Laser Tube Replacement

Hello Forgers!

I have had my GF since the beginning (actually I was at the tail end of the beginning as I purchased my machine a few days before the pre-order special ended.) Over the last 4 years, I have enjoyed great success with my GF Basic but have been noticing a steady decline in laser power. (Yes, clean lenses, level tray, flat materials, etc. etc.) To compensate, I’ve been running the laser at lower speeds which has gotten me by but it seems it’s time to get the tube replaced.

Has anyone else had any recent experience with tube replacement as quoted in the FAQ (

I’ve been considering moving up to a larger laser (which costs significantly more than a laser tube replacement.)


Have you asked support about this? They can change calibration on the fly these days, might be able to get some more life out of it yet.


I originally went through support in July of last year and they quoted between $400 and $1000 with $200 shipping to assess and repair the machine.

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I might try again because I think the adjustments they can make have changed.

I got my tube replaced, but I don’t know if I’d call it “recent”.


What sort of issues were you having that prompted you to get the tube replaced? Did it flat out quit working?

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I have a growing fear mine is nearing the end.


It could be a batch of particularly thick and anti-flat Baltic birch that is giving me trouble.

The voices in my head cannot decide.


My power supply died. I opted to replace the tube since I’d already shipped it to them. It was a preemptive tune replacement.


Yes it can definitely be this. I’ve had it range from 0.117 to 0.135, it’s pretty inconsistent.

Yes, but if you use the auto-focus and set the thickness manually, it should still cut through the material.

Not necessarily. If you’re using proper “just barely enough power to cut my material” settings (which is the goal, right? No flashback, less charring, etc) , going from .117 to .135 will result in incomplete cuts just by virtue of having more material to cut through.


Noticed that my machine had issues cutting all the way through some regularly-printed files, and think it’s the tube. I haven’t had my machine for as long but I think I use it more often than the average person.

I see the support instructions for not cutting all the way and I’ve tried the troubleshooting advice (clean lenses, crumb tray, flatten material, etc.) I usually do those to solve the issue but it is persistent today.

Is there a way to replace the tube at home or is that not something they do? Need to dig up some PG mats to print GoGM for support but seems like it could take a while to get everything straightened out

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The laser tube is not replaceable at home.

My machine’s turning 3 years old this month and it’s just gotten to the point where it no longer reliably cuts through PG thick draftboard at the PG settings. I’ve replaced all the optics with new parts from the spare parts store, even got a new crumb tray, thoroughly cleaned the AA fan and exhaust fan, and it just doesn’t quite cut through the material in parts of the jobs, every time.

I’ve tried multiple batches of PG material – virgin and from before the redesign of the labels – no luck. I have to run the cuts at a lower speed now. I’ve put over 1000 long full-power cuts on the machine, so I’m guessing it’s the tube wearing out too.

Worst part is I can’t ask customer support for help. They’ll tell me to cut the Gift of Good Measure at PG settings, and that design cuts through consistently. It’s my own designs that have more intricate details that won’t cut through. Long straight parts of those designs cut through but the detailed parts don’t quite make it through most of the time, and those parts will break if I try to push them the rest of the way through the board by hand.


I’m currently in this loop. So far they’ve offered a refurb machine though the cost will “depend on the repairs necessary for my machine.” With that and shipping, the cost estimate ranges from $600 to $1000 which is more than the stated tube replacement in the FAQ.

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Here’s the latest, it appears that the $499 replacement and realignment stated in the FAQ is not an option:

“I’m afraid we don’t currently offer the laser tube as a spare part, though we’re working on a replacement tube parts package available for purchase. Note that these will be sold as spare parts only; the replacement tube parts package will not come with instructions.”

The FAQ speaks of two things:

  1. “Out of warranty, we’ll replace it and realign it for you for $499, including roundtrip shipping within the US.”
  2. “We’ll also have a replacement tube parts package available for purchase. Note that these are sold as spare parts only; the replacement tube parts package does not come with instructions.”

The message you quoted seems to be talking only about #2, the spare parts tube package. Have they actually said that they won’t honor the $499 replace and realign offer? If so, that would be concerning.


I responded quoting #1 – I’m not sure what I’ll do if they can’t honor that offer.

The variable cost is what gets me. If I have to spend $1000 plus tax to repair my Glowforge, my money might be better spent investing into a larger laser with a replaceable tube.


It seems to me if a person sends a unit back for a $500 tube replacement the repair facility will replace the tube but will also perform everything necessary to bring the unit within specs and likely not let it go out the door if there is a safety issue.

If the rubber pass thru seal is split, replace it.
If a cable is worn, replace it.
If the exhaust fan has play, replace it.
If the power supply is slightly out of spec, replace it.

I’m guessing very few tube replacements will only cost the minimum $500.


I suppose that is the issue with buying into a closed ecosystem. The machine operates within a very narrow set of parameters – the internals, save for the material inserted, are all closed to the end user. As is the interface – you must be connected to the internet and use their software to upload and execute the job.

It’s well understood that laser tubes are a consumable, but the pretense that you can get them aligned and replaced for $499 is misleading if every repair results in charges over that quote.


I’m still waiting for a reply from Support – has anyone had any success with the replacement/realignment at the price listed in the FAQ?