Sudden Motor Issue

Hi everyone - I’ll try to make this as succinct and descriptive as I can. I’ve had a brand new Glowforge Pro for about 7 months now - for the most part, things have worked as expected. However, a few days ago (the last day I was actively using the machine to engrave & cut), I thought the motors that move the chassis sounded a little different than normal - as though they were working harder to operate than normal.

I hadn’t used it since. But this morning as I turn it on and it began it’s honing, I immediately could hear that the motors and movements weren’t smooth and the sounds were like something was seized up. I gave it a moment to see if it was just hung up - but it couldn’t even hone correctly and just made sporadic movements. The laser head never came underneath the camera - it was just off to the side.

I manually (and genlty, slowly) moved the chassis and head back to the home position. Turned it off. Turned it back on again - same problems.

So I visually inspected the tracks, rubber belts, and the wheels - everything (from a pedestrian point of view) looked normal. I applied a single and very focused squirt of WD-40 to each wheel (not the wheels on the laser head chassis) which really didn’t seem to do anything helpful.

I again power cycled, and the machine seems to have honed correctly (I’m about to do a calibration print). My concern is that the motors are about to give up while I have 25 orders to engrave/cut.

  1. Can anyone advise on what to look for or visualize to see if something can be remedied with the motors? I clean my machine once a week and am meticulous about every facet.
  2. What happens if this is a warranty issue and they want me to send my machine in? Will they send me a new unit or a loaner? And how quickly do they work on sending one to me? I’m so nervous that after a semi-successful (for me) weekend of sales, I won’t be able to fulfill these orders. :frowning:

I don’t really have any advice except DON’T move the head or gantry with the machine on – always turn it off first. Can you feel any resistance anywhere when you move the head and gantry around with the machine turned off?

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The machine has been turned off before I manually moved it - thank you for that note, though!

I don’t feel any resistance, per se, but there is a very slight movement on a perpendicular axis as though the wheels aren’t moving in a perfect parallel fashion. I would guess that if this is truly the case, it would explain why the motors may be working harder than they should…

I hope my descriptions make sense!

One thing that might help when support gets here is if you could take a video so they can hear the sound you’re worried about. (Works best to post it on YouTube and link to it here; Discourse has funny ideas about video posts.)

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As for your other questions – they’ve been pretty quick for me when I needed to send a machine in for warranty exchange, BUT I haven’t had to do it during this time of year, when they get super busy. If you end up having to send yours in, post over in Everything Else with your location, and maybe some forum users in your area can help you with getting your orders filled while you wait on your replacement. :slight_smile:


Not surprising that you are concerned, since we become very attuned to the sounds our Glowforges make. I don’t think it is a good idea to squirt lubricant of any kind into the machine since Glowforge does not suggest that any moving parts require this attention.

I suggest you closely inspect all of the wheels for cracks or breaks, look at your belts to see if the tension is equal and that there are no frays, and then try to print the Gift of Good Measure on proofgrade draftboard with proofgrade settings. As already suggested, perhaps capture a video with sound for Support.

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I can see that you’ve also reached out via email and that our support team has contacted you there. To avoid duplicate communication and expedite your process, I’m going to go ahead and close this topic.