Glowing Orange Button - Too Hot to Print ?!

I was in the middle of cutting plexi and got a warning that the Glowforge was too hot to print. I powered off immediately and waited two hours. I just powered back on and the orange light still stands. When waiting to cool I opened the Glowforge lid. It is currently 73 degrees. What can I do to get back to printing!?

I have since cleaned all lenses and checked all wire connections - nothing seems to do the trick.


73 inside the machine or outside?

73 degrees outside, in a large warehouse pretty cool in here. I have a fan setup now, bringing some cooler air in.

The sensor monitors the temp inside the machine. Open the door on it with a fan blowing on it for a while.

Also just to be safe, double check the connection to the printhead. Every time I’ve had this error, it was a poor connection. It wouldn’t hurt to check both ends too.

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Next time just let it sit - it will use the fans to cool itself off, by shutting down you are letting it cool but presumably slower than it would if you’d let it do it’s job. Also, by shutting down you lost the rest of your job - if you let it do it’s thing it’ll restart once the fluid has cooled off.


73ºF is very close to the limit for the Basic and Plus. It would easily get warmer than that after just a little use.

  • Recommended Operating Temperature: 60F-75F (16C-24C) Basic and Plus; 60F-81F (16C-27C) Pro

Hello @mcutry

I’m sorry to hear you’re running into sudden and unexpected needs to cool off. Thanks for reaching out so we can get you taken care of.

I’ve sent a follow up email your way, as I’d like to confirm some details from you to make sure I’m looking at the correct printer on my end in order to give you the best troubleshooting possible.

In the mean time, as others have suggested, this could simply be the printer just warming up a little too much and needing to cool off:

Here are some standard suggestions we like to offer when things are running a tad warmer than ideal:

  • Try printing with no material on the bed (so as not to generate smoke and fumes) and no exhaust hose attached. If this works, then the problem may be that your exhaust hose is constricting the flow of air out of the unit, preventing cooling.

  • Examine the bottom-right side of your Glowforge, and ensure that there is no fabric or other flexible material underneath it, like a tablecloth. There are air intake vents, and if they become obstructed, it makes cooling less effective.

  • Try pointing a fan at the right side of your Glowforge. If there is warm air around the intake, this could help it cool off.

  • Power off your Glowforge when you are not using it. When your Glowforge sits idle, the fans are off, so heat can build up

  • Just wait. Your print may take a little longer when it’s warm, but your Glowforge will protect itself and make sure it cools enough to prevent any loss of power or damage. It’s clever enough to pick up from exactly where it left off, even if it needs to pause to cool down during the print!

  • Ensure that the sun isn’t shining on the lid. This could cause the inside of your Glowforge to heat up.

  • If you are venting outdoors, ensure that extreme temperatures or humidity do not enter the Glowforge unit through the exhaust hose. Disconnect the hose from the outside air when the Glowforge is not in use.

  • Turn your Glowforge off and open the lid for a few minutes before trying again. It’s possible for the air in your Glowforge to heat up, just like a car in the sun on a hot day, opening the lid will help that warm air to escape and your Glowforge to cool down.

Please keep an eye out for that email so I can confirm everything on my end and provide some more targeted troubleshooting.

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My experience is that the fans working when the head is not moving will heat the head up to the point it is very hot to the touch. The sensor of course will report that it is hot so it just heats and heats. Not a good thing.

@Mike.D you folks should look at this behavior and please find a fix?

Your experience is the exception. The head does not heat up when the machine is sitting idle.

I’m so sorry to hear about the trouble you’ve been experiencing. I hope the information my colleague @Mike.D provided was helpful.

We’ve made a small change on our end. When you have a moment, could you please reboot your Glowforge, and perform a test print to see if the same trouble occurs?

Let us know how it goes!

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Idle no. but idle with all the head fans running yes. I let that happen once that it ran for almost 20 min. I lifted the lid and the fans were still running and I touched the head and it was very hot. I immediately shut the machine down, left the lid open and left it that way for two hours.

Coming back I checked the head that was cool to the touch, turned it back on and everything worked fine. The same thing has happened two times since but I have not let it run, shutting the machine off immediately. It seems to happen after I have put the machine on pause, often between processes like when engrave is finished, and about to go to cut and I decide it needs to make another engrave pass before cutting. It is easier to use pause first as if you hit it early you can let it continue without effect, unlike lifting the lid too early.

I am still presented with the orange light. After I had first posted the orange light had turned off after a night of cooling. But, this past Thursday, the orange light returned. My Glowforge has since been moved into a temperature controlled room and has been here for 24 hours. Orange light still on. It has now been down for 53 hours.

I’m so sorry to hear that you’re continuing to run into trouble. I’ve extracted the log files from your Glowforge once again, so that I can review the orange button trouble you’ve continued to experience.

I’d like to take a look at some images from inside of your Glowforge.

Assuming you’re using a smartphone, try these tips for great photos:

  • Use flash
  • Zoom in using the digital zoom
  • Hold the camera/phone far enough back to get good focus.

Here are the photos:

Motor on the laser arm (and surrounding):

Inside, left of machine:

Pull the laser arm all the way forward.

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

Left side of front door:

Send those photos over, and I’ll compare them with the information we have from your extracted log files.

Hi Marc,

Please see the attached photos for the images you requested.

This is the current situation with our Glowforge:
-Turn Power on, orange light comes on for 3 seconds and fades away.
-All is normal from here as it centers and scans the bed - no alerts on my end.
-Material is loaded and I am able to print but after two seconds of the print starting (and the time starting) I get a cooling alert. At this time there is no orange button. The print does not proceed and is held in this ‘cooling down’ state. I have attached a screenshot below of the error I am receiving.

I have now talked to three different Glowforge Staff through email, not included in this chain, and have yet to find a solution. This Glowforge is currently being used for Research for the Clemson University Graduate Architecture Department and we will have to look at drastic change in our schedule if we are not able to pinpoint the problem and get our Glowforge running again. Would you be able to give me an estimate on how long you believe our Glowforge will be down for?

Thank you,

I see you already emailed us about this and we’re working on it there, so I’m going to close this topic.