Unfamiliar Start-Up and Operational Noises

Hi gang.

Hoping somebody here might be able to help trouble shoot a new problem I just acquired.

In the morning I had printed a couple slate coaster sets. No problem at all. Printed beautifully.

Having to do a couple chores around the house, I turned off the machine. About 2 hours later I returned to the Glowforge, fired it on… and now I’ve got strange noises that weren’t there this morning.

First noise, while the GF focuses, after it “clicks” it sounds then like air from somewhere kicks on. Almost sounds like it’s coming from somewhere at the back, right side. Never heard this before.

Then, as the gantry moves to the middle of the camera, it’s aggressively loud. The printer head as it moves right to left, it’s smooth and quiet as usual, it’s not until the gantry itself moves front/back.

I’ve checked all the belts, cleaned the fans, don’t see any debris or obstructions ANYWHERE! There’s no noise when I manually move anything. Only when powered.

I’m so perplexed :grimacing:

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

I am guessing the rails are dirty and that is causing some vibration. I would wipe down all the rails with a damp cloth and inspect all the rollers for cracks and debris buildup.


Any chance you over tightened the belts ?

Hi Ben, thanks for the reply. Unfortunately, (or fortunately. Depending how you look at it) the rails are clean. I don’t see any obstructions nor are the wheels cracked. From what I can see all parts are in good shape.


I myself haven’t manually tightened or loosened anything. Just from the ole finger check, it seems to be pretty solid. No slack or play. Taut for sure.

Thank you.

I would start there , it may be there to tight as well which very well may be the case. If there to tight they have a hard time moving .

There are 3 Belts : start with the Horizonal and loosen and than tighten , and than run the machine if there is any change you will now that you are on the right path.

Look also between the crumb tray and the side as the bottom of the gantry runs through there. The easiest is to remove the crumb tray and just make sure nothing has fallen to the bottom.
On the left side there is also a cable that runs close to lots of stuff, and occasionally hits some of the stuff, but can be just lifted up.


That’s the thicker red one yes?

1 Like

That thing that sounds like air shortly after powering on the machine… I’ve always assumed it is the water pump turning on (which circulates the coolant through the laser tube), just based on the few things that happen at power-on and the fact that it sounds like it’s coming from the left side of the machine when I listen to mine. I always hear it.

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.