It’s easy to keep your Glowforge in tip-top condition with a few simple techniques, so you’ll be able to print perfectly for years to come.
Always turn your Glowforge off before you begin cleaning.
Floor and Crumb Tray
Remove leftover cutting and engraving bits from the floor and the crumb tray whenever there is a buildup. Bits on the tray can prop your material up in the air, and a buildup of cutting and engraving bits can create a fire hazard. If, while cleaning, you notice you're in need of a new crumb tray, you can purchase a replacement in our shop here.
Remove the crumb tray
To remove the crumb tray, lift the lid, then swing down the front door. Lift the crumb tray slightly and slide it towards you. Be careful not to tilt the crumb tray up, or it will knock into the printer head and rails.
Empty the crumb tray
Tilt the tray handle side down over a trash bin and empty out all the tiny remains of past projects that have fallen through the metal grid. If necessary, turn the tray upside down and shake out anything that’s left. Use cotton swabs to gently remove bits that get caught. Be careful not to bend the grid.
Wipe the metal floor
Wipe the metal floor of the Glowforge unit with a soft cloth to sweep away any bits.
Check the dimples
Pay special attention to make sure the four dimples where the crumb tray sits are clean. If anything sits in those dimples, the Glowforge printer may not be able to focus correctly, and the camera will be out of alignment.
Replace the tray
Return the crumb tray to the original location, sliding it in horizontally. Be careful not to contact the printer head or the rails. When it is in place, the tray’s four feet will drop into the small dimples and it will no longer slide.
After every 40 hours of printing, use ZEISS lens cleaning wipes (available on Amazon and many other stores) to clean the cameras, laser lens, and windows. This will keep your printer working properly and help prevent damage.
Remove the printer head
Make sure your Glowforge is turned off. Grasp the printer head as shown, and pull gently up and back to disengage the magnets and remove it.
Wipe the windows on underside of the printer head
Turn the printer head over, and then use a ZEISS cleaning wipe to gently wipe the small window on either side of the lens.
Remove the lens
Gently insert the lens tool into bottom of the head with the “Remove” arrow pointing in. When you hear the magnet click, withdraw the tool and the lens.
Wipe the lens
Gently slide the lens off the lens tool and wipe both sides with a lens wipe. Be careful to touch only the metal ring to avoid fingerprints on the lens.
(If you need a new lens, they're available in our shop here)
Replace the lens
Flip the lens tool until the “Install” arrow points up. Set the lens down on the lens tool. The open side goes away from the blue plastic, so it looks like a bowl on top of the tool. It will sit firmly on the tool and will not wiggle. Slide the lens tool up into the printer head until the magnet clicks, then remove the tool.
Replace the printer head
Review instructions for snapping in your printer head, then put the head back on.
Wipe the printer head window
Wipe the window on the left side of the printer head.
(If you need a new printer head window, they're available in our shop here)
Wipe the laser window
Carefully reach over the left rail and wipe the laser window on the left side of the printer bed.
(If you need a new laser window, they're available in our shop here)
Wipe the camera lens
Finally, gently wipe the lens of the wide angle camera on the printer's lid.
Wipe some more
It’s normal for some dust to accumulate inside your Glowforge. It is not necessary, but you can wipe the laser tube or the inside of the case with additional ZEISS cleaning wipes. Allow any moisture to dry completely before you turn on your Glowforge again.
After approximately every 120 hours of printing, use ZEISS lens cleaning wipes (available on Amazon and many other stores) to clean the mirror in your Printer Head.
Turn off your Glowforge.
Open the lid and gently move the printer head to the center of the laser arm.
Remove the top of the printer head
The top of the printer head is held on by strong magnets. Grasp only the top, and then pull up carefully to remove it and set it aside.
Gently pick up the mirror
Inspect and clean the mirror
- Be careful not to touch the mirror surface with your bare fingers.
- Use a Zeiss wipe and gently wipe the surface of the mirror.
- Use several passes until the mirror is clean, each time moving to an unused portion of the lens wipe.
Note: If the mirror has a spot in the middle of it after cleaning, or is generally unable to be cleaned to a reflective finish, it needs to be replaced. Replacement mirrors can be purchase in our shop here.
If the mirror is unblemished, replace it carefully
Important: You can permanently damage your Glowforge if you replace the mirror incorrectly. Fortunately, we designed it to be easy!
- Hold the mirror by the handle and gently slide it into the notch with the mirror at a 45 degree angle to the top of the printer head.
Set the mirror gently back into the notch
The Glowforge logo on the handle will face up and sit parallel to the floor. It will rest softly in place - there is no need to push it in.
- The mirror handle should look like this:
- It should NOT look like any of the below:
- The mirror handle should look like this:
Tap the blue handle once
This will help ensure that the mirror is resting properly in place.
Replace the top of the printer head.
Close the lid of your Glowforge and turn it on.
It’s normal for some dust to accumulate inside your Glowforge. It is not necessary, but you can clean the circuit boards, laser tube, and inside the case.
To avoid damage to your Glowforge, follow these instructions very closely:
Turn off your Glowforge
Remove the crumb tray
Follow the instructions to remove the Crumb Tray for access to additional surfaces. Do not remove any other parts and do not loosen or remove any fasteners.
Blow dust off the circuit board on the printer head
Over time, debris can build up on the circuit board on your printer head. It’s not necessary to clean it. But if you’d like to, here’s how:
Grasp the printer head as shown, and pull gently up and back to disengage the magnets and remove it.
Without disconnecting the wire ribbon, use canned air to blow the dust away from the circuit board.
Review the instructions for snapping in your printer head, then put the printer head back on.
Blow dust off the circuit board in the case
There’s another circuit board on the left side of your printer. It’s not necessary to clean this either. If you’d like to, follow these steps:
- Use both hands to gently move the laser arm to the front of the print bed. You’ll see the circuit board on the left side of your printer.
- Use canned air to blow the dust away.
- Use both hands to roll the laser arm back to the middle of the print bed.
Spray a Lint-Free Cloth
If you want to use Isopropyl Alcohol, spray it on a lint-free cloth, then wipe debris away with the damp cloth.
Important: Never spray liquid on or in your Glowforge printer.
Allow all moisture to dry completely
Wait for your all the components in Glowforge to dry completely before turning it back on.
After vacuuming out any loose debris, you can give your exhaust fan a deeper clean with the following steps. To perform the full fan maintenance you'll need to obtain a can of 3M Novec Electronic Degreaser, which you can purchase from Amazon or Digikey.
Remove the hose from your printer
Squeeze the two ends of the ring clamp together and pull the clamp and the hose away from your Glowforge to remove them.
Vacuum the exhaust connections
Use a vacuum to remove dust and debris from the exhaust connection as well as from the outdoor exhaust vent.
Vacuum or replace hose
Replace your hose, or use a vacuum to remove dust and debris from the hose. The exhaust is a standard 4" exhaust vent, similar to what one would use with a clothes dryer. You can see it here.
- Once steps 1-3 are complete, you can clean your fan more deeply by running an additional fan cleaning process here.
First rinse your pro glasses in water to remove debris, then use a Zeiss wipe to remove any oils that the water doesn't wash away.
If you run into trouble while cleaning, or have any questions, please contact our team and we'll be happy to help!