Repairing the Print Head

I have an out of warranty Basic machine that won’t run because the air assist fan will not turn on. I’ve replaced that fan, but that didn’t fix it. I’ve contacted support, with photos of the print head and they determined that my print head is broken and needs replacement. I’m waiting for them to invoice me for it so that I can order the new one, but it’s been days.

So, I’ve looked more closely at the print head and think I see the problem. Has anyone had success in fixing a broken connection in the segment shown in this photo? Is this a piece that might be ordered from an electronics supplier?

Thank you!

No chance you’d get it from any electronics supplier. It’s a bespoke part. I have pics of a breakdown of all the components from a past member here. The ribbon that powers the air assist also handles several other components.

Your best bet is to buy a replacement head from someone tearing down a broken machine, or possibly willing to pull that ribbon - but from all the stuff it connects to, I don’t know how “reversible” that would be…


What you have circled is not your problem. It is a bit more down on the trace. Even with all my electronics connections, it would cost me more to repair that trace. It sucks but the price of a replacement head is actually very solid from glowforge. It certainly fits into what I had budgeted for maintaining a laser.


While that can be repaired, it is not easy to do. The process requires scraping or cutting away the top layer of Kapton without damaging the trace and then overlaying the broken trace with another trace. Then you have to replace the insulation. You are best off just getting the replacement print head.


It’s just 4 conductors. I would work my way back to where the Flex terminates (someplace behind that cap screw that’s holding it down) and just run a set of wires to the fan instead. You could use the cap screw with a loop of plastic (like a zip tie) to capture the wire bundle so it can’t move around. Rotate the air assist fan on it’s mount point so that the fan’s connections are on the same side as the wires you’ve run so you don’t have to route the wires under or in front of the fan.

Paying for a new print head for this kind of issue is crazy. You’re out of warranty so you have nothing to loose by trying to make a repair for yourself. I’d try it at least, before spending the $ on the entire replacement assembly just because this $0.10 part has failed…


Thank you! I’d very much like to get a replacement print head and have been waiting for an invoice from my support request so that I may order one. I’m impatient though, and wanted to check on my other options to get back to work.

I’d like to be that brave, but still have hopes of exchanging this one for the new one to lower the cost. I’m not sure I’d trust a modification like that that I’d done myself. (electronics skills = beginner)

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.