Stop opening the lid of the Glowforge ALL the way - the cable will thank you

Every time I see a “Stuck on Focusing” post in Problems and Support I want to shout “stop cranking the lid on your machine all the way open!” We can have long discussions about whether the cable gets frayed or just fatigues the conductors inside, but two things are for sure: The lid does not need to be opened all the way to access the inside of the machine, and opening the lid wide is harder on the cable.
Everyone, please do your Glowforge a favour and open the lid just enough to load and unload material.

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My latest machine will not stay open unless I open it all the way. Opening halfway had become an ingrained habit after >2 years, so it has slammed itself closed so many times I’ve lost count. :grimacing: I’ve finally learned (most of the time) to remember to open it farther. It has one of the longer cables, so I hope that means it will be okay!

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I have never opened my lid fully. Not once. The black cable has never touched the metal behind it. Two days ago I got the stuck on scanning issue. The cable looks as good as the day I received it. Support checked the logs and want to send me a new black cable.

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Mine doesn’t stay open unless almost fully open - and mine is the original “short cable” that came in 2017…

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Lots of different experiences here :smiley: The lid cable is always undergoing bend cycles, and I think it best to minimize bending. I actually just sneak stuff out the front door after opening the lid a crack… A bit extreme but works good for me. BTW, my lid hinges are so stiff I worry about the glass lid separating. My lid will stay open at about 50 degrees.

Anyways, carry on.

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And I thought I was the only one who does this…unfortunately by necessity. My glass lid did indeed become separated. My attempt at re-glueing failed so it’s time to search the attic for THAT box. Time to send “him” across the country for mending. I’m anticipating separation anxiety (we’ve been together for 2 1/2 years) so I’m trying to get in a little more fun …sneaking through that front door.

I thought of that when mine just died. I figured they’d be sending me a new black cable. I’ve been opening & closing it a lot. Nearly 11,000 earsavers 77 at a time. Plus cutting 5" off each sheet so it fit (I used 12x24 sheets).

But it apparently is the white head cable instead. That one is flexing with every movement of the head. I’m not sure there’s any rhyme or reason for any of the failures any more :blush:

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Same happened to me. After replacing an apparently good cable and testing continuity some of the tracks are interrupted, apparently from metal fatigue from the bend cycles.

IMHO it´s bad design because those ribbon cables are meant to be static and not meant to be bent like a spring. Bad black ribbon cable problems are a constant complaint in the forum, not just from a bad batch or from scrapping the metal lid. Replacements should be complimentary until they fix the root problem.

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There have a been a few examples where that cable had worn thru from contact with the black shield above where it runs. Did yours?

Nope. No apparent breaks or defects in the cable or the insulation layer. I had seen some of those pics and expected to find something when they said it was the white cable (mine wasn’t really white anymore). Even after I cleaned the crud off the cable nothing showed. I’ve done some silicone which is smokey dirty.

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I had read about the problem and preemptively had placed duct tape on the edge of the metal lip. The sheating was intact, yet the traces were broken.

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I believe that even without fraying the insulation, the flexing will get you eventually. I would be pleased to be wrong of course. Even just pulling the cable tight will cause significant stress on the conductors, leading to eventual cracking.

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Several months back, someone sent me a broken cable and I stripped off the black coating to expose the underlying copper traces that are printed/deposited onto the stiff plastic backing. I posted pictures somewhere. They are extremely thin - no surprise as you can see from the texture under the coating. Unfortunately there is significant flexing regardless of how far you open the lid- and as most metals work-harden, it’s no surprise they fail with repeated flexing.

A ribbon cable designed for repeated flexing typically looks like the grey one attached to the print head, and is made from fine stranded wire.

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Found the pic:
image

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That is most interesting. Even stranded wire suffers from fatigue failure, but this is much more susceptible.

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I have been using the passthrough cutting just under 11" at a time, but able to get that point in between at the top and the one beyond that, that I get another three rows

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I thought about doing that but I wanted to streamline my workflow. Making thousands per recipient made time the control factor. I made a jig that locked between the left side of the tray & the front door. It also helped keep the acrylic flat & even if warpage occurred during the cutting it kept things flat. I didn’t have the delay while doing Passthrough alignment although I probably could have just done 12" by an 11" window and kept sliding the length up through the window but I kept it simple. It doesn’t maximize the # of earsavers but I wasn’t too concerned about the economics :slightly_smiling_face:

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For anyone interested…
12x12_GF_EarSavers

The top or bottom or both can be on or off as needed to match the need.

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