Stepper Motor Making Video Game Sounds

All of a sudden, my glowforge has started playing video game music from its stepper motors. It is very similar to the sounds a 3d printer makes ( It is very difficult to record due to the exhaust fan noise of the glowforge.

Was this an artifact of a recent software/firmware update? Is there an issue with my glowforge?


You can produce a wide range of tones depending upon the speed and X+Y directions.


We probably have 300 hours on our GF and have yet to hear it produce stepper motor sounds like that.

Notice the particular shape that pronounces the tones. JB is right, no cause for alarm. Depending on the combined movements, I have been startled by them.




If on the other hand it starts saying “zoll” you might want to call Ghostbusters! :rofl:


If on the other hand it plays this it means that you have been upgraded to Platinum.


That really appealed to me! (I must be a geek.) :smile:
(Also the Narwhal song, which should be listened to when it is presented…just because.)


I dunno guys…it might not be nothing -

If you’ve noticed a sudden change in the sound of the machine, you might want to check to make sure that the fan blades on the exhaust fan don’t need cleaning, both front and back side. If there is a build-up of resin, melted adhesive and gunk on the front of the fan blades, it can cause it to run out of balance, which does change the tone of the machine. (And can make it a lot louder.) Same for the grid behind the fan.

Be very careful cleaning the fan front, you go in through the open top of the machine. I used long Q-tips and gun-cleaning swabs, slightly moistened, and it took a couple of days leaning over the machine. Use a small flashlight so you can see what’s going on in there. Clean one blade and then manually rotate the next into place. (Obviously, make sure the machine is off while you are doing this.) Also be very careful not to push the gantry any farther forward at the front of the machine than it can normally reach during printing.

Cleaning the back is easy…take off the vent hose, vacuum out the junk and clean the grid with a small brush.

Doesn’t hurt to check. If they’re fairly clean, no problem…it’s just normal stepper sounds. Mine does sing to me with a lot of my designs. :slightly_smiling_face:


On a related note… :musical_note:


Oh, no kidding! What people won’t do. (How dare they try to steal my tchotchkes?) :smile:


Thanks for reaching out.

Like others have mentioned, your Glowforge unit’s motors can produce a variety of different pitches.

However, if you’d like me to take a closer listen, please record a video of the noise as best you can and post it here or email it to us directly at

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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