Stuck on centering, focusing, helllppp

Anyone else experiencing being stuck on centering? We have tried EVERYTHING. Cleaned the machine top to bottom. Tried keeping the lid open, with the GF on and off. Moved the head under the camera lens, with lid open. Nothing. It moved a few times and twice it bumped into the front of the machine.

We need help and fast. We have emailed support, but it is mid BUSY season, we need our GF up and running! It is a plus, 10 months old, used probably a total of 1,000 hours. I do not see a recent thread with this issue so I am asking it now in case there is something new out there, more recent than 2018 issues. Anyone? helllpppppp

Most of that will be of no help. With the machine off the gantry should be all the way back and the head on the far left near the exhaust . The most common mechanical cause of lack of centering is if the ribbon to the head is poorly connected. It does not take much as every pin has to talk, and the slightest difficulty is a problem. Less common if the camera cannot connect it cannot center. In addition a bright light or sun creating shadows can fool the camera , just as dirt on the camera or top of the head will make things difficut.

You’re not alone. Same thing here. Problem started this afternoon and hasn’t resolved itself. Lots of cleaning, reboots, reset wifi, etc. On rare occasions, the arm moves. On one occasion, the head almost moved itself under the camera.

No reply from support so far.

We have a bunch of pre-made item, so we’re keeping them listed at the store, but we’ve turned off sales for anything new until this is resolved. (This is going to really bite into our sales if we don’t get this resolved by Wednesday.)

Most common reason is WiFi connectivity issues, but here’s a comprehensive list of things to try: Stuck Centering/Focusing: How to Troubleshoot for potential Lid Cable issues before contacting Support 😲


What is your backup plan?

@dr.krawetz, same question. The Glowforge is an electromechanical system that relies on an internet connection. Both electronics and mechanical parts break down over time. The internet is notorious for seeing failures on a level that most users don’t understand or often even notice, but that can have very real effects when you are relying on it for business. You may be seeing a problem that is local to your house, to your city, or to somewhere between there and the local Google server where a moth got into the data center. It might be hours before traffic gets re-routed to compensate, or it might be days if a major trunk line gets severed and the relay paths can’t cope.
You might have a simple cable fail that you can replace, or you might have a premature tube failure occur when you are halfway through a big job. Expect it and have a recovery plan that doesn’t rely on Glowforge getting back to you quickly. This is not a dismissal of Glowforge quality or service support, just a statement of fact that failures happen.

You are running a business with a hobby level laser cutter, with hobby level service. If you don’t have a backup plan, you are asking for frustration and upset customers. Glowforge isn’t responsible for your business commitments, that lies only on you. I strongly suggest that you quickly put together a backup plan. It might be finding a group of other providers to farm out your orders, locating a service in the event you have a prolonged outage, purchasing a second laser and managing your workload so that you have the ability to move forward if one machine goes down. It should also include how you will handle customers who aren’t willing to wait, and how you will communicate the issues you are seeing to your customers who are willing to wait, without losing professionalism.

I have run a small business for the last five years. Part of my business is 3D printing. I use hobby level printers, with hobby level support, but I have gone from one to eight as demand has grown. I always have a backup, just in case. I have found that being honest to my customers about when I have a printer go down and what that means to them keeps them coming back to me. Even those who can’t wait for one order will bring their next order to me.

Get your backup plan in place, update as needed. Make sure your businesses are ready for failure of the equipment that you rely on. A few hours spent planning now can save a lot of panic and time later.


Hi @ben1 ,

Great question.

By day, I do a lot of system administration. (I run,, a Tor onion service for the Internet Archive, and a couple of honeypots. I also wrote a college textbook “Introduction to Network Security”, so I kinda know my way around networks.) I am constantly logged into my servers and I have two independent routes to the Internet from my office. If there was ANY kind of network hiccup between the office and the Internet, I would have three different alarms going off. (They chirp occasionally when the local ISP has problems or when a major backbone provider has issues, but they have no problems right now.)

As far as what do I do when my hobby laser cutter is down? Well, I stop selling hobby stuff. Like I said, this laser isn’t my day job. But that doesn’t mean I can’t use it as a nice way to step away from the scrolling logs and daily software development and meetings. It also doesn’t mean that I can’t try to sell the stuff I make. And this is prime holiday season. What’s more fun than having a fun hobby where I get to make gifts for other people during the holidays?

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I just setup a standalone wifi AP. It’s the only thing on the channel for over 200 feet and it’s positioned just shy of 5 feet from the GF. I’m measuring the signal strength as -37dB at the GF and the GF has full connectivity to the new AP.

Still nothing. Stuck on centering. At least for me, it’s not a wifi or network issue.

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Yet, you are complaining that your business will suffer due to an equipment failure. Which is it, a hobby that brings in a little extra money or a business? What happens if you have to send the Glowforge in for repair?

You have all of this monitoring, but are you aware that the Glowforge WiFi signal is not predictable by these types of monitoring? There are many users who have just as much experience and have found that a network reboot solves their issues.

If you haven’t already, please do the troubleshooting that is provided for network issues and for the Glowforge itself. If you are unable to resolve it, document what you have done in detail in your own support topic so Support can get back to you, or on your email with them.

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The link I provided up above has a lot more stuff to try. :slight_smile:

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Hi @geek2nurse,

I’ve tried all of the stuff in that list. (And when the GF support staff wake up, they should be able to confirm it in their logs. At least regarding the various status changes and reboots and different AP setups I tried.)

Because on rare occasions the head does try to move (it gets about half-way through the centering process), I don’t think it’s a hardware issue.

I think it might be related to the Dec 3rd firmware update that was explicitly related to connectivity.

I wasn’t challenging you, just trying to help.

Didn’t mean to attack you. Just getting frustrated.

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I had the same thing happen to me this weekend but was able to get it unstuck through a series of power cycling, browser closes/reopens, restarts with lid up & lid down and head under the camera before powering on. Something fixed it but I’m not sure what so it doesn’t help you, but you’re not alone. I’d gotten used to it just firing up & ready to go that when it didn’t I was ticked because I was trying to get stuff out for my wife’s school holiday crafts fair Saturday night. It is super frustrating when it doesn’t just work.


I’ve been trying the exact same cha-cha of random restarts, reboots, different power-on scenarios, etc. Haven’t managed to unstick it in days. But good to know that it might/could/possibly be unstuck.

Sadly, no reply from Support yet.

I’m so sorry you hit a snag.

The issues you’re seeing might be caused by a poor connection with the cables on your lid. Please follow the steps below to check the lid connections:

  1. Turn off your unit.

  2. Open the lid.

  3. Using both hands, gently roll the laser arm to the front of the unit.

  4. There are 5 clips pictured below. Check each one to ensure it is closed. The clip should lie flat, and you shouldn’t be able to flip it in any direction.

  1. If any of the clips are open, ensure the cable is inserted straight into the clip and close the clip.

  2. If any of the cables are misaligned in the clip, take a photo of the clip and cable and send it to me so I can take a look before you proceed. Do not try to adjust or reseat the cable.

  3. Close the lid.

  4. Turn your unit back on and wait for it to calibrate.

Let me know how it goes!

I have a plus and I’m experiencing the same issue since yesterday. Contacted support and still waiting to hear back from them

You need to follow the instructions in the post above, and provide the info in a new thread of your own or in reply to the email you got back from support with a case number.

@ben1 Ben, you are of absolute ZERO help giving people your opinion of a business being ran off a glowforge. If you have no support for the thread topic, keep your opinion to yourself about what tools to use for a business.

@millerwa52182 i’ve had the same issue for about 5 hours now. No resolution on my end either. I noticed your’s started 3 days ago and other post had issues yesterday. Have you had any luck with your support ticket or GF?

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Support responded 3 posts above yours. You should follow the instructions provided there, then share your results in a separate thread (or via email directly to support).

Ya i just triple checked in case i missed something. Problem is it doesn’t recalibrate afterwards.

I’ll post it in a few thread tho. thanks efly.

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