Why does my fan look different than the others?

I have cleaned this before. But when looking at videos on how to clean their glowforge, theirs looks such easier than mine. I don’t see anyone else have a fan with this honeycomb shapes in it. And I have this metal in the way to clean the other side too. Can somehow help me figure out how to deep clean this?

The original units had that honeycomb shape. (Mine does as well.)

Use a brush or pipe cleaner to loosen the dirt and vaccuum it up with a hose attachment.


The honeycomb style was the original way they were made. They were later improved with the easier to access style.


Do those metal sheets need to be in there?

Yes. That’s the heat sink.


If you want the machine to operate in the temp range and specs of a pro, then yes. Those need to be there. If you are well versed in the machine and comfortable with electronics, you could remove them to clean the fan. As some that has had to do that, I can’t imagine anyone else needing to unless they put vinyl in a machine and are trying to clean off all the corrosion over time.

You machine looks pretty clean. Why do you feel you have to clean the heat sync and inline fan?

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I don’t recommend it but I did this:

Also some people removed just the grid but left the exhaust fan.

I removed the fan also and machine is much quite but I use the air filter.

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I have been having issues with the glowforge not cutting all the way through glowforge material the first cut. And I have cleaned everything else to the best of my ability so I was just wondering if this might be a part of the issue. But now that I think about it I guess this fan doesn’t really have anything to do with how it cuts but the amount of smoke that goes through it.


I agree. You also could use an air compressor to help blow stuff out. I have a Makita quiet series that I use for cleanup :slight_smile:


Hi @desireehobart I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been having some trouble with your Glowforge as it tries to cut through material. I saw that you also noticed the exhaust fan looking different, and will be happy to work with you to address everything with needed troubleshooting.

First, there are several things that need to be checked if the laser doesn’t cleanly cut through the material. We’ve discovered that photos don’t always come through well in emails, so I’ve included several links that will take you to reference instructions and photos. Please turn off your Glowforge and check the following:

Once all these things have been checked, please perform the following test print.

  • When the print finishes, leave the lid closed and wait until the fans stop and the picture updates.

Check the completed print:

  • If the Gift of Good Measure fails to cut through, take a photo of the front and back of the print and attach these photos to your reply.

  • If the Gift of Good Measure cuts successfully, please try another print of the design you experienced the issue with, and let us know the results.

Next, to address the state of the exhaust fan, you can try to remove any attached debris by running through our fan cleaning program with steps below:

First, you’ll need to obtain a can of 3M Novec Electronic Degreaser, which you can purchase from Amazon or Digikey.

That page will walk you through the cleaning process. Brief summary:

  1. Turn off and unplug your unit and move it outside. Make sure it’s in a location where it has power and Wi-Fi

  2. Using the fan maintenance page, you’ll be able to turn the fan on

  3. Following all manufacturer’s safety instructions from 3M, spray the degreaser into the fan while it’s running for approximately 5 - 10 seconds, or until the fan is clean.

  4. When you’re done cleaning, turn off your unit to stop the fan, and return it to its usual home. You should now see considerably better performance from your exhaust fan!

Please let us know if you have any questions!