Laser beam malfunction during an engrave project help!

Hi I was printing a design that I have printed in the past with no problems. The laser engraved part of the sign, but now the laser is no longer engraving. I cleaned lenses, turned off and on, unplugged and plugged back in. I currently have the half finished piece on the bed without the crumb tray. I do not want to move the board to “test” anything else out, because my glowforge does not, and never has, printed accurately as far as the image on the computer vs. the actual item being engraved. This is a special order for a customer, and I’m sick of wasting nice wood trying to figure this machine out!

not to mention I have more orders to fulfill and cannot do anything else until this is figured out. Please help.

Mine is doing the same!! I’m freaking out!

Once you’ve turned it on and off then your print has been canceled - but I get not wanting to move your piece just in case. The standard for making sure it’s not something external is to run the Gift of Good Measure on PG material - note the time and post pictures of the front and back. You can still do that and preserve your placement by putting a piece of tinfoil over your wood, and placing the PG on top of that - you’ll have to do Set Focus since obviously the standard setting will be wrong.

If the laser literally stopped mid-engrave then likely your power has gone out - and that will require a return trip to the mothership for repair. So after you run the GoGM, start looking into backup lasers in your vicinity. Some Joanns have them, as well as other :glowforge: users.


@tsupik85 - support can only help one person per thread, so if you haven’t already sent an email to them you should open your own post in P&S (don’t do both, that’ll slow down their response time)

Be specific, and give details like @jrpalmer did - and if you haven’t already done so, you too should run the GoGM on PG and take photos of the results.

HI @jrpalmer. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve run into some trouble the laser in your Glowforge failing when you tried to engrave a recent project. I completely understand the concern and urgency with this, and will be happy to troubleshoot with you.

I extracted the log files from your printer and reviewed the most recent print attempts. I noticed some canceled prints from earlier today, along with one successful print. Because it seems like this may be intermittent, I’d like to have you run through some checks and a test print to help me review for any next best troubleshooting steps.

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?

These specific checks and test print will help us narrow down any potential cause, and more importantly, find the best path to avoid this from occurring again when you try to print.

@tsupik85 I saw you mentioned you were having similar trouble. Please feel free to write us through email at or create a new Community thread if you have not already done so. This will reach us to troubleshoot your printer and get you back to printing again. Thank you!

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