Loud Clicking during calibration

I was aware of how a stepper motor works, It’s not the motor I was concerned about, It’s all the stuff the motor is attached to that had me worried. that’s still mechanical.

However, I just fired it up, and it did the normal clicks and not the loud ones I remember from the last two times I turned it on. However something odd did happen.

I cut something small, it only took 15-30 seconds, and it cut, cooled off, said ready, and then suddenly turned off. lights out, everything, and the app said it was offline. I was concerned. so I flipped the switch, turned it back on, and it booted up fine, re-calibrated… I paid more attention, and cut something else (first cut broke, I was fitting pieces together and forgot to remove the paper and it broke… first time assembling things.)

The only other question I had hardware wise, is, the laser tube is supposed to light up in the middle while cutting, right? that’s not a defect? because it always did that so I assumed it’s normal, and this is the only laser i’ve ever owned.

Yep, tube lights up in the middle. On the far left side of the tube with full power you will also see what looks like a plasma like display.

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Yeah, that’s more serious and mine definitely wasn’t doing that when it thumped. (Is that the one you had to send back?)

We might be talking about different problems, although of course now I can’t make the head do the thumping to check it out. :roll_eyes:

Mine would thump without touching anything - like a programming command that stopped it. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t hitting the cable though. The head never traveled over the edge of the tray any farther than it is capable of doing normally. It thumped as it traveled forward during the old calibration routine.

Anyway, just a curiosity now, since they seem to have worked out whatever it was that was setting the incorrect limit on it.

I think that isn’t actually possible.

Edit: improve politeness by making it clear that I’m an opionated fellow.


Okay. Don’t know what it was hitting then. :slightly_smiling_face:


After seeing the case where the ribbon cable was creased by the head PCB striking it, I checked the travel of the head to the left, and found the carriage hits a hard stop before contact with the ribbon cable. Just under an eighth inch clearance remained.


Hmmm. All three of my units (PRU and two production) have hit the ribbon cable hard against the stepper motor without any other stop. On my current unit the head is not knocked loose but on the PRU it would kick the head completely off the magnets, leaning significantly, before hitting a stop. It was quite violent.

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My PRU didn’t do it, and neither does this one. But I really can’t see what’s stopping it - it IS physically capable of moving far enough over to contact the cable.

Oh well…another day, another mystery. :neutral_face:

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I find this fascinating…people’s individual ‘clickings’. Don’t remember about in my PRU, but mine does it…like about 5 reps of four clicks each. Reading different posts, it sounds like everyone’s version is slightly different. Someone on here has ‘shave and a haircut’ pattern. I’d love to record all of them and combine them into one, unified recording. Maybe there’s a secret message? :rofl:


I’m pretty sure that’s the inside the head focus calibration. It’s fairly rythmic and it also does it after a print on my GF.


No problem… I’ve been told I am as well. :smile:

Thanks for posting about this. I’m sorry for my slow reply.

If you hear the loud clicking noise and your Glowforge is having trouble calibrating, please:

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

I’m also looking into what happened when your Glowforge powered off.

It looks like what you saw was due to an update. Have you seen this happen again since?

It’s been a little while since I’ve seen any replies on this thread so I’m going to close it. If you still need help with this please either start a new thread or email support@glowforge.com.