How difficult will be to replace the laser tube? A video tutorial NOW would be appreciated

Internationals order DON’T have a lot of time - I really can’t afford to discover that I must spend 2k euro just to replace the tube AFTER the purchase (and maybe after the warranty ends). And, in the end, it’s not even fair from a business and commercial point of view… :smiley:

It’s like gambling. Buy now! It costs less! But you’ll never know if you’ll be able to change a part or if you’ll ever have a place near home in order to do it…or if you’ll need to skyrocket your precious item to the other part of the world just for mantainance. :smiley:

C’mon @dan …we’ve been faithful 'till now, just give us a little perspective… :slight_smile:


No because the warranty doesn’t cover overseas shipping. So if a tube breaks during the warranty period OS customers would probably need to a get a free replacement part, pay for it to be posted and then fit it themselves. One way tube postage will be much less than two way GF shipping.


My effort hasn’t included replacing/removing the tube. Though, it does seem that it will likely be difficult to change without the removal of the left and right top covers.

The quote from Dan earlier in this thread about the sensitivity of the unit’s calibration to dis/reassembly leaves many questions about the ability of users to replace their own tube.

I will say - having removed and reinstalled the covers (a few times), I have not noticed any changes to the camera-to-bed alignment. That’s not to say there hasn’t been any…

However, things like this carefully placed precision shim tell me that it may be a different story once you start fiddling with the tube and its mounts:


Looks like there are at least two shims in there. Raising that block ~15 thousandths evenly doesn’t make sense to me, so it must be the way they’re adjusting the angle of the mirrors inside that block. Seems crude. Shims placed like that would only give one axis of rotation, and both mirrors would be moved in unison.


Indeed it does. I hadn’t noticed that.


I’m sorry for the delay in responding! Please post anything that needs a response in Problems & Support, otherwise it probably won’t be seen for a long time, if at all.

We are just providing the parts. It’s a process that’s straightforward if you’re experienced maintaining laser equipment (and not much different from other devices), and very difficult if not. Given how you framed the question, I’d say - there’ll be someone with the skill to do it nearby, but it may not be you.

At the outset, we won’t be providing instructions because we’re not sure it’s possible for a nontechnical person to install them successfully. Sadly, if we provide instructions, we’re liable and responsible for people using those instructions successfully, which is a barrier we don’t know yet if we can clear. It’s like a car manufacturer selling engines for the cars they produce - they won’t tell you how to install it because they can’t be responsible if you don’t do it right.

That said, I believe the software team has tools to make sure the power output calibration’s properly updated - I don’t know the details but I believe the plan is that you email support the tube’s serial # after it’s installed and the new calibration data is loaded for you.

I want to be conservative here because I know the stakes are high. Unfortunately that means if you are only interested in your Glowforge if you can replace the tube yourself, and you haven’t replaced a laser tube before, I’d have to recommend either waiting until the first customers opine on how tube replacements go, or cancelling and obtaining a refund.


What about your comment that we shouldn’t open the case as it it will affect calibration but the case needs to be opened to access the tube?

After the tube is replaced will the beam path need calibrating or do all tubes line up exactly the same?

1 Like

We’re always conservative in what we recommend. There’s a chance that if you open the case, you will inadvertently worsen your camera calibration, so we recommend against it. If done carefully, though, camera calibration isn’t affected.


Just confirmed with the software team that, if you install a replacement tube, you’ll send us a picture of the QR code on the tube and we’ll update your system account with the correct calibration data.


How is this relevent or helpful?

Using your own logic… you are not an International, you have accepted your own machine with the limitations on tube replacement thus why bother posting in a thread that has nothing of interest to you… except following @palmercr around of course


Hmmmm… With that said, I think Dan’s answer above has answered the question. As for your comments…I apologize if I stepped on your toes.

Looks like you have been very thorough – thanks. It looks to be more complicated than I would have thought.

@dan This is very important for international owners, so can you be specific on the following questions, which by my reading are still unanswered:

  1. Do the left or right tops or lid of the case need to be removed to replace the tube?

  2. After the tube is replaced will the beam path need re-aligning or do all tubes line up exactly the same?

I understand the not wanting to be liable issue and the tube power reconfiguration settings.

Thanks for the help. :australia:


1: Right and left tops do.
2: I believe that most tube alignments don’t require realignment but some do; best to assume it’s required.

@dan @palmercr posted a video replacement tutorial from FSL so in wondering why they don’t have this liability issue. Could you maybe find out if they found a way around that problem?

Secondly, the video mentions draining high capacity capacitors which might be a safety concern if you didn’t because you weren’t advised it was necessary. Seems to me like you need to at least advise customers to take certain precautions during the process. Or, make us watch a video and answer a questionnaire to qualify before we had any comeback?

It seems strange to me that GF can legally cover itself from potential class action by having us sign a waiver but you can’t so that here.


Yes it would be (unless the PSU has a bleed resistor) but in life there are many things where you can injure yourself if you don’t follow instructions. Not providing instructions but expecting people to do it seems more liability to me.


Sorry for the confusion, that was exactly my point. I’m sure that if GF provided instructions with a safety warning they’d have some legal protection if someone injured themselves by not following them. There’s also less likelihood of someone injuring themselves with the benefit of that knowledge. Not providing those instructions (and by extension, the warning) when you know there’s a danger would seem to be a position which is less defensible (ethically and legally). It would also seem to increase the risk of someone injuring themselves. I don’t know why the law would make that the best option :confused:


Seems counter productive to demand a path that their lawyers feel exposes the company to unacceptable risk just because we aren’t lawyers and don’t understand the reasoning. I’m sure with enough pressure from us they could throw up their hands and say “sorry, after further review of the risk we’ve decided against sending replacement tubes”.

The issue is likely some safety and a lot about the target customer’s mechanical and electrical ineptitude . These machines are not exclusively in industrial and maker locations.

Very few companies will send consumers guides on how to repair complex equipment. Phone companies don’t provide instructions to the end user for how to replace a broken screen. Officially there are “no user replaceable parts”. But I have easily replaced many screens in phones and laptops using 3rd party instructions. GF is choosing to do the same.

Yeah, I know. We thought the original plan was to be more of a drop in installation… Blah, blah, blah. It’s not, and nothing is going to change that for delivered units.


“…Very few companies will send consumers guides on how to repair complex equipment…”

Quite true. years ago I had our very expensive Tektronix color laser printer crap out at work. my boss wasn’t about to shell out 8k for a new one. I got them to send me a new fuser. I replaced it and it worked fine.

the fuser was listed as a NON field serviceable part. and they were like if it doesn’t work tough cookies. I was like, gee guys it is a printer, don’t get so impressed with yourselves. My Cell Sorter is much more complex and it uses Frickin laser beams too. :slight_smile:


I agree with you, exept one part:

The screen in a phone isnt a consumable, so it breaks when you throw your phone on the floor, but if you handle your phone with care you won‘t have to exchange your screen.

Something else are the batteries in your phone, but also there when you treat them well they last a long time and many phones have changeable batteries for that reason.
So for us as international customers - in my opinion - its a legitimate question if the tube as a consumable will be a replacable item so that the gf works afterwards as good as when the factory would replace the tube.