White Ribbon Cable Recall?

Hey guys,

I’m wondering what experiences you all have had with the white ribbon cable and support. Apparently it’s one of those things that cannot be changed/repaired in the field, according to support. I have been going back and forth with Support about getting a new one because I accidentally crimped mine while cleaning and the only solution Support had was to send the whole machine back to be repaired. I am aware you can purchase these cables elsewhere and I’ve seen tutorials on changing them - has anyone tried this and how difficult was it? If I send my machine back to repaired my small business (and my two employees) will be down for who knows long. I can’t afford for us to be down and Glowforge hasn’t presented any other viable options (field repair or a loaner machine).

Also, I have been really really alarmed by how incredibly worn my cable is after a little over a year (see picture) of use. Has anyone else experienced this? I saw @yoyodyne2112 had a great solution but I’m disappointed I have to literally tape up a vital cable on a machine that isn’t old at all. This seems to present a fire hazard (not to mention killing a $7000 machine within an incredibly short time span). I feel like Glowforge should do a recall on this since it seems like a fraying cable could present safety issues as well as it’s clearly a defect in the design of the machine. Does anyone else feel this way?

I’ve spoken with a consumer protection attorney regarding both issues. The first issue (unable to get replacement parts and change them) is something that may be covered under the new Right to Repair Executive Order. The second issue (is my machine going to present a danger to me because of this cable) is something that may be covered not only under consumer protection laws but also under CPSC’s regulations regarding a company’s obligation to conduct a recall.

I’m not an attorney so I am not an expert here obviously. I have an attorney I’m discussing this with so I am also not looking for legal advice, please. Please tell me your options on 1)how hard is the cable to change; 2)has anyone experienced safety concerns regarding how quickly these cables deteriorate with normal use?

Thanks in advance!

I can’t answer any of your questions, but I have a 3 year old GF and the cable doesn’t look like that at all. My makerspace has a heavily-used 3.5 year old GF, and that cable doesn’t look like that, either.

I am a bit confused as to your invocation of the Right to Repair Order. There’s no requirement for a company to provide you with the parts to repair what you’ve purchased from them and, in fact, there is likely a high liability for them to do so if they don’t feel you can safely repair at home. Blocking people from accessing outside repair is not the same as not facilitating it.


Quick addition: If you have experienced safety concerns with your Glowforge please report them to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. They have a great hotline and many times they only hear about issues from consumers. You can go to saferproducts.gov for more info.

Thank you!!! Have the worn cables given you any errors, etc? And like I said, I have a legal expert I’ve been talking with so I’m good in that department. :slight_smile:

Sorry I should have read your reply better! That is interesting! Are they worn at all?

My machine is many years old (like 3+) and there is no wear.



Oh holy cow, thank you for the pictures! I wonder why mine is wearing so terribly then.

I believe you are an exception, not the rule. I have been on the forum since the pre release machines were delivered. The white cable is not an issue that has come up repeatedly.


Nope. They both look like the one @dklgood posted.

This is good to know! I wonder what the deal is. This tutorial is clearly out there for people experiencing this (if you scroll down you can see the wear on their cable), so I’m surprised so far I’m the only one here.

Heres mine, coming up on 3 years:


That is so crazy. Well this is a huge bummer. With the holidays coming up I can’t afford to be down and now apparently I have a cable wearing abnormally.

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Wow well apparently I have a bad cable or something else going on. Thank you for the pictures!

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Addition: has anyone sent their machine in to have their cable repaired and if so how long did the process take?

They’re a direct competitor, so I’m not sure I’d use them as an indicator of GF quality.


True, but the way their cable looks looks a lot like mine so I found them to be at least helpful in that regard. Their machine has less than 50 hours on it.

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this is interesting as well:

I’m also in the cable looks fine after 3+ years category. The amount of wear yours shows is quite puzzling. Is there any chance you cut something corrosive once or twice?


Adding my personal 2cents–I’ve had my unit for 3 years and my white cable is spotless–granted, not used as much as others who’ve said the same.

But just looking at your pictures–it’s filthy! Please clean not only the cable, but the metal gantry too on a regular basis. And ensure what cleaning product you are using does not affect the coating on the cable–Simple Green is a great option if just a water damped cloth is not enough on the gantry/cable. if you’re using acetone or another chemical to remove soot and residue, you may be causing the coating to soften and stick on the gantry and thus increase the friction and cause it to wear like this.

But also simply NOT cleaning and letting the unit get covered with soot and such (especially bad with draft board), the debris on the surfaces will cause more friction than the clean cable to clean metal does–and increase wear and other bad consequences the designers should not be blamed for.


Judging by what I see regarding cable wear in the picture you’ve posted, it looks like someone attempted to ‘clean’ the cable with a solvent that degraded the insulation. Acetone or lacquer thinner, maybe? The insulation has been softened, which is common when exposed to said chemicals, and once this happens, normal movement activity leads to rapid removal of the insulating layer.

Your concerns over the non-replaceable nature of the white ribbon cable, and the fact that it’s not even offered as a special order part (along with a few other common wear items) are completely valid. Glowforge should provide the complete assortment of parts that go into building the machine as parts that can be purchased, if not to the general public, to select users that have the ability to perform such labor-intensive repairs or are at least willing to do so.

Personally, I would welcome the ability to purchase every part that goes into making a Glowforge, then providing repair services to other Glowforge owners… Talk about a moneymaker! But for now, I guess I’ll stick to small parts and upgrades. :slight_smile: