Off the rails

While I was cutting some medium proofgrade plywood last night around 10pm, I heard a thumping sound coming from the GF so I stepped over to see and saw the GF gantry moving at an angle to the front of the machine. Naturally I freaked.

I cancelled the job, turned off the power, pushed the right side backwards to align with the left side. To my surprise, it seemed to click and slip back over the stationary rail.

I printed for a bit after that, and all seemed ok.

Is there something wearing out that I need to be aware of? What would cause this sort of “crash”?

Check the rails to make sure there isn’t any junk or debris on it. (Look under the wheels, turn the machine off, slowly move the gantry back and forth.)

If it happens again at startup, you might have a loose cable under the gantry that can catch and throw the gantry out of alignment.

Watch for it the next time you turn on the machine.


Ok, thanks Jules. I did notice a small triangular shaped piece of draftboard that appeared on the crumb tray from somewhere during my cuts around that time. I don’t remember if that was right after the mishap, but if so, it might have been on the rail.


Also -> Always make sure the material is on the Crumb Tray Grid ONLY.
Stuff on the flat edges will hit the mechanics.

Thankfully I was watching the print the first time I did this and saw the material shift when the gantry came towards the front

So Whoa Yikes and lift the lid stopped any inconvenience.


Thanks for reaching out. I’m sorry for the scare!

Sounds like you were nearby, but this is a good reminder you should never leave the Glowforge unit unattended while operating – always stay within sight.

And it also sounds like you’ve already checked around the rails for any obstructions. If there aren’t any, you are good to print!

I’m going to close this thread - I don’t expect this to happen again, but please let me know if it does by posting a new topic.