Glowforge explosion

Not even a year old - not one trouble and we were using it today for a pattern out of the glowforge catalog and this happened - we clean it daily - it’s fully vented with a short run to the outside

emphasized text

I am seeing a fire. That and freezing are the only way that happens. And I have only heard of the freezing issue once. The lid is tempered glass; even dropping something on it rarely breaks it. However, tempering places it under huge pressures and if there is any imbalance it will always explode like that.

Several people have had fires while they were watching and if caught quickly not lost their lids, but severely damaged the undercarriage.


Sorry to see that…terribly disappointing. Looks like it got mighty hot inside…that something caught on fire. Were you near it and monitoring it when that happened? Perhaps something caught fire and burned so long that it caused all of that.


Yes there was a fire but for what reason being it had run various designs in small runs - and with the same material we used for almost a year.

We were not near it at the time - it ran several small designs without an issue all downloaded from the glow forge site

That is why watching it like a hawk is necessary. Acrylic is particularly prone to fires and I am using some currently for the first time in a while. I may turn my back on wood occasionally but I will never do so with acrylic. Cutting acrylic creates vapors that can burst into flames at any time. That it rarely does so is not the point, smoke from wood cannot sustain a fire enough to get big enough, but once started the fumes of acrylic will allow it to stay and grow very quickly if the laser is cutting and feeding the flame.


I am sorry that this happened, and I am glad it was not worse. Had the fire been worse, you could have had a catastrophe. This is the main reason Glowforge states you should never operate the machine unattended.


This was on their wood and was left unattended for minutes

There’s your problem.


Glowforge never guarantees that their materiel won’t catch fire. No one could promise that. And the fact that the designs were from the catalog is also no guarantee that they can’t catch fire and has no bearing on the result. Leaving it unattended is the sole reason this happened without being noticed in time to catch it.


I will keep that in mind. Normally wood will create a coal that will slowly grow and eat up a large area before (if ever) going to flame. I can see however, how the finish could change that dynamic and act like the acrylic.

In any case turning your back on anything while the Glowforge is operating is to violate the terms of the operation. I have been operating the machine for several years now and have watched as a coal ruined a piece, but stopping the machine would stop the cut and in either case ruin the result, but have not seen a coal turn to full fire. However I know that it can.

I am always watching at the start and do not leave if I see coals being an issue. If I do turn my back (some of my designs can take over 4 hours) I am pretty secure that it is not even making sparks, but I am still taking a known risk.


It’s the kind of mistake you only make once.


That sucks, but I’m glad the fire wasn’t worse and that no one was hurt.


Yikes! Scary!
Sorry to hear this happened to you :frowning:


Do you still have your lens tool? I’m looking to buy one. Where are you located?

Welcome to the forum.

You can remove the lens by lifting off the top of the printhead, removing the mirror and pushing the lens down and out of the printhead. Make sure to catch the lens or have it land on something very soft.


This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.