Gonna send it back in pieces!

I swear if I have to send this back or get it replaced again, you’re getting it back in pieces.

I am so tired of calibration issues, blown tubes, shitty delivery (FedEx delivered it on its side, again) and just the hassle of it all.

For such an expensive and well-reviewed unit (pro version), at this moment I worry about my company opening its doors on the 1st. I can’t trust this thing. It goes down far too often. Of course, the first thing anyone from here says, “Have you checked the wifi”. heck yes, I have and I think that’s the stupidest feature ever. Frickin’ wifi required. srsly!!??

It gets cleaned every day.
It has its own frickin’ room.
It has its stupid wifi.

It’s not the company I have issues with, it’s the weak ass product that keeps failing me. You might as well just put me on a 1-month auto rotate plan. send me a NEW machine every month before it breaks again.

Very Angry right now. Time and Money keeps going out the door. Not product.

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Are you just venting or are you actually seeking help with something? I can’t really tell. I didn’t see any one specific issue you were opening a trouble ticket for.


Dang, I guess I forget to add that specifics. But yes, Venting too.
Today it is stuck centering (and movement from the head when it is saying it is centering/scanning/calibrating).

It just sits there now. I’m going to let it sit for the night and hope for the best though.

I have cleaned it, reset it and even moved it. I guess what really set me off was the line that seems to always follow this error here in the support page. 'We can’t fix it there. send it in so we can fix it."
Well that would be awesome but that cost me more time and a loss of money.
Glowforge even has a facility near me but everything has to be routed from Texas or somewhere several states away. Just more grrr.

It would seem that with multiple machines to continue having the same issues when thousands by this time are working well, raw logic and not about you or the machines says there is something happening there. When cleaning there are opportunities to mess up, with the most common being where the cable connects to the head, many of us (myself included) were freaking out about all sorts of issues from overheating, to forever centering when the matter was that the cable was not properly tight where it connects to the head and thus sending bad data. Even though just looking I would not have thought that was the issue.

Depending on what you are cutting, it can actually get pretty awful before performance is affected. Initially I cut a lot of oak plywood, which like MDF is very dirty, since my replacement machine arrived I have cut mainly hardwoods (cherry, maple, paduk, walnut) that smoke very much less and thus dirty the machine a lot less as well. under such circumstances there is hardly enough to brush away.

One problem I did have was when the head hit a pin and became catywumpus and I had many problems before discovering that was the case. Now after cleaning (with the machine off) I push the gantry back and push each corner so I know they are even and then run the head to the far back left position before turning the machine on, and have not had that set of problems again.

In the Wifi realm it is all magic to me and while we have intermittent problems, when it works, it works. I suppose there are all sorts of problems like working in a Faraday cage or similar that a location can just have bad juju when there is no easy to see cause, but as that is the thing you can do least about, I would look at everything else first. But if it is only your machines that fail each replacement lowers considerably the probability that you just got a bad machine.


Thank you for the post, but I do work in the tech field and cleaning electronics is not the issue.
If it was necessary I could take it down to the very last nut and bolt, clean it, put it back together and write all new code for it on the way just for shits and giggles.

Yes, I do see the logic in your view, but my first machine blew up due to shipping. FedEx not only shipped upside down, I guy carried it from his truck and set it on end on my deck. The laser tube blew up later that evening. The next machine was also delivered on it’s side… Also documented.

When it comes to the wood I use, I spend a whole lot of time looking for the right suppliers, glue and quality of wood. You should look up aircraft plywood. Some of the wood I use comes 1000’s of miles just to be cut up by a crazy man with a laser.

The wifi thing is an issue. A Verizon hotspot is used because I live in the woods. I’m not a fan of cities, traffic or drama. However I do have a stable, unlimited dataconnection. Not saying it’s not the issue, I’m saying forcing wifi so far has been the worst feature yet.

Do you have any idea what I could do with a wifi connection into your home, with a camera!? That’s messed up. Most people have no clue what they just put in their home. As you can guess though, I’m not too worried about it because I purchased a Glowforge anyway. But if you look at the posts here for wifi issues, yeah, it seems to be a thing. One of the weaker points of this product.

Everyone has a right to their opinion. And sure, it could be any one of the factors you mentioned above that caused it. But if you knew me and saw my house, knew my background, you too would mark ever one of those things you mentioned off and it would point right back at the product or delivery.

End all. I just want my laser to work. I want a stable product I can trust. I don’t want to disappoint my customers every time my laser goes down and I have to wait for a new machine.

And above all else, my wife bought me this laser. She saw a need and filled it. I guess I needed a hobby what was creative and quiet. Not in internet securities, not in high-tech product development, not in managent or marketing and not one I need to swing an attorney all day.

Srsly, it’s just a laser. That’s all I want. Peace and quiet out in the woods. Seems easy enough.

Every machine delivered has been on its side or upside down at some point. The only way to avoid that is pallet shipping. It seems they made the design to avoid pallet shipping (any larger in any dimension, keeping same shipping box protections, would put it over the allowed dimensions).

I also use a Verizon hotspot/mifi device because I travel with the Glowforge. Are you on a prepaid or postpaid plan for the mifi? The reason I ask, the postpaid plan throttles severely after 15gb… the speeds I was seeing after 15gb (which went by in a couple of days) would provide adequate competition for 56k modems on a good day. On a bad day, look at a 14.4k modem as competition. Even with that, I could still largely stream Netflix etc (SD) with few problems, but trying to post something to the business Facebook page from the laptop would take me 30+ minutes, waiting on things to load.

I just recently switched the mifi device over to a prepaid plan. It costs 65/month instead of 20, but there is no throttling. With prepaid, you are on constant deprioritization from the tower, but I’ve noticed no issues, because being in the middle of nowhere most of the time, I suppose the towers that I’m on have very little traffic to cause me to be deprioritized.

Yes, the WiFi might be one of the weaker design decisions, but it is what it is and it feels like wasted effort to complain about it; like complaining that the sky is blue. It’s done and isn’t going to change.

I agree, that’s not too much to ask. And the vast majority of people are having little to no issues with having a working machine. Support can check your logs to see if you’re having a transmit/receive issue (either WiFi or external internet), if it’s a failure in sending lid images for the calibration, process, etc. If you want to take a look at them yourself, since you seem technically minded, instructions are here on the forum for accessing and downloading them.


I will look into finding the logs. Thank you. having more data to work with will help.
And it may be true that the vast majority of people are having little to no problems, but it sure doesn’t look like it since many, many, many people have needed replacements. I even read on Sep '18 about a guy who was on his 4th machine. Thats horrible and thats going to be me if I cant get past this centering bug.
The Glowforge is ‘useable’ in the 300~500kbps range so even if my connection was a throttled connection (which does happen) i’s still be sitting at 600kbps.
Currently, I have a non-throttled connection. Full speed. it was the first thing I looked into.

Absolutely, and I used it for several months. The language in the throttling portion of the agreement is “up to 600kbps.” My experience was that it rarely ever saw those speeds when throttled. I could have lived with those speeds. I was frequently seeing as low as 10-20kbps though.

Yes, some people are on multiple machines. What you read about and see here are the problems. Looking at the big picture though, it’s a fairly small percentage of the units that are out there in the wild. They’ve also gotten much better about shipping replacement parts rather than just exchanging the unit. That’s only started recently - before that, pretty much any issue resulted in a replacement unit.


Yeah, that’s another good thing about living in the woods. I don’t have to fight over cell tower traffic. My DSL line on the other hand can end a lot like dial up when the hub for our area starts to get overloaded, but I have never had to deal with anything less than 250-300kbps.
Because I work in the tech field I must always have an internet connection. I currently pay for 4 hots spots, a DSL connection with a current use just over a TB of data a month.
I still find it hard to believe that simple data and calibration setups are forced to have that kind of connection when it is possible to hack everything off someone’s computer with just a trickle of data. Sure it would be slow, but it’s still done every day. :frowning:

I do wish I had the electronics chops of either of you. I bought the Glowforge because I did not. I have worked in Autocad since before it was 3D but had an EGA machine because Enhanced graphics sounded better than Visual graphics and 40 MB sounded like a bottomless pit. I became very expert in getting work out of Autocad and even in LISP but never the more arcane levels of software or hardware.

I do understand your frustration as I try to get my new Promega Quad operational that is the opposite set of problems, everything is opensource, runs on wifi without leaving the house and presumes many abilities that are a stretch and if there is an active group helping each other it is not a sheltered one running on the company site.

I have a bad relationship with FedEx. I swear my local delivery area plays rugby with the boxes before they deliver them. I would definitely look closely at the wifi hotspot and how that connection may be causing issues with the centering. I had a similar problem with my regular wifi and I ended up having to assign priority to the GF on the network to stop that issue. Best of luck!


I’m so sorry you hit a snag, and I’m sorry for the delay getting back to you.

The issues you’re seeing might be caused by a poor connection with the cables on your lid. Please follow the steps below to check the lid connections:

  1. Turn off your unit.

  2. Open the lid.

  3. Using both hands, gently roll the laser arm to the front of the unit.

  4. There are 5 clips pictured below. Check each one to ensure it is closed. The clip should lie flat, and you shouldn’t be able to flip it in any direction.

  1. If any of the clips are open, ensure the cable is inserted straight into the clip and close the clip.

  2. If any of the cables are misaligned in the clip, take a photo of the clip and cable and send it to me so I can take a look before you proceed. Do not try to adjust or reseat the cable.

  3. Close the lid.

  4. Turn your unit back on and wait for it to calibrate.

Let me know how it goes!

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All of this has been done. I have read so many posts on this and I have been doing everything in my power to fix this without having to ship it back.

All 5 clips were already checked. All items have been cleaned as per the instructions.

The wifi router is sitting on top of the machine at the moment because I was trying to be funny when someone else was trying to help me. They kept telling me to move it closer or dedicate the connection to that device (but that device is the only thing on that line).

Connection speed was already checked.

I really don’t think I can clean, fix, move or adjust anything else on my own. I need more pointers or someone to read any errors on that end to help give me hints as to what to do next

Thank you for checking that out for us. Since everything is connected properly, it’s likely that the black cable on the lid has a problem. I’d like to send you a replacement for that cable, along with some instructions on how to replace it so we can get you back to printing as quickly as possible.

I’ll follow up with you in email shortly to sort out the shipping details.

I’m going to close this thread - if you’re still having issues with the new cable, go ahead and post a new topic.