Has this happened to you?

Today I was browsing through free premium designs on glow forge and found this gum ball machine and I thought I would give it a try. I used proof grade acrylic and the proof grade acrylic cutting options for this design. Which approximately stated it would take about 2 hours to cut. I started it to make sure it was cutting fine for the first 10 min of the print. Then I went back to check on the glow forge after about 40 minutes and it was on fire. (See pictures) Has anyone ever experienced this? Does anybody have an idea of what caused this to happen?


You should NEVER leave the machine unattended, no matter how long the print.

This is covered pretty well in the user manual, and there are multiple warnings during machine setup - I just went thru setup of a replacement machine today and it was pretty obvious.


I’m so sorry this happened to you!
It certainly has happened to others and I can imagine it feels horrible :frowning:

Acrylic is definitely the most dangerous with respect to causing fires it seems. That’s one thing I’ve learned being on this forum that maybe could be called out more in setup etc.

But yes, seeing a few posts like this makes me keep watching my machine like a hawk.


Welcome to the forum. I am sorry this happened.

According to the design, the print time is approximately 19 minutes. I don’t know what changed for you to see 2 hours.

As you have now discovered, you should never leave the machine unattended. I hope your home was not damaged.

Screenshot 2023-04-19 at 7.54.24 PM


One thing I did notice was the Title of the file references “Medium Plywood Mason…” It looks like Medium Acrylic is selected, but I was wondering if the settings had been set manually to plywood?

Either way, I am so very sorry this happened to you.


That sucks.


Acrylic is especially susceptible to fires, and the more intricate the design, the greater the risk of a flare-up.

As others have said, you should never leave a machine that burns materials unattended. Fire is always a risk.

I hope it didn’t cause too much collateral damage.


Ouch, not helpful after the fact, but I don’t see much in the file itself that poses a fire hazard. When I load it into my interface and choose medium clear acrylic, my cut time is 16 minutes and 15 seconds. I don’t know what had been changed from the time you loaded the file to the time you hit print, but it seems the fire was caused by whatever caused it to run in your machine for so long.

It looks like where your file print and the screen shot are different locations. It also doesn’t look like much cut in that 40 minutes. You should definitely contact support, they should be able to pull up a screen grab of what it at least looked like before you hit print, then maybe they can see what went wrong and where.


ugh, sorry that happened. nobody wants to see that.

i’ll echo what others said, i never leave my machine unattended. if i have to walk away, i hit pause. and this is especially true with certain materials. acrylic is notoriously the cause of fires in laser cutters. once it catches on fire, it burns really hot.


Those cuts are intricate and close together, so the machine is dumping a lot of energy in a small area.
Once ignited acrylic is fuel. So sorry this happened to you.

I second this. Geared toward the home hobbyist, emphasis should be made on the elevated hazard of acrylic.


It breaks my heart to see this happen to a perfectly good machine. And while there are several warnings to not leave it unattended I have to agree with several of the other senior members that perhaps there should be verbiage that beats the new user over the head (figuratively speaking).


Indeed, but this user joined the forum in June '22. Although this is the first post, I believe the user has had their Glowforge for almost a year.


The photos of the design show the base being made from either acrylic or plywood, and the material used matches the detected Proofgrade sheet of medium acrylic and default “cut” settings.

Ultimately I am sure GF will make this right as the fire was started while using PG settings on PG materials, but that still does not change the fact the machine should never be left unattended. Fires like this could cause damage to property, or worst case, threaten lives.


The print time on this design should be under 20 minutes. How did you attempt to customize it? Added an engraving on it? That is the only thing I can think of that would increase the time by so much.


I am curious why this photo of the “Things You’ll Need” was included? I just seems out of place with the topic. Unless you are suggesting it needs items added to it?


So sorry this happened to you. Again…acrylic makes me the most nervous.


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