Laser malfunction

Hello, so there is no doubt glow forge is a great machine, it has not failed me until recently my work has been coming ou8t blurry, the leather i used to use that cut doesn’t cut anymore and the machine sound different when it starts up. anyone have an idea as to why these things could be happening?

It sounds like you need to clean the machine. When was the last time you did a complete clean of the Glowforge?

what do you consider a complete clean? i clean the lenses almost everyday that I use it i clean the fans i bulb i use an air duster to get the wiring in the back.

You need to clean the fans. The little one attached to the back of the print head, and the big one in the back. It drastically changes the quality of the cuts and the noises the machine makes.

How do you clean the fans? I guess that is a more specific question. They get really gunky when I cut since I cut materials with a lot of glues…like plywood and mdf…air duster wouldn’t have any affect on my fans.

1 Like

ill give it a try thank you I use a duster because I use my machine to cut leather so it just leaves ashes

Here’s the link to the instructions for cleaning the air assist fan:

Cleaning the exhaust fan takes a special cleaner (non-flammable) and the instructions are here:

1 Like

see this is what i mean by blurry and it cuts some leather but it used to cut all no problem without flaming it either

the letters are hardly visible as well as you can see

I have a question also, when the glow forge laser head focuses does that mean the lens inside moves up and down? Because i have noticed that when i take out the lens, the lens is half way out

1 Like

Yup - that’s how it gets it’s 1/2" of focal length.

Okay so i cleaned it and all and i enfraved a key chain out of leather and it didnthe same thing

the holes didnt cut i had to pull the leather fully apart because it didnt cut around either

Upside down lens?


When my machine started sounding different, it was because I had a broken wheel.

That could definitely effect how the machine is performing.

Once I received the new wheel and installed it, everything was back to normal.

But your issue does appear to be focus related? I second @evansd2 , can you check to see that the lens is installed correctly after the cleaning?


How are you focusing on the leather? Are you using set focus or entering a thickness?
And, looking at that last pic you may have put the lens in upside down. It has to be bowl side up.

This topic was automatically closed 32 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.