Rough sounding noise when starting to cut

My machine is making a strange rough sounding noise right after I hit print. I believe the source is located in the fan, as it makes the noise before the arm moves. My husband (the technical guy) says it sounds like a bearing is going bad in the fan. Is there anything I can do to fix this? We have cleaned everything we can think of, but the noise is still there.

My exhaust fan got dirty enough to become imbalanced and introduce a hard buzz/vibration. Cleaning the fan blades resolved it.
With that issue the noise and vibration would be constant, not intermittent.

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We cleaned as much of the fan as we could get to. Is there a way to actually get into the fan to clean the blades?

The database the community has developed is a great place to search for answers, click the magnifying glass in the upper right corner.
Here is one search result with official advice. (assuming the fan is your problem)

Some users have been able to clean it by using a solvent like alcohol and Q-tips reaching into the back corner. Difficult to reach, and not easy. If you have a pro unit it’s more difficult because of the peltier cooler in front of the fan.

I personally elected to Remove the top left glass top for access. That thread has the details.

Again, that’s assuming the noise you hear is caused by a dirty fan.
You may want to wait for official support to recommend a course of action. Good Luck!

Could just follow the official instructions for fan cleaning.

It is a mucky fan, not a duff bearing.

I’m so sorry to hear about the noise you’ve been experiencing while printing. I’m glad that @PrintToLaser has been able to provide some great advice, and point towards some additional resources for cleaning the fan.

Based on the details you’ve outlined, it may help to work through our fan maintenance process, using a special degreaser.

First, you’ll need to obtain a can of 3M Novec Electronic Degreaser, which you can purchase from Amazon or Digikey.

That page will walk you through the cleaning process. Brief summary:

  1. Turn off and unplug your unit and move it outside. Make sure it’s in a location where it has power and Wi-Fi

  2. Using the fan maintenance page, you’ll be able to turn the fan on

  3. Following all manufacturer’s safety instructions from 3M, spray the degreaser into the fan while it’s running for approximately 5 - 10 seconds, or until the fan is clean.

  4. When you’re done cleaning, turn off your unit to stop the fan, and return it to its usual home. You should now see considerably better performance from your exhaust fan!

Please let us know if you have any questions! Please let us know if this helps resolve the sound you’ve been hearing while printing.

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Hi @kisskel2. It’s been a couple days since Marc’s last response and I wanted to check in with you to see if you’re still running into any trouble with the rough sounds from the fan in your Glowforge. Feel free to let us know any update, and we’ll be here to help you until everything is resolved. Thanks!

I’m waiting for my degreaser, but as soon as it arrives, I’ll let you know if it works.

Hi @kisskel2. Thanks for getting back to me and I’ll go ahead and leave this thread open, as well as note that you’re just waiting for the degreaser you ordered to arrive. I’ll look forward to hearing how it goes. Thank you again.

So we cleaned the fan using the recommended process and degreaser and the sound is still there. It only happens at beginning of a run when the fan is spinning up. We used the whole can and the fan looks new Any other suggestions?

Thank you for working through those steps! Now that the fan is cleaned, could you post a recording of the sound you are hearing so that we can ensure everything is performing as it should?

Also, I’d like to review another photo of your fan now that it has been cleaned.

Could you send over a photo similar to the one below?:

Once we can review the photo and recording, we’ll send over any additional steps.

I forgot to take a picture of the fan, but here is what it sounds like. I’ll get the picture shortly.

Hey @kisskel2,

Thank you for posting the video of the sound. Based on what I’m hearing, I’d also like to have you check the intake fan on your Glowforge to make sure there is nothing obstructing it.

Can you try the following:

  1. Turn off and unplug your Glowforge

  2. Carefully slide your Glowforge so the right side is hanging off the table like this:
    (The blue box shows where the two intake fans are)

  1. If possible, apply a vacuum cleaner hose to this area.

  2. Be sure to return your Glowforge to its intended position before trying to print again.

If the noise continues after cleaning the intake fan, please go ahed and provide the photo of your exhaust fan, like the example Marc provided, and we’ll provide next steps after reviewing. Thank you!

It’s been a little while since I’ve seen any replies on this thread so I’m going to close it. If you still need help with this please either start a new thread or email