New printer head for passthrough problems

I get error messages when i try to use the passthrough option, unable to measure/align material, so the print cancels and never happens. I can do cuts that are the regular bed size. Support told me that I need to replace my printer head, almost $500. Has this helped anyone else? I am a little reluctant to buy a new part when it “might” be the problem.

The pro passthrough alignment magic is done using the camera on the bottom of the print head, so it’s just about the only part that can be involved in that working or not AFAIK.

If you don’t want to spend the $500, you can still do passthrough cuts, just without the machine aligning it for you. There were 4 years or so when tens of thousands of people owned Glowforge Pro machines and this software did not yet exist. We sliced our designs manually, and aligned the steps manually. Scoring registration marks at 1 power on some painter’s tape tells you if you’ve got the alignment right before actually cutting anything.


I’m guessing your unit is out of warranty and that you did not attempt passthru functions until now? I’m actually asking whether your head was always defective.

Hello. Yes, you are correct. It is out of warranty and this is the first time i am attempting the passthrough function.

thanks for your quick reply and helping me out!!
Diana Zachry

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I would exhaust all options before buying a new printhead because if you have enjoyed your machine for a number of years without the passthrough, you can probably get along without it for a bit longer.

Lining up passthrough cuts is helped by having numerous points of contact rather than single points. You can experiment with cardboard and add extra elements to your design. You can try adjusting the light shining in the Glowforge if that may be a contributing factor and you can adjust your designs in such a way that manual alignment would be adequate.

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Yeah, that would normally be a warranty replacement. I happen to have two heads. Both cut and engrave perfectly and have almost spot-on alignment. But only one works with a specific precision task similar to how the passthru is implemented. If everything is clean the problem is likely a similar head issue. Though I honestly don’t know the specific reason.

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since the alignment is done with the two smaller lenses on the print head, have you made sure they are clean, and nothing has crept under the lens, blocking it?

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