Clean Your Glowforge


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.


Power Off

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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Wipe the metal floor

    Wipe the metal floor of the Glowforge unit with a soft cloth to sweep away any bits.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.


Things that need wiping

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.  

  1. 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.


  2. 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.


  3. 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.


  4. 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.


  5. 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.

    V1 Lens on Tool Showing Bowl

  6. Replace the printer head

    Review instructions for snapping in your printer head, then put the head back on.

  7. Wipe the printer head window

    Wipe the window on the left side of the printer head.

  8. Wipe the laser window

    Carefully reach over the left rail and wipe the laser window on the left side of the printer bed.

  9. Wipe the camera lens

    Finally, gently wipe the lens of the wide angle camera on the printer's lid.

  10. 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.

Wiping the Mirror in the Printer Head


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.

  1. Turn off your Glowforge.


  2. Open the lid and gently move the printer head to the center of the laser arm.


  3. 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.

    45deg mirror

  4. Gently pick up the mirror


    examine mirror

  5. 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. If that's the case, lease take a photo, share it with us, and skip the rest of these instructions.

  1. 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.

    Mirror 1
    Mirror 2
    replace 45 mirror 3

  2. 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:

       02684fa1-ff52-4d55-a8d1-b05753dc9cf9.jpgbad mirror 2 bad mirror 1
  3. Tap the blue handle once

    This will help ensure that the mirror is resting properly in place.

  4. Replace the top of the printer head.

  5. Close the lid of your Glowforge and turn it on.

Additional Tidying

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:

  1. Turn off your Glowforge

  2. 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.

  3. 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.
      V1 Remove printer head

    • 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.

      snap in printerhead

  4. 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.
  5. 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.


  6. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Vacuum the exhaust connections

    Use a vacuum to remove dust and debris from the exhaust connection as well as from the outdoor exhaust vent.

  3. 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. 

Pro Glasses

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.


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