Exhaust fan quit today. Imagine that, something went wrong with a Glowforge

So I didn’t have the stuff to spray in with the Fan Maintenace thing, didn’t even know about it til today. Anyway, fan was extremely nasty so I went through the fan maintenance thing just to see what happens, the fan got extremely fast and quit. Now I can’t do my orders or anything……. Seriously regretting purchasing this machine!!!

I am sorry this happened. Just for clarification, did you run the Fan Maintenance program without the cleaner and then the fan stopped working?

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So wait… you didn’t follow the directions and got results you didn’t expect, but this is someone else’s fault?



I’d check a couple of things.

It’s possible that the fan might have burnt out, or it might just be stuck, or it might be part of the cleaning program to have the fan shut down after a time. Looks like you have a Basic machine from your profile information, so fortunately that is a much easier fan to clean manually.

You can try cleaning it by hand first until support can get back to you. It might not work, but it might help to determine if the fan is shot and needs to be replaced or if it can be salvaged.

There is a detailed writeup on how to clean the exhaust fan for Pro models by hand here. (It’s harder to reach the blades in a Pro, you shouldn’t have any trouble doing it with a Basic.)

But follow every instruction in the writeup carefully - you don’t want to compound the issues. Make sure to use a very dry swab on the blades (barely moist) and let it dry for a full 24 hours before trying to fire it back up. Patience is going to be key.

Good luck with it. :four_leaf_clover:


I have cleaned it and all that. I have a pro. It spins freely.

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Bummer. Looks like you’ll need to hear from support. Are you still in warranty?

Yeah I’ve only had it 5 weeks but I can’t afford the time lost with it to send the whole thing back and wait for it to be fixed and sent back.

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I’m sorry you ran into trouble while running the Fan Maintenance process. In order to investigate the issue for you, would you please check your fan cable and send us photos of the front and back of your exhaust fan?

The cable for the fan could have come loose due to vibration during the Fan Maintenance attempts. Here are some steps for checking the cable:

  1. Turn off your Glowforge.
  2. Open the lid.
  3. Gently roll your laser arm to the front of your unit​​.
  4. Look for a black cable with a white connector.
  5. If the connector is plugged into the board, wiggle it very gently to make sure it is secure. If it is, skip the next steps, and let me know that it was plugged in properly.
  6. If the connector is unplugged or unsecured, locate the clip on the connector​.
  7. Then, gently plug it into the board as shown in the photo. The clip should face towards the center of the bed of the unit.
  8. Close the lid, turn your Glowforge back on, and run a short test print.
  9. Check if the fan spins up during the print.

After checking the above, please take the following photos which will help me to troubleshoot your 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:

Please feel free to share the photos and information by responding here on the forum. If you’d prefer to respond privately, you can email us at support@glowforge.com and we’ll continue troubleshooting there. Thank you!


I didn’t say he didn’t follow directions, although the fan maintenance program states:

Before you begin, you’ll need to obtain a can of 3M Novec Electronic Degreaser, which you can purchase from Amazon or Digikey.

I simply asked him for clarification. I think support will take care of him now.

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You weren’t the one I took issue with.

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I know. My response was to dan84.
I certainly hope you are up and running soon, and if you are please share your insights so others can learn from your experiences. The forum gets better if we share both successful efforts and failures.


He was flagged because of his rude responses…not because of the subject of his post.


I’d like to return my unit for a refund, please let me know what process I need to take to get this done.

@spooner7701, if you try to return a used unit you’re not going to get your full amount that you paid back, especially one that is currently not functioning. You probably don’t want that to happen.

Since you are currently under warranty on the machine, it is to your benefit to just provide the pictures that @ivan1 requested so that they can see what’s going on in the machine. It might be an easy fix, but they can’t tell without seeing the photos they asked for.

If we can let support deal with getting it fixed, it’s going to be resolved a lot quicker, and everyone can go to their respective corners, and hold on to their private opinions of whether or not the Glowforge is a good machine.

And we all need to be kind of careful about how we talk to each other. It’s very easy for misunderstandings to crop up with the written word, and the guidelines for the forum ask that we keep things civil. Sometimes that means keeping our opinions to ourselves, tempting though it may be to try to convince someone that they might have the wrong end of the stick. People tend to pile on in defense of one side or the other, and no one wins that way. It just wastes a tremendous amount of time.

Okay…that’s the limit of my wisdom. I’m tapped out. (And I believe I’ll bail before I get my head handed to me.) :smile:


The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has occurred.” - George Gerard Shaw


Well, actually Jules, I don’t feel like I should be having these problems with a 5 week old machine. I know you’re just adding info you have seen in the past and whatnot and I appreciate your input. I would tend to agree with you if I had it a year or 10 months and no problems til something like that. I just don’t feel that a machine this new should be having these problems. Remember the lens tool I got with no magnet a couple of weeks ago? It’s always something it seems with Glowforge. Even past this fan issue it just has me sick thinking well what is going to break next week or the week after. I bought this machine to run a business and with that being the case when people order things I can’t very well be like well I will get to it when my broken machine gets fixed. I mean I can be that way but I won’t keep any customers either. So days that this machine doesn’t work costs me money. Plain and simple.

I dont have a pic of the vent hooked up because I have it pulled out and unhooked right now. Mine is very simple though, comes out of the machine and goes straight to a dryer vent fitting in a piece of plywood in the window.

@spooner7701, thank you for the detailed photos and the information detailing how your unit’s exhaust was connected to the window. I’m so sorry for the downtime and I’ll work with you to diagnose and resolve this issue. When you took the photos, did you also have a chance to check your machine’s fan cable to see if the connection was loose and then run a short test print?

That’s sort of classic for modern electronics. Either they work forever and die or die early.