Tube arm not moving properly - angled

Hi. I just went to do a print for first time today and I had already turned on the machine and it did it’s normal set up moving stuff around. I hit set focus and when it moved it made a loud noise. I got up and the tube arm was angled. It tried to move again and I quickly turned off the machine. Attached is a photo. Help, I don’t know what to do!

Arm is off track on right side. No idea how to put it back or why it did this.

You can gently lift it back on to the track and push it to the back straight again. As for why it happened, I’d be looking for something on the left side that it ran into that prevented that side from continuing forward along with the right side. That’s what would make it go askew: one side kept moving forward, the other side got stuck. Some kind of debris on the rail maybe.


Thank you. I was able to get it back on. Sides jumped off as it was so far ahead on the right. I looked and there is nothing on the rail that got in the way. Hoping when one of the staff sees this they might be able to give me more info. It freaked the heck out of me!

Thank you again!

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I would check the belt tensions now that you have it back on the rails. Maybe not adjust if you are not comfortable but check to see if one belt is loose compared to the other.


I know it’s a bit scary when it happens, but it’s not that unusual and debris is the usual culprit, but it’s also possible one of the wheels is damaged. (Even a small crumb on the rails can cause it.) I haven’t had it happen for about a year and then mine did it just the other day and I never did figure out what caused it, so don’t be surprised if they aren’t able to give you a definitive answer. And in case you want to search for more answers, the laser arm is called the “gantry” and as long as you turn your GF off, it won’t hurt anything to put it back on track. Good luck and I hope it was just one of those oddball things.


Thank you both. If one of the wheels is ever damaged, is it an easy fix, are parts available?

I do notice that when the machine does it’s first move when you hit print on the computer and moves forward, it is louder than the other moves and seems like a lot of torque. Is that normal? Thank you again!

It does move very quickly for the autofocus measurement when you hit print. That’s normal.

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I’m so sorry to hear about the trouble you’ve been experiencing with your Glowforge, but I see the community has provided some great advice.

After reseating the Laser Arm, and checking the rails and belt tension, have you noticed the snag occur again? Please let us know, and we’ll send over the next best steps.

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Is your unit a pro? The pro units have peltier cooling fins in front the the exhaust fan on the left side that sometimes catch a red wire that moves as the gantry moves. This would certainly cause your left side to jump the rail. If you have a basic or plus then that wouldn’t be the problem.

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It hasn’t happened again yet thankfully. I will report back if it does. I’ve been paranoid it is going to happen again since the other day.

Yes it is a pro. I’ve only had it around 2 months.

We’re glad to hear you’ve been in the clear since!

I’m going to go ahead and close this topic for now in that case, but feel free to reach out again via email or create a new topic if your trouble returns!