Glowforge stopped mid-print, now won't "focus"

A few days ago, my Glowforge stopped mid-print. It was on the first engraving step, about 10-20 minutes into a nearly 2 hour job, when I noticed it had stopped – laser off and head not moving. I canceled the print, and power-cycled the Glowforge, but now just says “focusing…” when I select any design. I’ve tried several times over the last few days. The head of the glowforge does not move at all, and the focusing laser (as indicated by the red dot) does not come on. The internal lights come on, and when I first power on the glowforge, it runs the exhaust fan briefly, as normal. I would say that it seems like there’s no communication between my glowforge unit and the servers, except that if it’s off, I do get the “offline” message instead of “focusing”. I had been hoping it would “fix itself”, and I could continue the print, and so I have not changed my setup / removed the laser head / attempted to clean or change anything.

I’ve seen a few similar reports in the forums, and the typical response seems to suggest that it’s too cold. While my glowforge and workshop are in the garage, I have a space heater, and the thermometer sitting on top of the GF indicates 60-degrees. I have, in the past, gotten the “too cold” error message and yellow magic button light, but I am not getting that now. The magic button light does not turn on at all.

Any suggestions as to what’s wrong and how to fix it?



Here are the operating parameters:
The Glowforge Basic is designed for use between 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 Celsius) and 75°F (24°C). The Pro has an expanded operating range up to 81°F (27°C).

Yes, I am aware of that. That’s why I put the space heater and thermometer there and made sure it’s at least 60-degrees, as I reported. This is why I think the temperature is not the issue.

That has the look of a black cable issue but Support will have to make the final call.

It’s better to measure the temp inside the machine though especially if you are venting to outside.

I’m unfamiliar with the “black cable issue”, but will search the forums for it.
I have & use the GF air filter, so I do not vent to the outside.

The white ribbon cable that goes into the print head may have become loose or disconnected during the job. That will stop the job, and it will also result in the machine being unable to “focus” until it’s reconnected.

Oh no, I’m sorry to hear about the trouble @ay2b.

I extracted the logs from your Glowforge to investigate, and it looks like your Glowforge is having trouble communicating with the printer head. There are two key connections I’d like you to check for me.

Could you please do the following?

  1. Turn off your Glowforge.

  2. Holding only the finished black surfaces, grasp the printer head as shown. Pull gently up and back to disengage the magnets and remove the head.

  3. There is a small tab in the center of the wire ribbon. Push down fully on the tab to release it, and gently pull the wire ribbon plug from the printer head.

  4. Take a clear photo of the gold pins inside the printer head where you just unplugged the wire ribbon. It should look like this.

  5. Pick up the printer head and wire ribbon. Make sure the tab on the wire ribbon is facing up. Slide the ribbon back into the head until it clicks.

  6. As shown, lower the printer head over the metal plate so that it rests next to the two round posts. Then push it gently away from you – you’ll feel a “click” as magnets pull the printer head until it sits snugly atop the metal plate.

  7. Pull the laser arm all the way forward.

  8. Reach over the laser arm, and to the left of the inside of the unit and you’ll see this circuit board:

  9. Take a photo of the circuit board. If the cable I’ve indicated above with the red arrow appears to be loose, please reconnect it and try printing again. This cable should ‘click’ back into place.

  10. Turn your Glowforge back on.

  11. Send us the photos you took in steps 4 and step 9.

Let us know what you find!


I checked the white cable, per Jeremy’s instructions – that was the problem. I have take the printer head off previously (checking/fixing the wheel, etc) but never had the cable detach. When I pulled it off now to check the pins, the cable just fell out. After reattaching it, my Glowforge works again.
Thanks for everyone’s help and advice!


It’s always great when someone takes the time to update us on issues. Glad you are up and running again.

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Hi @ay2b!

I’m so glad to hear that you got everything resolved!

I’m going to go ahead and close this forum post now. If you have any other questions or need help with anything else feel free to send a message our way by either creating an email ticket or a new forum post!