Power bump, laser being funny

odd thing just happened (super super cold here) we had a power bump mid print (@dan has indicated for us to not use inline suppressors or UPS as the GF is supposed to have built in protection…so why did this fail). the laser stopped firing the head stopped moving but the GF stayed on (lights in the house flickered as well). the UI showed the job progressing, canceled in the UI, opened and closed the lid, head staying in center of machine. I am going to try to send it the cut portion of the job so that this nearly 3 hour job is not a waste (if I hard boot I may loose my alignment and then not be able to cut

incase anyone is curious what a stuck head looks like after a power flicker


ya… that didn’t work the UI indicated that the job was ready. went to push the button the laser would not fire and the head will not move. hard booted the device and the head is just sitting around doing nothing (UI indicates that it is calibrating. ugh this stinks

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well that took a min but the head is re homed, going to re do my jig (blue tape) and hope I can get a perfect line up to cut the disks out, and re do the cut file for the top row and cross fingers

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I don’t want to speak for @dan, but I think he just meant that the GF has circuitry to protect against surges. This will help prevent damage to the unit from transient power surges on the mains, however it won’t keep the unit up and running if there is a loss of mains power of any significant length of time.

Regarding the comment about not using a surge protector or UPS. As a EE, it surprised me to hear they are recommending not to use a surge surpressor. My speculation is that it is because there are lots of crappy ones out there that don’t do much good but which increase the electrical resistance, and that this increased resistance might cause a disruptive voltage drop to the GF during times of peak power usage. Personally, I wouldn’t have a second thought about using a high quality surge suppressor like those from APC.

For UPS, the story is a little different. There are lots of lower end UPS that don’t output a clean sine wave like the mains power provides as input. These can disrupt some circuits, and I gather the GF has something like that. I have a very nice APC Smart-UPS, with 1500 VA and sine wave output, and I don’t think there would be any issues using that.

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Probably too late, but you would have been fine just sending the cut after recalibration (assuming the web app was still loaded on your computer.

My founders ruler got interrupted twice by very short power drops, but alignment didn’t falter at all.

Had to hard boot the laser to finish the job. Took a bit to come back alive

That matches my understanding as well.

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I don’t think that they’re actually against it… it’s that they don’t recommend it. They couldn’t be expected to test every surge protector and UPS on the market. So they can’t recommend it. And if it’s proven out that the surge protector or UPS caused damage to the machine, it would not be covered under warranty.

Tom - thanks for clarifying that.

And if a surge makes it through your house, it won’t be covered by the warranty either.

if the surge protector caused an issue with the GF, their warranty would cover the GF damage. Should anyway - it’ll be a PITA to get it but if GF can prove it so they deny coverage, you’d have a huge advantage. Just get one with the “$1,000,000 coverage for damaged connected devices!” splashed all over its packaging :slight_smile:

Otherwise you’re talking to your homeowners insurance.

Mine is attached to a surge protector.

its a moot point anyway I just wanted support to know about how it handled a power bump or if maybe that was the expected action. I got the replacement device today for my alignment issues.

Mute or moot?

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Never mind. I retract this. It appears they are against it. Which is seriously odd. I have to wonder if that’s correct.

I think they take a lot of these things too far. I can totally understand, from a support perspective, that if something is malfunctioning, you want to eliminate as many variables as possible – it would be a pain to troubleshoot or even replace someone’s Glowforge over power issues and find out it was actually their dollar-store extension cord causing the problem. Similar with “test everything on Proofgrade” or not supporting “non-standard venting” meaning literally anything other than the hose and clamps that came in the box. There’s some rationality behind it, but a tendency to take things to extremes and actually degrade the user experience. And given the slice of problems we can see through forum reports, it doesn’t seem like bad UPSes are responsible for any significant support load, certainly not compared to factory defects and shipping destruction. They appear to be protecting against a hypothetical source of problems that hasn’t been demonstrated to exist. Mine is plugged directly into a dedicated 20A outlet I had installed by a licensed electrician, but I might go home and stick it on a UPS just for spite. :slight_smile:


I have no choice, I had a whole house surge protector installed on the breaker box about a year ago.


With the power switch on the back of the unit, we’re forced to reach across the table, across the Glowforge, find-by-feel, and flip the switch. After about 1 day of that, I bought a switched outlet (this outlet plugs into the existing outlet and has a switch on it), which sits right next to the window where the vent goes. It’s almost a single motion… flip the switch on the outlet, open the window, put in the vent. So mine has always been plugged into the switched outlet.

I don’t think it’s the right thing to do for Support to tell people to specifically not plug into a UPS or other power conditioner. If anything they should say that it’s not tested and therefore not recommended. But to recommend against it is a whole other thing.


Yeah, I got a little off track while writing my reply. I meant to say I think it’s reasonable for them to ask people having power-related problems to please try plugging it directly into an outlet to see if that helps. But pre-recommending against it seems wrong.

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Could be an industry norm being created. Microsoft specifies to not plug the new Xbox One X into a surge protector as they have it built in.

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This stackexchange answer might be relevant and interesting: https://electronics.stackexchange.com/a/34883

Seems likely that just this much information would lead a company to only recommend stuff they’d tested in various overload situations and since they can’t (or wouldn’t want to) test a significant number of different devices, this basically kills power device interoperability (at least “recommended” interoperability).

Edit: typo


Which leads to an EoL conundrum. Will MS cover the X for the next 10 years+ as many good surge protectors will warranty anything not protected as they should be on said protector? Doubtful. Handy built in obsolescence.

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