Small flame when cutting draft board

Hi! I have had my Glowforge for about 1.5 years now but recently I have been getting a flame (about 1.5-2") when cutting draft board. I vigorously cleaned my machine last night but the issue is still happening. I noticed that the window on the head is slightly damaged (possibly from the flame?). Do you know why the flame could be occurring and how to fix it? Do I need a replacement head? TY!

In your cleaning have you checked the fan just behind the print head? That fan is the one responsible for creating an airflow to put out any small flareups when cutting.


Yup I did that last night. Thought it would solve the problem but unfortunately not!

Are you seeing this behavior on Proofgrade draftboard with Proofgrade settings?

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Yes, unfortunately. I’m thinking it may have to do with one of those windows being a little scalded? would that be why?

Not really. It is much more likely a problem with the air assist fan or printhead fan. I suggest recleaning both of those. The windows are part of the focusing procedure, so you could experiment by manually inputting the thickness of the material to see if that changes anything.

Ah, ok. Will do. Thanks so much!

The window being scalded has the chance to mess with your Set Focus, but nothing else.

I will almost guarantee it’s your Air Assist. People always think it’s clean but if you’re getting visible flame then air is not getting through it. There is a tube that runs behind the fan into the head - make sure that’s clear of debris too!

If you’re getting more flame than this, then your Air Assist is not running to spec.

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Definitely much more flame than that! I will clean it again (and the tube!). Thanks!

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As I mentioned in my email, I’d concentrate your efforts on the air assist fan.

If you’re still having trouble, we have replacements available. Just post photos of your cleaned air assist fan (either here, or in reply to that email), and I’d be happy to take a look and determine next steps.

Don’t waste any time on cleaning the tube…that’s purely cosmetic. After you’ve got your machine running like a top again, you can sparkle that tube up all you want.

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This! I actually use the dirt on my tube an an indication of when I should clean the rest of the machine. When it fogs up enough that I can’t see the laser light then I clean everything including it - but it is purely so I keep myself on a cleaning schedule. Previously I would only clean after some cuts failed, and that was always sad.

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same here! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: I think some people never clean the tube…but for me, I love the look of it when it’s clean.

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