"Unable to complete print" High pitched whine and Orange Light

Hello all. I am posting a detailed description of what has occurred with the machine in hopes that it may resonate with somebody who had a similar experience and spark a helpful reply.

  1. A few weeks back, the printer head stopped focusing. The lid camera was working and so I was able to keep printing as long as everything was crumb table height.

  2. Today, after the print had already completed, an error popped up “Unable to complete print.” and there was a high pitched whine coming from the machine. Rebooting it fixed the problem and I was able to print 3-4 more items.

  3. Then the orange light came on. I cleaned everything, checked connectors, etc… and none of that worked. I switched the printer head lens (I have a backup) and the orange light went away.

  4. I was able to engrave one more item and the “Unable to complete print” popped up again, the high pitched whine was back, and the orange light was on. Rebooting the machine resolved the high pitched whine but the orange light remains.

Any ideas what’s going on here?

The white ribbon cable that connects to the print head becoming loose, damaged or disconnected would explain all of these symptoms.

If this connection is lost, you’ll get that “unable to complete print” error and the light turns orange. It’ll remain orange until the plug is reconnected. Mine worked its way loose during a job once and did what yours did: got the error, the button turned orange, and the machine sounded odd as all the fans were spinning at their max speed for some reason. All of those problems were resolved by turning it off, re-connecting the ribbon cable, and turning it back on.

This connection is also needed to make the focus mechanism work, so if there’s something wrong with the cable or its connection to the print head, that may explain why you’re having issues with it focusing.

Unplug the ribbon cable from the print head, check if the pins on the print head side look clean of debris and straight, plug the cable back in and make sure it clicks into place. Also check for any signs of damage to the cable along its length along the laser arm.

1 Like

Thank you for this! Upon inspection, I do think it’s the white ribbon cable that is damaged. Is this replaceable or able to be repaired?

Karen Benson

AFAIK this cable is not user replaceable. Once Glowforge support reviews this thread, they’ll likely recommend replacing the machine.

Hi @karenjoybenson. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been encountering some trouble with loud noises and an orange light with your Glowforge. I saw you had opened an email ticket for this as well, and just sent a response with some next steps. To avoid any potential confusion or miscommunication, I am going to close this thread to consolidate everything to email. I’ll look forward to your email response. Thank you!