Help with original Glowforge Fan cleaning, the screw is stuck

So I’m trying to clean my air assist fan, but I cannot get the screw on the track thing to turn. Any ideas what to do? It’s not stripped it’s just real stuck. Normally I would put lubricant on it or give it a good smack, but this isn’t a stubborn cabinet hinge. I can’t seem to find any threads that are about a screw that won’t turn, they’re all stripped screws and that’s not the problem.

Sorry, I’m not quite understanding. Are you trying to get the belt off to remove the air assist fan? I don’t undo any screws when I do, I just move the belt gently along like a bicycle chain, giving a little downward pressure until it pops off at the left.

To put it back on I do same thing, loop it back over the right wheel, and then pull it gently towards the left wheel and move it slowly upwards until it goes back over the left.

Again, not sure what you mean by screw, but I hope that helped.


Ever since I quit using big magnets to hold my work down that fan hasn’t needed any cleaning. When it did I hung a vacuum cleaner hose on the exhaust and poured hand sanitizer in the entrance and kepy the vacuum running till I was sure it was dry. I did not even remove the carriage from the gantry .

In point of fact what I thought was clogging the fan was really a problem of the electro mechanical device not operating in a strong magnetic field.

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I used to cut massive amounts of MDF. It clogged contantly. I would clean it every couple of hours and it was be jammed packed. I didn’t use magnets either, if something needed to be held down, I used mdf hold down pins.


I never loosen anything to clean the air assist fan. I follow the instructions here:


it’s the screw holding the belt on, I can’t turn it at all so I can take the belt off. Sorry, I didn’t mean to be confusing. Sometimes language fails me!

I haven’t needed to hold my work down with anything, I hadn’t even thought about magnets! But I’ve not used them.

I want to try the vacuum that you’re suggesting but I’m kind of confused by what you mean?

I think it isn’t the wording, but the image I’m trying to put together. Does the belt not move back and forth with the printer head? I never have to undo any screws when removing belt. I think that is where my confusion is.


Don’t loosen anything. Simply follow the Glowforge instructions.


An ordinary canister vacuum with a hose.The smallest will do. A slice of dead bicycle tire stretched to the end of the vacuum hose with enough left to go around the exit of the blower or any other thing you can manage. I currently have an old C-Pap hose stuck on that I use to lift cut pieces out of the surrounding material without moving the material, and also use it to suck up excess crumbs on the grill.

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Well, I got it off without unscrewing the roller and I got it cleaned. But now the belt won’t go back on. I spent a few hours working on it like in the official instructions and all I have to show for it is sore fingers and a headache. I’m guessing there’s a trick to it that I’m not understanding.

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Here is a video that may be helpful produced by a long time Glowforge owner. Start watching at about the 5 minute mark for how to get the belt back on.:


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