Power switch sometimes not working

I have a glowforge basic 40w from maybe 3 years ago, and it’s seen a ton of use. Recently it will occasionally not power on the first time I flip the power switch on the back of the unit.

For now it turns on the second time I flip the switch, and then does everything else just fine.

Can the switch wear out/ is that something I can replace myself if the unit stops powering on completely?

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It’s possible the wires on the inside have gotten loose - but AFAIK that’s not accessible at home :frowning: Fingers crossed a staff member will have an option that doesn’t require shipping your laser to the mothership for a repair!


The switch is not user-replaceable.

Your best option would be to plug the machine into a quality power strip that has a switch, and leave the one on the machine alone once you have it working.

In close to 4 years I’ve probably operated my GF’s power switch 2 or 3 times. I have a 14ga extension cable and power the machine on (and off) by simply plugging that into the wall outlet (and unplug when done).


or plug your GF into an outlet controlled by a wall switch if available.


That is a great idea. Many homes don’t have overhead lighting, so there are regular outlets with one side switched.

Even if your home doesn’t have wall-switched outlets, they make all-in-one replacements that include a switch (assuming you’re handy enough to change one out…)



HI @kstalenshi I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been running into some intermittent trouble when you try to power on your Glowforge. I see you’ve gotten some great tips from fellow owners, and will be happy to help with any troubleshooting.

To start, can you run through the steps and checks below? This will help me narrow down any potential causes:

Your Glowforge should be plugged directly into a grounded wall outlet that meets local building codes. If you haven’t already, please do the following:

  1. Unplug your Glowforge from the wall

  2. Plug another device directly into the same outlet and see if it works

  3. If the device does not work, have an electrician investigate. It may be a blown fuse, a broken outlet, or something else

  4. If the outlet works, unplug the other end of the cord from the Glowforge unit itself

  5. Inspect both ends of the power cord; if you notice any damage, try another power cord

  6. Plug in the end of the power cord that goes to the Glowforge, making sure it is inserted all the way in

  7. Plug the other end of the power cord into the outlet, making sure it is inserted all the way in

  8. If your Glowforge still won’t power on, try another outlet

Let me know what you find!

Thank you. It’s actually still working fine as long as I leave the power switch on. I’m using a high quality power strip with a switch on it to turn my unit on and off now. The outlet itself is grounded and in working order.

@kstalenshi I’m glad to see that your printer is able to power on. Per the manual we do not recommend connecting your Glowforge printer to a surge protector or power strip. Your printer will need to be connected to a grounded wall outlet with 800 watts of power. You can find this information with the link below and on page 33.


With the Glowforge printer connected to a wall outlet could you let me know if the issue persists?

The issue happened when it was connected directly to the grounded wall outlet (definitely functional) in the first place.
You mentioned I could try another power cord- would one from a desktop PC that looks the same be ok to try?

Is it possible I bumped/ loosened a connection somewhere inside the unit during cleaning? I don’t do much to clean the right side near the power supply other than spray canned air and vacuum up the dust. Are there any connections on the left side of the unit that are related to powering it on/ off?

I’m hesitant to mess with this too much at the moment, but I’m hoping to send in my unit for a tube replacement in late December anyway. Nothing is wrong with the tube, but we’ve been using the unit heavily for about three years, and I’d rather send it when I can spare the time not using it than have it stop working during a busy time. :stuck_out_tongue:

Without inspecting the unit it would be hard for us to narrow down what is leading to the switch sometimes not working.

Regarding using a different cord, it would be fine to use another power cord with a compatible plug such as a standard computer power supply cord that is rated for 15 amps at 110 volts.

Please let us know how it goes!

Thanks for your help.

I tried a different power cord like the one suggested. I think it’s probably the power supply going out at this point, since it started also having the power issue even when turned on/ off with an external switch.

I also encountered a new problem today along with being unable to power the unit on.

It will engrave fine, but will stop mid cut like it’s paused. No error or overheating message. Then when I cancel the job from the UI, the machine goes back to idle but the head stays where it was when it was cutting. If I turn off the machine, it won’t turn back on for several hours. This issue happened three times today. Most recent failure was around 11pm.

I have a video of it, but it’s too large to upload here.

How do I go about shipping my unit in for maintenance/ preemptive tube replacement?
I still have the shipping box/ protective bits/ foam.

Thank you for the additional information. Unfortunately, after reviewing everything, our team has found that your unit has an issue that we can’t resolve remotely. It’s great to hear that you have your original shipping materials! I’m going to close this thread, and I’ll be in touch very soon via email with additional details & next steps to get you back up and printing.