Overheating

Glowforge was working great this morning, but this afternoon it says it is cooling and has been stuck for over 20 minutes. Yes, it is in the mid-eighties in our garage, but shouldn’t it cool off more quickly? We experienced this same thing on Sunday. The unit would not run for hours, all we got was the yellow light.

Or is this a bug?

Is anyone else having this issue this afternoon?

Depends on whether it is a Basic or a Pro. If a Basic and the ambient temperature is in the 80s then the unit will NEVER cool enough to operate once it reaches the limit. The Basic has passive cooling. You can’t use ambient air in the 80s to cool to the 70s. The Pro will cool down somewhat using a active Peltier cooling system but it might take a while.

1 Like

Sorry I didn’t include that info. It is a Pro. Thanks for replying.

BTW: It cut for 15 seconds before it shut down. Just FYI.

Many of us in the other 48 states have the opposite problem. My GF space finally made it up to 51F today for the first time since Christmas.

4 Likes

Well it finally finished. Over 3 hours for a 6 minute cut. Looks like it’s shaping up to be a long frustrating summer. I’m off to look into cooling my garage. Sigh.

Thanks for your help @rpegg!

@banishspam Your GlowForge Pro is designed to print in an operating environment between 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 Celsius) and 81 degrees Fahrenheit (27 Celsius). Printing outside these ranges may cause your unit to pause before starting, or to pause periodically during the print for cooling. This isn’t harmful, but it can make your print take a little longer.

You can try any of these things to improve warm-weather performance:

  • Try printing with no material on the bed (so as not to generate smoke and fumes) and no exhaust hose attached. If this works, then the problem may be that your exhaust hose is constricting the flow of air out of the unit, preventing cooling.
  • Examine the bottom-right side of your Glowforge. There are air intake vents, and if they become obstructed, it could make cooling less effective.
  • Try pointing a fan at the right side of your Glowforge. If there is warm air around the intake, this could help it cool off.
  • Power off your Glowforge and allow it to cool, then power it on and print immediately. When it sits idle, the fans are off, so heat can build up.
  • Just wait. Your print may take a little longer when it’s warm, but your Glowforge will protect itself and make sure it cools enough to prevent any loss of power or damage. And it’s clever enough to pick up from exactly where it left off, even if it loses Wi-Fi during the print!

However, when you say your Glowforge shut down, did your Glowforge power off by itself? Or were you refering to the pauses?

1 Like

Thanks for the reply. I misspoke, the printing stopped (paused) for over an hour. Seemed a little excessive after a 15 second cut at 1000/full power.

I did research where the intake was and put a fan on that side of the unit to move the air.

Thanks for the info about not letting it sit idle. I’ll turn it off between long production pauses on hotter days.

We are looking at getting some sort of pucks or a sturdy mesh stand to lift it a bit more and increase the intake air flow.

Living in southern CA we have more 80+ days than cooler ones and running an AC in our garage would be costly.

We’re still thrilled with our Glowforge, we just need to learn how to keep it happy.

Thank you for a wonderful product & responsive customer service.

2 Likes

What if you didn’t run AC in the whole garage? A few people have talked about constructing little enclosures for their units and then just cooling the enclosure. Which should be much faster and cheaper than cooling the big space.

2 Likes

Thanks, Erin. We talked about this too. We may end up building a cool box.

Even down here in MS/TN border country, the idea of an A/C that only had to cope with a few cubic yards of enclosure seems to be the way to go. Probably the smallest portable unit available would be more than adequate.
:upside_down_face:

You mean like the chiller you use with every other type of laser cutter. It is like a tiny AC or fridge that just cools the water, not the whole room. GF was supposed to have that built in.

My perspective is to extend the possible operating conditions for my GF unit outside the specification that the designers created it to cope with, by controlling the ‘ambient conditions’.
:upside_down_face:

1 Like

The one I have on the Redsail won’t work over about 90F - doesn’t cool fast enough to keep up with long jobs and it was spec’ed for a 120W laser not the 60W I’m using it on. Once the coolant reaches about 30C it can’t bring it back down as fast as the laser is dumping heat into it. So I can get about a half day of use out of the Redsail when the temps are over 90F before I need to shut it down and let the cooler run - I ended up adding A/C (15,000 BTU/hr) to that space so it would operate longer.

Easy calculation to dimension the chiller to match the tube though. Don’t know why they got it wrong.

I’m glad I was able to help.

I’ll move this to Beyond the Manual so the conversation can continue.

1 Like

The ambient is too hot - even your refrigerator has problems keeping cold when the heat gets high enough - sooner or later it can’t dump the heat as fast as it builds up because the gradient between the coils and the ambient air isn’t enough to support dumping the heat. The chillers don’t have a lot of heat exchanger area.

This overheating/pause issue happened to me to day. I was wondering why and figure out that our AC broke. Uhhhhhggggg. When it was pausing and then cooling off then coming back on the temp in the room was about 80-82. Has anyone every tried maybe putting a thin tray in their GF off the the side out of the way of whatever your cutting with a thin pice of dry ice on it? Don’t laser the ice but it may keep it nice and cool in there.

It is more the temperature of the air flowing over the radiator that matters, rather than the internal temperature of the case. You would be better putting the ice outside the air intake on the left.

Best would be on the radiatoritself but obviously that would drip into the electronics underneath and blow it up.

Maybe elevate the GF and place cold packs near the intake?

Yes it might help.