Violent Shaking / Calibration


I just returned from a short 4 day vacation and when I arrived back home, I decided I want to power up the ol’ forge and get some last minute holiday gifts done. Well, much to my dismay when the unit began its honing / centering steps the unit seemed to shake rather violently and make a rather disturbing noise (as it attempted to calibrate). If you placed your hand on the unit while these steps were being completed, you could literally feel the unit shaking as it was attempting to calibrate. This was accompanied by some strange noises, that I assumed are coming from the belts.

Has anyone else ran into this or have any suggestions on how I can fix this? This also causes the unit to just sit in or be stuck in the ‘Centering the head of your Glowforge’ step.

If you could capture a short video of that with your iphone and send it to the team at (or you can load it on Youtube as a Private video and send them the link, the size limit here on the forum is really small for video) it will probably help them to diagnose the issue faster.

All I can suggest is to turn off the machine, get a mirror and flashlight, check the belts and rails (including underneath the laser arm) and see if there is any debris in there, then slowly try moving the head back and forth and the laser arm back and forth at the position where it starts the vibrating to see if it hangs up on anything.

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Well, I might have actually fixed it. Though, it does appear to be stuck in calibration mode now. The noise has gone away. I turned off the machine, and manually moved the laser bar back and forth and it seems to have possibly realigned? The noise and vibration are gone, and it seems to sound like it normally does in the boot up or alignment process. The only difference is, it’s hanging in the centering the head mode.

Make sure the lenses and top of the print head are cleaned, the lid camera has to see the logo on top of the print head, and if it’s dirty or obstructed by glare, that can cause things to hang up.

Otherwise it might just be a sketchy wifi signal, and that can improve on it’s own, suddenly and without warning, so just keep trying.

Well – it just started doing it again. I took a video and sent it into support. Thanks Jules.

Here is a link to a YT video, that shows what is happening.

Okay…I don’t know what to tell you now. I always start the machine (as in turn it on) with the print head in the Home position at the left rear corner of the honeycomb grid, but I have seen half a dozen people lately who start the machine from any and all places in the unit…and they are having trouble with the head trying to bang into various parts of the machine when it does it’s calibration routine.

Unfortunately, when I’ve suggested that they start the unit with the head in the Home position, it doesn’t seem to do anything to fix their problems, and support usually comes back to tell them that they need to have the machine replaced, so I’m just gonna say…wait until you hear from Support…I don’t know. (You can always try to start it with the head in the home position just to see if it works, but you’ll probably need to hear from them. I’m sorry. I know that’s a non-answer.):neutral_face:

See the problem with this is, it turned off in the home position. Then, when it turned on – it made the crazy noises, vibration, and then just stopped where it was (in the position you see in the video). So, I went ahead and turned it off again, manually moved the bar forward and backward and then turned it on. In a true Christmas miracle, it aligned and went to home position and I am now cutting some gifts.

That all being said, I would not be surprised if it does not work again and starts doing this tomorrow, etc.

Do you have a Pro model machine? Never mind…just looked at the video again…it’s not a Pro.

No, it’s a basic.

Yeah, support might be able to see something on their end. Sorry. :anguished:

I’d try removing the material from the bed, and also covering that window/reducing the sunlight coming into the machine and see what happens.


I am having the exact same problem. I guess it is time to contact support.

Get it out of the sunlight! The sun coming in that window can mess with the optics.

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It’s the striations/shadows that caught attention.

For whoever reading: basically, the bed image is analyzed to determine the location of the head, it then sends a small motion plan over to try and get the head under the lid camera to read the logo and center the head under it. Sometimes, just the right hole in a piece of material or odd shadows from sunlight streaming in, can cause it to misinterpret what is actually the head.

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Thanks for letting us know about this. Taking a look at the video you provided, I can see that your unit is exposed to direct sunlight. As other on this thread pointing out, when there is very bright light shining into your Glowforge, it can cause calibration problems. Could you please try adjusting the light levels before trying again, and let me know how it goes?


Thanks for the help everyone. I will put up shades today and try another run. I will note, that once it got calibrated it ran perfectly throughout the remainder of the day/evening that it was used. I’ve also never had any calibration issues when powering it up at night. I will report back!

It’s been a little while since I’ve seen any replies on this thread so I’m going to close it. If you still need help with this please either start a new thread or email