Look for in-person tech support in NYC

Hi all. I am having a problem with my Glowforge basic, which I ordered on October 23, 2015. It arrived in winter 2020 - Hurray! - but is now no longer working. After rounds of support from here, on this board, and recently with their very informative and responsive Glowforge Experts, I’ve been told I have no choice put to spend another $1,253 (nearly half of what I spent in 2015) to get a refurbished one. No other option.

Instead, I wondered if there is anyone in the New York City area who is interested and capable in doing some in-person tech support. If so, please let me know, and help me to keep the dream alive!


I don’t know of any in person support people in NYC. You might get more assistance if you stated the issue that Glowforge said could not be resolved…tube? mother board? electrical supply, etc.


Sure, sure. The problem at the moment is the camera - it only shows a blurred version of the material and nothing I have done to clean the camera seems to make a difference. Among other things it will not recognize the material.

I don’t know if this is the source of this issue, but when I align a shape over the material, it can be off by an inch in any direction, so I can’t do precision multicuts.

Finally (I haven’t addresses this in awhile) it will cut paper, and cardboard, and foam core. It will cut INTO wood and other materials, but it is REALLY hard to get it to cut all the way through , including at full strength and with multipass.

You are using 'set focus before you place your artwork right?

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Yup. Actually, just before. What’s the difference?

The camera is useful, but not at all necessary for successfully using your Glowforge. There are users in the forum that cover the camera lens because it is a distraction. You can easily select your material rather than counting on the camera to ID it.

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The camera is a very wide angle image that is warped spherically, set focus is used to correct the view to the detected surface of the material. If the focus isn’t at the correct height, the physical representation of the bed image is in error and the placement of the design is also.

It seems to me if the machine calibrates at startup which requires the camera, the machine should still be useable.

Regarding the cut through problem, have you kept the optics clean? A buildup would attenuate the power.

By using set focus first you tell the machine where the top of your material is. If you place your art then use set focus the art will appear to jump when the machine finds the correct height. A simple piece of paper would not be an issue but something 1/2 inch thick would throw the design quite far off if not done in the correct sequence.


I went through the process of taking everything apart and using isopropile and all that to clean and then put it back together. Maybe I just needed to do it again, but better this time.

With good lighting, any film on the optics will be easily seen.
These are what I use. careful because paper towels or even kleenex is abrasive to any lens coatings that may be present on optics like glasses or camera lenses. I’m not sure if there are any used on the laser lens, but I take no chances.

Some blurring is natural due to the type of the lens used. But it may be yours is worse due to the lens being moved (twisted/rotated). It should be glued in place so it won’t turn but some folks have found theirs to be loose or have inadvertently loosened it themselves thinking it should “twist to focus”. Check to see if yours is still glued & immovable. If it rotates easily, try turning it a little bit at a time to see if the image improves.

In addition to the suggestion to use the Set Focus before placing your art on the material, check out the Calibration routine (there’s a link in the Support sidebar on the GFUI home page).

Something to check for this is the little lenses/windows on the bottom of the print head. They’re about the size of a pencil eraser diameter. Make sure they’re clean. They’re used by the GF to figure out where your material is so if they’re dirty the GF’s calculations won’t be accurate and its focusing and power routines will be wrong for the material.

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