Help with rubber track doo-dad

Hi guys, could use some help. For background, we had an issue with the GF and they sent us a new backlid black cable as it wasn’t focusing correctly. That was about 2-3 months ago, it has worked pretty well since then. We’ve had to do the “center the laser head under the camera trick” a few times. Last week I made a few things and the engraving was off by .75 inches maybe. I turned it on yesterday, got an orange light and the app said “focusing” and still had the picture of the last thing in the bed. So I went to do the centering trick and when moving it it felt a bit off, I looked and on the right side, the rubber track doo-dad (technical term) was visibly loose, like it was stretched out bad, not taught at all. I looked to see if it was off, but it just looked stretched. The left side was fine. Could this be the issue and if so, what is the fix. Here are a few pics showing how stretched it is vs the left being taut.

PS - I know I need to clean it, this was just for a quick engrave.

Support does not monitor the forum, so you will need to send photos of your issue to them. While waiting for an answer, other users like me will offer any assistance we may be able to offer based solely on our own experience.

The slack belt would not trigger the orange light, but could be the cause of distorted engraves.

Can you put your phone on the floor of the Glowforge and photograph the pulley wheels on the side with the slack belt? Have you checked to make sure the white ribbon cable is securely clicked into the printhead?

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I already double tapped support, thanks.

I’m not home at the moment, i’m at work. It was a touch cold in the garage where we have the printer so that may have been the orange light. Will check all cables after we do a thorough cleaning later. My main concern is ordering the part and waiting for a long time. Do others sell this part, getting parts from GF proper is usually cost prohibitive even if in stock. (25 bucks for shipping…)

Spare parts - belts and pulley wheels are now available in the Glowforge shop. If the $25 shipping cost prevents you from repairing your machine, it seems it really isn’t of much value to you.

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Here’s the official article on adjusting belt tension.

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I see the spare parts available, is it recommended to replace the pulley wheels at the same time. our GF is just about 2 years old. Thanks!

Thanks Chris for the article, we’ll try that first to stay in business, but order the parts just to have some on standby.

If the pulley wheels aren’t cracked or broken, don’t mess with them.


If it gets below freezing in your garage it could wreck your Glowforge as frozen water in glass is not good. This is quite aside from the minimum operating temperature that could throw the orange light.

That is only if the total is under the minimum, If you bring the total up to $100 (with pg wood for example) you save the shipping but pay more total perhaps.

If the drive cable is like the gantry cable it is able to be shortened and I think there is a place to tighten it as well.

Worth looking carefully as it is way cheaper than a trip back to the mothership and $1,250 in fees :grimacing:

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doesn’t get below freezing, we’re in Va and we put a blanket and space heater on if it gets too cold, its been out there the whole time, not an issue with that but thanks for the advice.
Yea gonna toss in some more stuff.
We are going to check all the cables after a good cleaning as well. Might just be a maintenance day.

may I ask why? I’ve seen a lot of people talk about replacing them here in the chats, seems like a good time to replace the belt and wheels, at the same time no?

The belts are “life of the machine” parts. Many of us have had our machines over 4 years without issue.

I have 3D printers and a CNC router that use the same kind of belts that are much older than my Glowforge, they are still working just fine.


I understand that, but that doesn’t mean they can’t fail.

Normally the wheels and belts don’t fail. Had mine for 5 years and they seem like new to me. In my opinion the gantry wheels most often fail because of the way folks remove the head plate. Twist the plate funny when removing or installing and a tremendous force is put on those wheels. The other wheels experience a much lower failure rate. I also believe most of the belts that appear stretched are a slipped adjustment. Now of course no explanation is universal. Some wheels and belts may fail because of simple wear but I’m just going with what I have seen on the forum over the years.


first course of action is going to be attempt to tighten the belt. I’m still on the fence whether to just order the parts to have them on hand, I saw a few months ago that parts were hard to come by, people had to go to Etsy and find 3D printed wheels, etc. Might be worth is just to have them around.

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If you have the time and money you could go ahead and replace things. My experience is unbroken things often break when fiddling with them with good intent. Of course nothing wrong with ordering spares just in case.


There is always Amazon. The belts are pretty standard and you get way more than needed for half the price.

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super helpful, bet you have lots of friends.


if it is working… leave it be! I could not agree more!!!


What are the GF size wheels by the way?

I think they are pretty standard but measuring them with the caliper will tell the tale. Also, I looked and if you are sure the belt is stretched, both ends are secured to the gantry, so it is possible to make shorter.

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