Put things like the black cable in the shop so we can have them on hand!

I am BEYOND frustrated.
I literally have 113 items to produce by Wednesday and a show on Friday and no way to do it. I am beginning to think I made the wrong choice in laser cutters☹

My machine began by being stuck scanning, then it would stay stuck scanning after every job. Now nothing happens when I turn it on. Literally no laser head movement.

I have tried to contact support twice this weekend. Not having a helpdesk to contact is really frustrating. Maybe giving us access to our machine logs might be an idea as well.

I am so disappointed and stressed.

WHY is the notorious black cable not an item that you can buy three of to have on hand in the shop?? Why aren’t there more spare parts?
I am actually running a business with my glowforge.


Great description of your issues. Might not be, but all of those are indicative of a simple WiFi issue. Here’s a few things to try:

  1. Many routers will auto-select the best 2.4 GHz channel for you. Instead, try specifically selecting 1, 6, or 11. Try each and see what happens.
  2. Possible your Glowforge isn’t receiving a good signal from your router. Bring them closer to each other and see what happens.
  3. Try a different WiFi source altogether. Many phones allow you to create a hot spot. If you can, try that. You’ll need to re-setup your WiFi connection in your Glowforge, of course. In case you don’t know, you turn the machine in, hold down the button for a solid 10 seconds (until it turns blue). Then you’re in WiFi setup mode again. So just run through that process real quick and see what happens.

The Glowforge is a great place to start, but it’s a hobby laser. Could work out for you as-is. It’s a great machine! But if your business depends on a laser, you’ll probably want to invest in a 2nd Glowforge or an industrial laser as soon as you can. Meanwhile, to keep your business afloat, I’d be happy to run off whatever you need and ship it to you. If you’d prefer somebody local, I’m sure you can find somebody pretty close here on this site. Where are you located?


Thanks for your tips Tom.

I am in Toronto.

Well, I’m in the US. You might want to save some international shipping and find somebody who’s at least in Canada. But, if need be, I’m here!

Meanwhile, try those things and let’s see if you can’t just get back up and running tonight, yeah?


So I ran the wifi setup, reconnected, and no dice. Still stuck scanning.

Reconnected to what? The same WiFi? On the same channel?

So’s that mean the head moved this time?

No movement - Tried hotspot on my phone. I am going to try a different channel

I’ve gotta head to bed. But let us know how you make out tonight! I’ll check in on this in the morning!

No luck or movement. Why call something Pro if it is hobby?

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I’m sorry you’re so frustrated & do hope you get resolution so you’re ready for your show…

But to address:

Why call something Pro if it is hobby?

It’s marketing and a product name only. Key to being a good consumer is understanding your needs and reading product specifications. The mad-men of marketing have been fabulous at their jobs making us want to buy things since the 50s…


Thanks, I rashly wrote my initial post because I am frustrated. I already had a small business as a leather crafter and my gf was purchased to help me with my production. It is a great tool for a small business but not having brick and mortar stores or accessible support is not ok.

Same here as for leather business & GF as aid to existing business… I’ll knock on wood as the last year I’ve not had an issue (a couple the first year that weren’t quite as bad).

I did appreciate too after I hit reply your question may have also been rhetorical…
It is sad that the P&S is not as transparent as many other companies with how issues are resolved or ability for us to order or access spare parts, whether to address an immediate failure, or even just to have on hand for when/if there’s need to replace it. But the company is also in a fast growth cycle, and likely working on improving this. Though that doesn’t help you right now.

But I did have stuck on scanning/centering issue–do you ever use magnets to hold down your leather? Turns out my issue was one that I placed on the gantry slid and stuck to the block behind the head, and though it was small, it was enough to mess up the unit…

And it may be good to try yet another channel–last year I had offline issues and first changed to 9, that helped for a few days, but after then I switched again (to 11) I’ve not had an Offline issue again. (Pros and cons to wifi based system–it’s great until it’s not :cry:).

Have you cleaned the cache on your computer and all of that? That is also part of the communication system with the GF, and your computer’s health will affect your connection, too. If you use Firefox, I find it frequently starts slowing down and stalling my GF–close the browser & reopen & discover they released new updates, and then run fine again… Chrome may be more stable/less affect on the GF when they make updates… (though if tried hotspot, should have ruled that out–but might as well try!).

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That’s an opinion not everyone shares. There are obviously lots of people successfully running a business using a Glowforge. And plenty of other things that aren’t “industrial”, whatever that means. I think it’s a reasonable choice to make. Why doesn’t McDonald’s have a backup for when the ice cream machine is down?

Some of the regulars get frustrated that as the holidays approach, everyone having trouble with their machine mentions how much it’s hurting their business. A long time ago I did tech support for an Internet provider and nothing made me less sympathetic to a customer than getting an earful about how much money they were losing because they couldn’t get online. It’s like… I’m trying to help you. I was trying to help you before you declared the situation “unacceptable”. It doesn’t help me to do my job to have to know that “You people cost me $10,000” or whatever. It’s a weird psychological thing. Logically, perhaps that should have made me treat the call as a priority. But all it really did was make me roll my eyes and think “oh, it’s one of them.”

Not trying to insult you here at all. Your problem is serious and frustrating and you are being very reasonable, not “one of them”. I agree that the current Glowforge support model doesn’t scale. I suspect their business got huge this year, just judging from the volume of stuff here and on Facebook. Maybe they need to offer a premium service where people who depend on their machines can pay extra for access to phone support and expedited repairs.

I wish I had more to offer about the actual problem. My gut feeling is that 9 times out of 10, not homing when you turn it on is caused by a bad network connection, and the other 10% is the dreaded lid cable. Considering there’s only one you have any control over, it’s worth trying all those WiFi tricks. And then trying them again.


Not exactly. This may be good advice for resolving issues with the app, but the Glowforge has its own computer inside and runs completely independently of your PC. It will start up and do its homing thing without your computer even turned on, so if it’s not doing that, there’s something more fundamental causing it.


I did a massive search for magnets - I do use them . I didn’t find any but it started working after I looked for magnets. I have no idea why - we’ll see if it gets stuck scanning after this job finishes.

Thanks everyone for your tips/tricks. I just posted originally because I think it is important for us to have access to our logs and for more of the parts to be in the store. It is a perfect tool for a small business, I just need a reliable back up.


That info is posted here, although the logs are not very “user”-friendly.

The problem with the cable is that it is very tricky to replace. The connectors are not designed for repeated use and it is very easy to mess things up. If you start selling them to people who may not actually need it replaced, you’re likely to end up with machines damaged that need not have been. They’re not trying to prevent people fixing broken machines.

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Glowforge Offline Going on 2nd Day, for example.

The fact that it started working again spontaneously is another sign that it was probably a WiFi issue. Maybe you have a neighbor who’s into ham radio.

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If it is the cable what does it look like?

There is a search function at the top of every page, the magnifying glass icon. If you use it, you can find all sorts of interesting info, including (for example) one of many posts that tell you how to access the machine logs.