New unit having same alignment problem


#1

Previous post here:

So my new unit, after a month of use is experiencing the same issue as my previous. I’m pretty sure this is a buildup of sticky resin on the belt on the underside of the gantry. I have only used cured hardwood for engraving, and haven’t used any cleaning products (besides the alcohol wipes on the lenses, I thought maybe the glass cleaner in combination with some resinous woods I engraved had contributed to the problem on my previous GF) , but cleaned thoroughly with a detail vacuum and compressed air. I have cleaned the belt and area as well as I can, but it seems like this might be a normal wear and tear issue for this part. I’m not sure why I seem to be the only one experiencing this, but I believe it will consistently happen. I’d like to replace the belt to confirm that this is the issue, and going forward I may just have to replace this part regularly. I’d like to ask GF for a replacement belt, and instructions on how best to replace it myself.


#2

Yeah, that’s a mess all right. :neutral_face:

If you can see visible gunk on the belt, there are instructions here for how to remove the Carriage Plate and remove the belt for cleaning or replacement. I would wait to hear from Support that you should try to do that though, they might see something else causing it. Looks like it might be a bit tricky to reinstall.

Before you do that, you might want to check the condition of a few other things for buildup:

  1. Check the bottom of the Print Head - there are two small windows on either side of the lens opening that need to be kept very clean. If they are dirty or obscured, clean them with a Zeiss wipe and see if things improve.
  2. There is a little fan in the Print Head on the back - that one needs to be checked to see if it is clean or has a lot of buildup on it.
  3. There is a larger fan on the Carriage Plate. That one should also be checked for buildup of crud. (Look down behind the gantry with a flashlight to see it if you don’t want to take it out.)
  4. Check the condition of the Exhaust fan at the rear left of the machine while you are at it.

If either of those front fans has a lot of buildup, it’s going to hamper the air flow that keeps buildup from happening in the first place, and since you do a lot of heavy engraving on resinous materials, you are probably going to have to clean them on a regular basis. (Looks like more than once a month based on your usage.)

Canned air and vacuuming will not remove resin buildup. That has to be wiped off. It’s sticky and gets almost baked on. I have instructions for how I cleaned the exhaust fan here, and it’s not a Glowforge approved process, but it worked. I use the same process on the head fan and carriage plate fan, without removing them from position, and it keeps everything blowing the way it’s supposed to.

For cleaning under the gantry, I would try this:

  1. Unplug the machine.
  2. Take off the Print Head and carefully set it aside. (Check the bottom for buildup and look at the fan on the back. Clean anything that needs cleaning. Zeiss wipes for the windows and lenses.)
  3. Get a small rag or paper towels and a bunch of Q-tips for detailing. Mix up a 50/50 vinegar/water mixture. Dip the towel in the solution, wring it out so that it is moist, not wet, and start carefully wiping the gantry down. Top, underneath, back…whatever you can reach with the rag. It removes the resin buildup better than anything I’ve found, and I use it on everything except the electronics. Use the Q-tips around the wheels, or anyplace you can’t reach with your hand. And try not to use too much liquid.

Use a mirror and flashlight to see what you’re doing…I’ll bet you can get most of the resin buildup off of the gantry itself.

And let it dry overnight with the lid up to make sure there’s no liquid left in there before you fire it back up again.

Since the woods you are burning are what is causing the resin buildup, you might want to switch to a less resinous wood to keep from having to clean so often. Unfortunately, heavy engraving seems to cause faster buildup than cutting, and I usually clean everything (tube, bed, gantry, tracks) after a heavy engraving session. If you don’t let it build up, it’s easier and quicker to just give it a quick wipe down and it’s good to go.

Hopefully it just needs a little cleaning and you’ll be ready to hit it again. :slightly_smiling_face:


Laser shifts by 1/4 inch in the middle of the cut
#3

Thanks @Jules, I cleaned with the vinegar and I think this will do the trick. I removed the carriage plate and cleaned the belt. I actually covered the carriage plate with seran wrap and soaked the belt in the vinegar solution, this worked perfect. The back wheels(?) were gunked up, as those you can’t really see, or get to without removing the plate, which I had never done before. I get nervous taking things apart, but I think it’s pretty straight forward. I will plan on doing this cleaning maybe once a week depending on use.


#4

Great! Fingers crossed and let us know if it worked. :grinning:


#5

It worked perfectly, and is operating like it’s brand new. Thank you!


#6

Oh fantastic! (High five!) :grinning: :tipping_hand_woman:


#7

Glad to hear it!

Thanks for the help @Jules. I’m going to close this thread - if the problem reoccurs, go ahead and post a new topic. Thanks for letting us know about this!


#8