Laser Head - Weird Rattle Shake

It’s working now after two or three resets but worried this as a red flag.

I havn’t cut anything for about 3 weeks now (life is busy) but on calibrate stage head shook like that every 20ish seconds. Turned it off and on twice and gently shifted the head and gantry arm the third time and then the machine worked fine

Anyone else seen this? I want to make sure my machine is okay.

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Pretty much everybody has experienced this. They (Glowforge) say it causes no damage. IMHO, you’re fine. Laser on!

If you get stuck in a calibration loop you can turn off the machine, center the head under the camera, then power on.


Whenever that happens, turn off the machine, and then gently move the head underneath the lid camera before turning it back on.

Usually that resets it after just one time. All it means is that the head is starting too far over to the left. (It’s not unusual.)

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Yes. This is a pretty common side effect of the method of calibration. It’s trying to move the head under the camera so it can see the Glowforge logo, but it’s confused about what side of the bed it’s on so it keeps trying to drive left. Easiest workaround is to turn the machine off, gently and slowly move the head under the camera without touching the lens on the side and turn it back on.

You can sometimes make it less likely to occur by paying attention to ambient light hitting the Glowforge and confusing the camera (Windows, lights, etc.) Also material on the bed with head shaped holes in it can be confusing.

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Phew! I must have missed all that in the forums! Yes I did move the head roughly under the camera but I didn’t know that helps the reset.

I don’t think is the light as it was the same as before. The material I stuck in first because I was trying to be lazy and of course could have caused it confusion.

Thanks everyone for putting my mind at ease!

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It sometimes does it with no material because then the head blends in to the background. :blush:

I’ve taken to just moving it a little into the field of view a bit more every time I turn it on. Without that I think it’s better than 50/50 that it bangs into the left side.

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I’m sorry for the worry.

@Tom_A, @Jules, and @markwal are right. To get printing again, please:

  1. Turn off your Glowforge (this is important to avoid damage to your unit)
  2. Open the lid and, using both hands, gently move the laser arm to the center of the bed
  3. Gently move the head under the lid camera
  4. Turn your Glowforge back on

Happy printing!