How long should I leave the Glowforge on?

I’m sure this is probably in the forums somewhere but I keep wondering and haven’t found anything in my quick search.

How long should I leave the Glowforge on? I’m always there when it’s actually making cuts, but I mean between cuts. Is there some recommendation?

I feel like this machine should have a sleep mode cough, cough Hopper cough, cough, since everything anymore seems to. It feels strange turning it on and off all the time, so I’ve been trying to compile cuts together so I only turn it on once and make some cuts right away. Inevitably, I think “Oh, I should go cut this next!” and I run off to my computer (which at the moment is nowhere near the :glowforge:) and end up spending more time than I intended to put a design file together. Then I get distracted, check the forums, talk with my wife and kids, and next thing I know the :glowforge: has been sitting there running for 20 or 30min for no reason.

If I know I’m gonna be a few minutes, should I turn it off? Is it okay if I’m gonna spend all evening cutting to just leave it on the whole time, even if there’s some extended periods where I’ll be on the computer putting the files together?

Ironically… I just cut the Heart of Tafiti (what can I say, the ocean chose my daughter…) and came down here to start my next project when the question came up, so it’s been running while I type this.


I leave mine on during the day when I’m working with it - which can run to several hours since I spend a lot of the time designing rather than cutting.

But I generally turn it off at night and if I’m out of town. We get power surges and even though it’s on a strip, I don’t like to chance something going bloowie.


So far, mine is usually on for a few hours at a time once a day (with the occasional turn it on, run a job turn it off when I have a random thing my kids want to make in the middle of the day).

I just feel like when I leave it running and walk away, after a few minutes of not printing anything, it should put itself to sleep until I wake it with the button or through the UI to refresh the bed image.


Believe Dan made some mention to it losing accuracy if it had gone an extended time without a power cycle and the subsequent head homing exercise? A bug they were working on. I’ll see if I can find a link.

Edit: Dans statement was about rebooting after a number of prints - as it relates to placement accuracy


I leave my desk top computer on 24/7 and I started this way with the :glowforge: now I turn it off when I go to work or bed.


That’s good to know! Thanks.

I agree I think a sleep mode and a shutdown sequence should be part of the app. I know they don’t really change how it is used but makes it more user friendly


on the contrary, i think a good sleep mode would change it a bit - you could go to the UI from your computer or mobile device, when you do the servers ping your laser and wake it up, and by the time you get over to it, it’s calibrated and blinking, ready to cut your design.


Considering it only takes about 2 minutes to calibrate, and restarting assures its accuracy I usually turn it off if I anticipate more than say 20 minutes before I’m ready to print again. No need for it to sit there humming doing nothing for extended periods.
I waited a year and a half for one of these - I’m not that impatient (anymore :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:).


i’m not talking about being impatient, merely user-friendly design. the switch is in an awkward position depending on how you store the laser, for example, and i don’t necessarily like using power bars as power switches for devices. a good sleep or generally app-controlled boot / wake button would be nice.

especially then you could schedule reboots to mitigate the compounding bug before it gets fixed.


I shut mine down if I know I’m not going to be printing anything more that day, or if the noise would interfere with something else in the room where it currently is. The fan is kinda loud even when not doing anything. Any idea on idle power consumption?


Same SOP. I fired it up at the beginning of the day and shut it down at the end. Via ‘Alexa, Turn on the Glowforge’ & ‘Alexa, Turn off the Glowforge’. Start to cut is about 2~5 mins. Which is about the time it takes for either me or my wife to sit down and fire up the app of choice.

I would leave it running if there was a time out/idle for the lid LEDs ( i.e. 15~20 mins with a WOL like function via the UI). At night the unit completely illuminates the office and the hallway and shines in under the door of our bedroom. (I know first world problems.)


The mysterious glowing creature in the locked room…


I hope we get to see your “heart of tafitti”. It sounds like you are having lots of fun with your kids and the glowforge!

1 Like

Well, since you asked…

And yes, my kids and I are having a blast with our :glowforge:!


I am in the 20 minutes or more group of turning it off. It helps having Alexa do it.
Or right now lots of on and off since it seems they are doing more updating heh. Updates like daily now around the 3 pm mark.


Not an official recommendation, but we leave it on during the day and turn it off at night.


do you always use the switch on the unit itself, or do you turn off a rack / ups / power strip / app-controlled outlet, etc?


The switch.