Glowforge Fried - Need help on a project

I need to return my Glowforge for repair.

After a frustrating week-ish trying to get a new black, ribbon cable (Support ticket 154618)…I tried to reseat the old one to see if there was something that just got out of alignment and created a puff of smoke.

I tried to be incredibly careful and make sure that the cable was straight and inserted fully. Not sure what happened. The cable was already, apparently bad.

  1. What do I need to do to return it for repair? How long am I out of business?
  2. Is there anyone in the Milwaukee area who would let me use their machine occasionally to cut my products? Or is there a makerspace that rents a GF locally?




Yikes! I’m so sorry to hear that! :grimacing:

Support will see your post here and get in touch with the next steps to take. (I don’t know specifically what they have to do to them when they get zapped.)

I’d plan on a few weeks though if it has to go in for repair. :anguished:

Thanks @Jules. I haven’t had to get service much, which is great. The “Stuck on Centering” cable thing is very odd. It’s not a part that should have problems and it showed no signs of wear. Getting the new cable shipped was becoming a hassle, and I got hasty. Ugh

The cable wears over time, particularly if you tend to open the lid fully upright…it can rub against the metal bar behind it and that causes the wires inside to break prematurely. (Which doesn’t show on the outside.)

The good news is…the replacement cable they send out is now a little longer, so it wouldn’t have been any more trouble after replacing it.

Was the machine turned on when you tried to plug in the old cable? (That’s just for my own knowledge, and to know what to avoid if I change mine out one day.)

The machine was turned off when I reseated the ribbon cable. I have a career in technology, but I didn’t wear a static strap :wink:. I looked very carefully to be sure that I had the cables fully under their connectors and aligned straight with clips shut fully, but either I was slightly off or the break inside the ribbon got shifted and created the short.

There’s a chance that I could have done the same thing with the new cable.

Unfortunately, I have an urgent job for a client that’s due soon, so I need to find someone’s GF to borrow for a few hours.


Oh lordy…didn’t know that about the static strap…see, that was good to know before I did something unfortunate. Thanks. :no_mouth:

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Seems those cables are problematic. I would post my plea for forger’s help in Everything else.
Good Luck man!



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Is it something one of us non-locals can run?


I have a problem with static as the power chair seat creates it nicely and rubber tires prevent any leakage. I have been using the steel rim on the outside to bleed that off and holding that before doing anything else. Short of that, I a not sure what I can do.

Possibly, but shipping time might be a problem. Maybe your suggestion is my best option if nobody closer can help.

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Whatcha got? When do you need it?
I’m in Vegas


Well there is the aptly named

And a job for the GF of course can be run on any other laser cutter typically (they all mostly eat color coded SVGs and you just need the “speeds and feeds” for that type of laser cutter. I’ve used a “big red” (redsail clone) and the job ran identically (just asked the local guy in the know, what power/speed I needed for typical acrylic of that thickness). Wasn’t really any different than using the GF. The workflow tools weren’t quite as slick as the GFUI, but honestly it was mostly about just finding where the settings were for everything in their UI (if I recall we used Rhino on that machine)

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Thanks. I saw that, but they don’t mention Glowforge and their tools page doesn’t show one. Our local school’s $24M referendum (8K citizen community :roll_eyes:) produced a maker lab, but no Glowforge.

Great advice on using other lasers! Very helpful to know.

[SOLVED] I called one of the Joann Fabrics stores with a GF and am going to use that! Woo Hoo! $10/hour even makes it fit within my profit budget.

Now I just need to get a response from GF Support about how to get my machine in for repairs quickly.

Thanks Dr.


I mean it’s not surprising that the GF basically works like every other laser cutter out there. They basically took a bit of the complexity of setup and the tool chain out, without sacrificing the ability to do complex tasks. I mean if you think about it, there are really only a couple of ways to describe a cut path in 2D. Waterjets pretty much work just like the GF does (yes, most of them run on GCode, but in general a simple 2D waterjet is pretty much the same thing except instead of pew-pew is splash-splash to cut through stuff)


Since I’m not doing any 3D engraving, that advanced capability isn’t required either. I’ve just found that laser cutting services are pricey around here. I’m having some thin stainless steel plates laser cut for a product and they came in at $6/plate with a simple cut. I send them a DXF. I’d love to find someone more affordable as a back up when the GF is acting up.

Unfortunately, it looks like your unit is experiencing an issue that we can’t resolve remotely. I want you to have a reliable unit, so I’m recommending we repair this one. I’ll be in touch via email soon to sort out the details. I’m so sorry about the bad news.

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