I have been getting this Air Assist fan error for about 11 months. Does my machine just need to be serviced?

I have purchased a new filter, a new lens, we’ve cleaned the fan countless times, checked the hose, cleaned out the air hose hookup. I’m really frustrated. When it does finally decide to cut, it doesn’t do it properly, and doesn’t cut all the way through the material or engrave through the material. Not to mention engraving through the sticker on top with the QR code which adds extra unreadbility. It’s wasting hundreds of dollars of materials. I’m regretting purchasing this machine.

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you seem to need to clean the fan that is mounted on the underside of the printhead.

it is the one that blows the smoke away when the laser fires.

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Did you re-seat your printer head following the instructions at the link? (Might just be a bad connection that needs to be cleaned, or re-seated.)

And if you flip the sheet of PG material over before you engrave it, you don’t have to deal with the sticker.


Are you following the GF procedure on cleaning the air assist fan? How to clean the air assist fan
Some times you have to unbolt and remove the fan to clean the inside part. Make sure you install it the same way it came out as it is easy to install it backwards. Also make sure you are not using magnets to hold down your material. Magnets can trigger the same fan alarm.


We’ve followed the instructions for reseating 3 times now (definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over is coming to mind here) and we’ve tried flipping the material too. We keep having problems no matter what we do.

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Next step if you have followed the instructions at the link they provide is to check the cleanliness level of the air assist fan, as @wilsonpf mentioned, so you can check out that link. (It’s more labor intensive, but it’s frequently needed when the fan gets dirty.)


Since you posted four months ago, have you been successfully cutting? If you use Proofgrade materials and Proofgrade settings, Glowforge guarantees it will cut through and if not they will replace the materials. There is not reason to waste hundreds of dollars of materials. The whole point of proofgrade materials is that it works. It is necessary to get a problem worked out rather than keep wasting materials.


Yes. We’ve done all of this too. The fan has been pulled multiple times to clean the machine

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When I use the proofgrade settings (and we’ve only ever used material purchased from Glowforge in the machine) it will not cut through the material

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Then you have to inform Support at the time it happens. They will need you to print a known file such as the Gift of Good Measure on Proofgrade materials with Proofgrade settings and if it doesn’t work properly supply photos and the time/date of the print.


There’s not really anything else we can have you check to rule out common problems. At this point, you might want to run the Gift of Good Measure on PG material and post a picture of the front and back, showing how it much it cuts through, because that’s one of the measures they use for analysis. (Speeds up the resolution if you can already provide it.)

They might also want to see pictures of the cleaned optical components, but they’ll ask for it if they need it. If you want to shoot them while you’re waiting, it will save you time as well.

Good luck!


I’m so sorry to hear your Glowforge is having issues with the air assist fan giving an error. Since you have already cleaned the fan could you please do the following:

  • Check the four contact points on the bottom of the printer head. Press down gently on each of them and let me know if any of them fail to spring back up when released.

  • Take a photo of the back of the printer head similar to the one below and send it to us:

  • Remove your carriage plate and send us a photo of your air assist fan like this one:

Real answer is lick your finger and give the contacts on the carriage plate a rub.

There’s some sensitivity about the connections between the print head and the plate.

It has nothing to do with the state of the fans (or very rarely)

That little clean and spittle is enough to reset the contacts.

I get it on both my machines and proper wipers, alcohol wipes etc don’t work as well as a licked finger.


well isn’t that a pro tip to file away for future reference!


what exactly am i licking the 4 contact points shown above. . .lol

Yep, exactly where your thumb is, centre front - the gold rectangles.

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It’s been a little while since I’ve seen any replies on this thread so I’m going to close it. If you still need help with this please either start a new thread or email support@glowforge.com.