Fire using plywood

Has anyone ever had an issue with a small fire starting in their glowforge?
Thankfully, it didn’t do anything.


What kind of plywood?


You probably won’t get official support since it was non-Proofgrade material.

Fires can happen for a number of reasons - the two primary ones, I feel, are settings that are not optimal for the material, and design parameters (multiple passes over the same area in quick succession, and design elements that are very, very close to one another). There are other factors as well, such as air assist fan not working, finish on the material, masking not adhered properly, focus height incorrect, etc. but I would probably start with the settings used.


I’m thinking it might have been the height of my plywood. It was kind of sticking up a little.

Are you talking about a fire that keeps burning after the laser has left the area, or are you talking about a candle/lighter type flame that follows along with where the laser is cutting? If it is the candle type flame, that can be an indication that the air-assist fan/scoop is getting obstructed and needs cleaning.


It was where the laser was at the time of cutting. It had a candle type flame. How do you check to see if it’s obstructed?

  1. Make sure your air assist fan is moving all the air it is supposed to move.

  2. Any voids in the wood can create lovely areas where a flame can get going without the air assist fan to put it out.

  3. Some amount of flames are normal. They should be very short lived (as long as the air assist is blowing like crazy).

  4. If using magnets to secure the material, make sure it isn’t blocking the air assist’s air flow (and make sure it is short enough that the air assist clears it).


Ok, thank you so much for your help.
I will check that out.

you can check with an inspection mirror, or a cell-phone camera, or pulling the crumb tray out and opening the garage door and just peeking up there with a flashlight.

the instructions for cleaning the assembly have been posted a few times by support, here’s one of them:


Awesome, Thanks

If the flair is only momentary then the air assist is blowing it out.

You can (with the machine off) pull the gantry all the way forward, gently slide the head toward the middle and lean over the gantry looking behind it at the head carriage to glimpse the fan and see how dirty it is.

Unless you have been using the machine a lot over something like 7+ months, you probably don’t need to worry about it yet, but it will eventually need Cleaning.


Thanks so much to everyone in this thread for sharing their knowledge and advice. It’s truly appreciated!

@adam.french75, it may help to review the Fire safety section of our Support page for more information. If you’re still running into trouble with this, please email us at with further details and we’ll be happy to take a closer look.

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