Poor Engraves and Cuts, Fan Issue and Offline Issue

I have had my Glowforge Pro for almost 2 years now and up until last week have not had a single problem with it. Now I had several problems all hit at once. First, I will just throw my hat into the ring for the Offline issue others are reporting. I too began experiencing this issue last week. Would run a job and then it would immediately go offline after. I work in IT and am 100% sure that when this occurred, there were no network issues on my end.

Second issue is that about every 5 or 6 runs, when the Glowforge finishes, the exhaust fan winds down and the UI display the cooling down message and the exhaust fan is still running on low and will not stop. The magic button lights up orange, but I get no error in the UI, just cooling down. I have to turn it off and back on to stop the fan.

The biggest issue as it is impacting my business is lately I am getting very inconsistent engraves and cuts. Here is a job I ran today on 1/8" Hard Maple.

It didn’t cut all the way through on over half of the pieces. I thought it might be an issue with this piece of wood, but ran 3 more times on other pieces of wood with the same outcome.

There are also spots where the score lines almost look blurry compared to the other score lines.

I do a ton of engraving on Maple veneer as I use it as labels on our candles and recently I have bee having very inconsistent results such as this.

It almost seems that these issues are worse when pieces are being worked in the lower left quadrant of the Glowforge.

Anyone seeing similar issues or have any magic words, this is starting to impact us for upcoming Holiday shows. Also, I do regular maintenance about every 20 hours of run time, so all lenses and components are clean.

The further forward the work is being done, the farther the laser has to be thrown - so things like dust or scratches on the mirrors or lenses can increase errors.

Also, the losing focus can sometimes be because debris has gotten into the channel the lens moves up and down in, in the head - especially check the little tube that goes between the tiny fan on the motherboard and the tube.

When you say

Do mean it didn’t cut in exactly the same spots, or just that some spots didn’t cut? If the latter - do you have that issue using PG and PG settings, or are you using non-PG material and/or settings? If the latter, are you settings input each time or saved - some folks had issue recently with saved settings getting messed up.


Well the good news is I did a deep clean on the Glowforge this morning, including cleaning the air assist fan and did the same job and it came out much better. All cuts were fully through the piece and the score lines were sharp. There was still a little bit of distortion with the engrave parts, but I may have found the overall issue. When I pulled the printer head off to clean the lenses, I started wiping the side lens and it was loose. I unscrewed it completely to inspect it and noticed on the “inside surface” of the lens, there is definitely a scratch. Very hard to capture a pic of it, but I got a blurry pic of it. Hopefully Glowforge support will get back to me so I can get a replacement lens.

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These are available to order directly from Glowforge. Just order one.

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Guess I should have checked the store first. I have never looked in the spare parts category. =)


Having a spare lens, black lid cable and mirror on hand gives quite a bit of piece of mind. :wink:

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Oh no, I’m sorry you were experiencing trouble @RobSaffell.

It looks like @deirdrebeth and @dklgood have provided some excellent troubleshooting steps and the trouble is resolved.

Is there anything else we can help with?

Hi Jeremy! I am still having lots of trouble getting consistent results. I am waiting to receive the new lens, but I am beginning to believe the issue is not with the lens. I made these labels labels last night and they came out perfect (as they always did up until 2 weeks ago).

I ran another batch right after these finished and some labels came out alright, but others came out horrible.

I didn’t change any settings, I placed the new sheet of veneer in approximately same spot on the crumb tray. In this pic you can see one label came out almost perfect, but the one right next to it came out terrible. If this were a lens issue, I would expect the results to be fairly consistent, not wildly different on the same job.

Here is a side by side after unmasking of a label from the good batch and one from the second, bad batch.

The engrave didn’t even penetrate through the mask in several places and the scored text at the bottom is not sharp and legible as it is on the left label.

I am also still having the issue every 5-6 jobs where the UI says still cooling and the exhaust fan run on low and will not shut off until I power cycle the Glowforge.

Also, I called the support number this morning and waited on hold for about 50 minutes and then got an automated message to leave my name, phone number and a description of the issue and someone would call me back, but then didn’t allow me to leave a message, it just disconnected the call. I would appreciate some assistance from support.

In your last photo, the one on the left was engraved at the correct focus height, and the one on the right is what you’d get if you engraved the same design but at the wrong focus height. That should narrow down what’s going wrong to something involving the focus setting… the autofocus dot missing the material, or the glass windows on the bottom of the print head dirty, something wrong with the focus mechanism itself that moves the lens up and down in the print head like debris in that cavity, or some kind of software bug resulting in the wrong focus height being used.

I agree, the more I fiddle, the more I think you are right. Support just got back to me and wanted me to print the gift of good measure and encountered the same issues. Hopefully they can help isolate the issue and get it resolved. I’m pretty much dead in the water at this point. I did also notice when I did another inspection today that the wheel on the top right side of the laser arm is cracked, so hopefully they can get me a replacement as well. Time to get a second machine for redundancy! =)

I am unsure why I am getting this email. I not only replied to the Glowforge staff member that commented on this forum post letting him know that I am still having major issues and have not received a response yet, but I also have replied to the auto-email I received from when I emailed my issues into the support email address, again with no reply yet. I am completely dead in the water, It will not print clearly or cut completely anymore. I have detailed the issues out in the forum post and many pics send via email to the support email address. I have hundreds of labels and earrings to make for our biggest show of the year on Dec 3rd and I cannot make anything right now. I am begging for help… please help!

I’m sorry for the delay and confusion @RobSaffell! I see you’re working with my colleague David in an email thread and we’ve found a solution for you there. I’m going to close this post.