Video Tutorial: How to Clean the Interior of Your Glowforge

To me, the exhaust issue is a big deal. There is a ton of build-up and no real way to clean it. The part will fail, sooner or later. It is clearly a design flaw. In reading previous posts, people are loathe to do anything about it because they do not want to void their warranty. Given the FTC’s new warning to companies concerning warranties and provisions, I’m curious if we can do something on our own, and still maintain our warranty, should failure come before the warranty is out. Glowforge’s warranty states that “Modification of the hardware or accessories, including but not limited to replacing parts…voids this Limited Warranty.” The FTC gave some examples of questionable provisions, three of which reads as follows:

  • The use of [company name] parts is required to keep your . . . manufacturer’s warranties and any extended warranties intact.

  • This warranty shall not apply if this product . . . is used with products not sold or licensed by [company name].

  • This warranty does not apply if this product . . . has had the warranty seal on the [product] altered, defaced, or removed.

(As a side note, I’m curious how this applies to the next part in the Glowforge warranty that essentially states that damage done to the machine with Proofgrade materials is covered, while damage done with non-Proofgrade is not. In other words, if I buy 1/8" maple and use the Proofgrade settings, I’m out of luck if something bad happens but, if I use Proofgrade materials and settings, I’m covered. It seems to me that this is exactly what the FTC is referencing in example two.)

I’m not trying to foment trouble. I believe this is an issue that deserves to be officially addressed since smoke deposits will accumulate and—by design—there is no way to remove such accumulations easily or thoroughly. Because the exhaust fan is unmentioned in the official documentation as needing cleaning, it is likely to go uncleaned and unnoticed my the majority of users, which will increase the odds of premature failure. With respect to the warranty, it is worded in such a way that leaves no room for third-party repair.

“Provisions that tie warranty coverage to the use of particular products or services harm both consumers who pay more for them as well as the small businesses who offer competing products and services.

— Thomas B. Pahl, Acting Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.


Is the fan supported by the grille? If not, can the grille be removed, or cut out, whilst maintaining the structural integrity of the machine?

I have yet to receive my glowforge, so I am unable to really comment about this, but it seems to be one area that screams out for modification.

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Thank you!

It doesn’t. They are separate warranties.

The Glowforge has a warranty on the unit and components within. You don’t have to use Proofgrade to maintain your warranty. But, neglect or other types of user-caused damages, don’t apply to a warranty. Dropping it. Catching it on fire. Etc.

The Proofgrade has a warranty that, while I don’t know the exact verbiage, basically states, if this catches your Glowforge on fire, then our Proofgrade warranty will cover repairs on your Glowforge.

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What about the mirror inside the head assembly (taking the magnetic top off). Do you think that ever needs to be cleaned? :thinking:

The recommendation I saw on that the other day was 120 hours. All depends on what you’re cutting though.

The fan is mounted on an 1/8" aluminum plate that spans the back of the machine, and the plate has the honeycomb perforations in it that form the grill. That aluminum plate gives structure to the back wall of the machine needed to support the glass lid.
The honeycomb I believe is there to satisfy safety regulations against having an unguarded fan, which seems silly since an exhaust duct will be installed on the port.

At warranty expiration cutting most of the honeycomb out will be my first mod, increasing airflow, giving greater access to the area for cleaning and all but eliminating the face loading of the grill which eventually restricts the machine’s ability to breathe.


Thank you for your description. I’m still awaiting my glowforge which, according to Oops, will be delivered next Monday (nearly had one delivered last week, but it was inexplicably flagged as ‘return to sender’ as soon as it hit these shores.)

I, too, will carry to a mod as soon as the warranty expires!

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