Loud vibrating noise

Has anyone else had this problem… When the Glowforge starts to print it makes a very loud vibrating noise from the back left side of the machine. We thought it was the exhaust fan.We vacuumed it and cleaned it thoroughly as we always do, and it still does it. I’m afraid if I use it something will happen. If anyone has any ideas, I’d appreciate it. Lisa

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Does the vibration continue throughout the print?

There are have been some posts about the casing around the back exhaust having a potential for resonance vibration.

You did shine a light inside the exhaust fan to ensure there isn’t anything caught that can’t be vacuumed out to double check?

How is your clamp ring? Have you switched to a screw clamp style for extra hold? Is the clamp ring hitting something that it can vibrate against?

What is the surface like under the Glowforge?

One additional question: has it always made this vibration since you started or is it new? I couldn’t tell from your post.


Mine does that as well…only for a few seconds when it moves to start a engrave then stops. I was worried at first but continued lasering for a couple days without any problems. Figured it was a vibrational thing and now it’s just the sounds my laser makes. Nothing lose, nothing stuck, fan runs, clean it once a week just to be proactive…so I’m just being hopeful and not worrying about, and just watching if anything changes. Fingers crossed

Hi, yes it does vibrate throughout the cut. I have vacuumed it try to see if anything is stuck, there’s nothing stuck I don’t know if the fan motor is going. I have orders I need to fill and I don’t know if I should even run it. The clamp is on their fine we checked all that, I don’t know what else to do. Sometimes it takes a blue for his people quite a while to get back to you on things. I’ve already had to replace it once because it kept saying lid open, now that Christmas season is coming up and I have things I have to make I can’t afford to have a down for a week and a half.

Sorry for not being clear. The surface under it is a sturdy work table that can hold up to 500 pounds. It’s been on that since we received it in January, this vibration just started the other day.

I have exactly that issue and have figured out that the goop and gum from evaporated wood has gotten into everything, from the fans in the laser head to the exhaust. I have requested help from support to use a cleaner that will dissolve the goop, and told that to preserve my warranty I need to coordinate with them in using the cleaner they recommend. The cleaner has issues that they recommend that it be used outside, but that is not a possibility for me, just as packing the machine up and sending it back to Seattle is a last result that will be very difficult.

It would have been a very good thing if the exhaust fan (and many other parts?) had been designed like the Laser head to just pop in place with a plug-in control cable but that has not been the case, and is harder to change than the software. We can clean off much of the machine as that goop builds up but the exhaust fan is not on that list, and even when the chatter stops and the fan spins up a lot more, but that goop slows the fan a lot even when there is no chatter. Causing the machine to leak smoke into the room whereI have this eating up any stray smoke

I have ordered the cleaner they recommend but it has not arrived as yet.

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What cleaner did they recommend?


What is the name of the cleaner?

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I’m fascinated to find out what happens when you spray that on plastic. I’m betting on a moderate degree of sadness (unless you use it in a poorly ventilated area, in which case there may be giddiness followed by unconsciousness).


Yeah, it says not recommended for use on acrylic, polycarbonate, etc. But if they recommended it then I would think it’s on them if it causes issues.

But $36/can from Amazon! I’m waiting to see what the results are before firing up my Amazon finger :slightly_smiling_face:


Has anyone tried this, and where is it applied without damage?

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Have they told you where to spray it? Into the back where the exhaust fan is, or from the inside facing out of the exhaust fan? I don’t know where you ordered it from, but a place I get some of my things is at a company called RS Hughes, and it’s $21.36 per can. Can you let me know when you get it how it works for you? Lisa

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The 3M site only mentions the non-compatible stuff.
" Product Disclaimer

  • Not compatible with acrylics, polycarbonates, ABS and PS."
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I had the same issue and was afraid the fan bearing had gone bad. I even looked up the model # (thanks @scott.wiederhold) thinking I’d rather replace it than send my precious back across the country.
As a last resort I took a brush to the inside of the fan blades (being a contortionist would be helpful) and cleaned as best I could. It didnt look that dirty but the problem went away. I can only surmise the fan was out of balance due to something like a scrap of mask sticking to it.

If you open the front door, pull the gantry forward all the way (machine off) and have your shoulders at close to crumb tray level, you get the easiest access.


Yeah. The chart was from an official 3M product information page.

BTW: I fully expect this thread to be moved. The product is intended for industrial use and not consumer use. The product doesn’t need a lot of guidance compared to much of the stuff we use every day but given the company’s hesitation on other subjects, I’m doubting the they will recommend it in the open forum.


Let me know when you’re in FL so you can show me how to do that :wink:


Thanks I’ll try that

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Hopefully that works for you. I didn’t hold that much hope because it didn’t look that dirty. That vibration was severe enough that if the bearing wasn’t bad - it would be soon from operating so far out of balance. That thing does like 13,000 RPM if I recall.

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