I don’t see a laser and it is not cutting

Hello. My glowforge has been wonderful. All of a sudden it has stopped printing. I don’t see a laser and it is not cutting. If my vision serves me correctly, it looks like its out of “laser juice”…lol. What is the problem? What do I need to do?

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When was the last time that you went through a cleaning process with your glowforge?

I have had many of times that the laser is just not firing and a true recleaning and seating of the head takes care of it.

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I edited your title so it’s easier for a staff member to see what the problem is. Fingers crossed it’s something easy.

After you do the cleaning suggested try to print the Gift of Good Measure (it’s in your dashboard) on any piece of PG material you have - or if you don’t have any on something else. Post pictures of your GFUI showing the commands on the left all the way to the name of your machine on the right, the front and back of the material, and the time you ran the print and a staff member can see from the logs what it’s reporting.


OOOOhhhhhh…wow…Thanks for that information. I guess now its time for me to get to the nitty-gritty of my machine. Ok, so great…is there a step by step guide to cleaning? I will try and find something on You-tube as well. Because I don’t want to mess anything up!

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Thank you for that feedback. Yes, I would love to show the Glowforge team every move it makes because I am not the best when it comes to following techy instructions and fixing things myself. So that is an excellent ideal. Awesome, thank you for your time.


Lol…oh, and thanks for editing my title. I kept putting in different things and it would say…“that title has already been used”…so I got frustrated and just typed in…“I don’t have a title”. Lol, thanks for that.


Right on time…thank you.

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There is the glowforge guide. They are okay. I have posted on my IG a much simplified version and am working on posting it here. If you have questions on that you can DM me.

You have had your machine for a while and from the sound of it, you have not done much with its cleaning (most people put it off). I truly think a good cleaning would resolve your issue.


You are definitely correct, I have NEVER done a cleaning. This will be my first one and I believe I have had my Plus for a lil over a year, now. I only use it to make my tons of earrings and I love it. But yes, this makes sense. I will also check out your pages to follow along as I clean it. I will probably try to clean it Monday. Gettin ready for Valentines Day…lol

Hello @handbagsbyb

There have been some great recommendations from the community here!

If you are still having trouble after cleaning your printer, I’d like to try a few things to better understand your printer’s behavior.

If your printer head is moving but you aren’t seeing the laser marking your material, we’ll need to do some troubleshooting to determine why this is happening.

First, let’s check to make sure the mirror in the printer head is installed correctly and not in the path of the laser beam.

1. Follow steps 1-5 under the heading Wiping the Mirror in the Printer Head.

2. If you see damage to the mirror or the plastic handle (for example, if the plastic handle has been melted), please check the interior of the printer head for any additional damage. If you notice anything out of place, please take a photo and include it in your reply, so I can help with ordering replacement parts.

3. If the mirror and printer head look good, reinstall the mirror and move to the next steps.

Next, please run a test print. To help me determine the specific source of trouble, I’ll have some questions for you about what the printer is doing while printing.

1. Place a sheet of Proofgrade material in the bed of your Glowforge and open the Gift of Good Measure design.

2. Before you start the print, please select the default Proofgrade settings for the material you are using. Once you’ve selected the material, you will see the word, “Cut”, “Score”, or “Engrave” under each step in the design.

3. Once you are ready, push the button and start the print. While the print is running, please note your answers the following questions:

  • Is the laser marking the material as expected?
  • Is the printer head moving during the print?
  • Do you see a light in the laser tube during the print?
  • Do you hear any unusual noises from the left side of the printer?

4. As the print finishes, leave the lid closed and wait until the fans stop and the lid image updates on screen in the App.

5. If the laser appeared and the print was successful, the likely issue was the setting on the previous print was set too low for the laser to appear. If so, please check your settings and try another print. If the laser did not appear, please move to the next step.

6. Take a close look at the laser tube. If you see any of the issues on this list, please reply and include a photo.

  • Do you see any damage to the inner glass tubes, such as a crack or loose pieces of glass?

  • Do you see anything in the laser tube that looks foamy or bubbly? (When normal, the coolant is clear.)

  • Do you notice any liquid in or around the printer?

Once I get this information, I’ll follow up with the next steps.

I tried to send a video, but I guess the file is too large. So with that being said, the printer is not cutting and now I see no laser. Nothing appears to be wrong and I’ve done everything except air tube cleaning. I see no damage to my inner glass tubes, nothing appears to b cracked or loose, no foam or bubbly substance (that would have been a number 1 factor) and I have no liquid around the printer. If you have an email, I could send you a small video (literally .20 secs and another one .13) I will try and record again.

Your video is fine - the forum is bad for them. Load to to YouTube or Vimeo or similar and then post a link here.

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Waiting for your reply…

Hi, @handbagsbyb

My name is Mercedes and I’m part of the Technical team here at Glowforge.

I noticed you did the Gift of Good Measure but didn’t let it fully complete. In order to finish my logging and investigation, I would need you to run that test for me one more time and wait for the workspace to let you know it’s okay to open the lid.

Could I have you just do that for me one more time?

Could I also have you recreate the following photos for me on your Glowforge?

1. Turn off your Glowforge
2. Open the lid and gently move the Printer Head to the center of the laser arm
3. The top of the Printer Head is held on by strong magnets. Grasping only the top, pull up carefully to remove it and set it aside.

4. Gently pick up the mirror

5. Inspect and clean the mirror

  • Be careful not to touch the mirror surface with your bare fingers.

  • Using a Zeiss wipe, gently wipe the surface of the mirror.

  • Use several passes until the mirror is clean, each time moving to an unused portion of the lens wipe.

  • If the mirror has a spot in the middle of it after cleaning, or is generally unable to be cleaned to a reflective finish, it needs to be replaced. Please take a photo, share it with us, and skip the rest of these instructions.

6. If the mirror is unblemished, replace it carefully
  • Replacing the mirror incorrectly can permanently damage your Glowforge. Fortunately, we designed it to be easy!

  • Hold the mirror by the handle and gently slide it into the notch with the mirror at a 45 degree angle to the top of the Printer Head.

7. Set the mirror gently back into the notch. The Glowforge logo on the handle will face up and sit parallel to the floor. It will rest softly in place - there is no need to push it in.

  • The mirror handle should look like this:

  • It should NOT look like any of the below:

8. Tap the blue handle once. This will help ensure that the mirror is resting properly in place.
9. Replace the top of the printer head.
10. Close the lid of your Glowforge and turn it on.

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Hopefully this is what you need to be able to read what the problem was or is…believe it or not, it printed twice.

Hi @handbagsbyb

When you say it cut twice can you explain what that means? I watched the video and I only saw it cut once, as it’s suppose to. Can you point out the time slot where it prints the second time?

I apologize. It cut twice, the video that I just sent you and a video that cut off on me. I allowed it to finish although my phone stopped recording, but it completed the process.