tube going bad? Two weeks ago I noticed some issues with engraving where the engraving quality wasn’t as sharp as it used to be. So I cleaned the optics according to the instructions in the forum. The issue continued, getting worse. Tried different materials: wood and acrylic, tried the same file as a raster and vector. The problem has gotten worse.

Here is a pic or two of the issue in wood and acrylic. The area within the red outline was done by the Glowforge, both raster and vector. The wood is raster and strength at 100%.

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When you cleaned, assuming you followed everything here?

Including wiping the mirror?

If so, you probably need to check the pin connections in the ribbon cable - make sure the pins are not bent or nothing is missing. When you reconnect it, make sure it is completely inserted into the receptacle on the head and clicked in.

Then you will want to print the Gift of Good Measure on Proofgrade material (to make certain the correct settings are applied), and post a picture of the results. Support can use that to judge how the machine is working. (Too many variables when you are using your own files and settings.) :slightly_smiling_face:

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don’t know what is happening, but I’m pretty sure its not the laser tube.


Look at the orientation of your text. The horizontal text looks fine, but the vertical text is kind of wonky. :neutral_face:

I would agree to the rotation of the project.

If the job is rotated (and/or resized) from the original project or maybe the rastering was rotated in pseudo graphics package, that could lose clarity to cause that problem.

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I would print the gift of good measure and compare it to the copy you might have printed out when you first got the machine.

How many hours do you think you have on it?

More pics after yet another lens cleaning and checking cables. What is circled is what came out of the Glowforge. I’m doing another pass over this with a little stronger settings.

The Gift of Good Measure came out good. I’ll post a pic next.

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I take it that each is printed one at a time. That’s curious that it goes good but drops after multiple copies. If you do one longer engrave of a design does the power level drop toward the end?

I’m so sorry we missed this thread. We’d be happy to service your Glowforge and return it to working condition. Just let us know and we’ll follow up in email with the details.

Hello! I’m getting caught up with everything as I just returned from a convention. Concerning the issue above, I had to rely on my backup laser cutter from a different company to complete the job – it was time sensitive. This weekend I would like to put the Glowforge through proper testing to narrow down what might be wrong with it. Now that I don’t have the pressure of the convention or the client I can now devote the time to properly address this.


Yes, the power seems to drop off even after a longer engrave.

This weekend I plan to put the Glowforge through its paces. Will test with various engraving settings. So far for other modes, like scoring or cutting, there doesn’t seem to be an issue. But at times I have noticed I need to set the strength a little more powerful, or decrease the speed to complete a cut.

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Do I follow up here in this thread or is there a specific email that would be better?

I just followed up in email about this and we’re working on it there, so I’m going to close this topic.