Stuck in autofocus after running each job

I have been trying to fix an issue on my glowforge where it will fail to autofocus after every job I run. I focuses correctly when turning on and setting up the initial job but after completing that job it gives me the yellow button and says autofocusing forever. I have reached out to glowforge and after inspecting the pins of the ribbon cable attached to the print head they said they couldn’t help me remotely and said I needed to ship it to them ($200) to estimate repair cost (if they could fix it). I cant afford that this time of year with buisness hopping like crazy so I started working my way back from the print head starting with the ribbon. Sure enough I found where the ribbon has rubbed through and a wire is exposed.

Does anyone know where to get a replacement 20 pin ribbon? I made a jumper across the ribbon break for now which is keeping it running, for now.

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It’s not an “off the shelf” part you can buy elsewhere and (so far) not something to be replaced by the user so they are not selling them.

Your options are to live with it, or send it in.

Posting here opens (another) support ticket, so they’ll be along to confirm at some point.

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Could you determine what the cable was rubbing on? Where along the length of the cable is that damage?
It would be beneficial to all of us if there was a sharp edge to avoid!

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Good sleuthing! I’m bettin’ there’s a chance they can just send you that cable. It hasn’t been a typical item, but in this case (especially as it’s working with your jumper)

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Its rubbing on the black guard behind the head. We run a lot of items in templates which means the ribbon rubs in the same portion of itself very often. You can see were the tape is which is covering my jumper.

I would recomend adding a strip of tape to the top of your ribbon wherever you see wear forming, maybe even preemptively before wear starts. Just remember tape is flexible only when it is laid flat. If you wrap the ribbon it wont bend right. I would have done this a while back had I known about it

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Well that kinda sucks considering it’s a cheap 10 dollar piece of hardware. $200 to ship for them to install that is very unreasonable.

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You sound mechanically competent, are you out of warranty?

Thanks, I do my best. Just barely out of warranty. :expressionless:

If you are comfortable with it, I took the left top off my “laserblade” to trace that cable and get you some pictures.
It also helped prepare me for the inevitability.

The cable turns a few corners and enters the drag chain, comes out of the bottom of the drag chain and connects to the board where indicated.

Google Photos

Google Photos

The drag chain also carries the coolant supply to and from the tube, a high voltage lead and ground wire. It looks like a challenge to thread the cable through there, but I would accept that challenge and spend a day or two doing it rather than send the entire machine back and bear that risk and expense.

So personally, I would request the company send me a replacement ribbon cable, but that’s just me - I like knowing the guts of my machines, and I enjoy the understanding and education.

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I agree. When the inevitable happens, I’m more than capable of fixing it myself if I can get parts. I’m guessing it’s a liability thing, but they are sending out the lid hinge cable, so I don’t see how this would be different.

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It looks pretty tight in there (the drag chain), I wonder if it would be possible to attach a fish line to the head end of the ribbon, pull the old one out from the bottom and pull the new one back through. :thinking:

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That cable looks like one you could either make yourself or get replicated - straightforward ribbon cable & standard connectors. As long as they don’t do a wire swap somewhere along the length which would make it a little more complicated. But it’ll require pulling one out to be sure.

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Yeah, made me think about the possibility of splicing the cable somewhere on the gantry with connectors, like on top of the stepper… :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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Unless you’re running a ton of jobs that work around the same area, I think this is on the low end of expected failures.

I don’t, but will keep an eye on that cable. I think a strip of duct tape across the underside of that metal guard would be a good preventative measure.

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I see you already emailed us about this and we’re working on it there, so I’m going to close this topic.