Unboxing & Setting Up Your Glowforge


Let's Get Started

If you’ve read about Safety, you now know everything you need to operate your Glowforge safely, and that’s pretty cool. Thank you for your patience. Now, it’s time to get your laser creating!

Unboxing shouldn’t take too long – we can’t wait for you to get started with your first print, either. In just a few minutes, you’re going to have a working laser in your home (or office, classroom, workshop, or design studio)! Of course, if you encounter any challenges along the way, our Customer Success team can be reached at support@glowforge.com.

The box is specially designed to protect your Glowforge through all shipments, domestic and international. Be sure to keep the box and packing materials, as you’ll need them if you want to transport your Glowforge again or for any warranty repair.

Before you start, be sure you have a stable surface on which to place your Glowforge where you’ll have nearby access to an electrical outlet and exhaust vent.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Any Damage?

If your packaging or any part of your Glowforge shipment is visibly damaged on arrival, we want to make it right as soon as possible! Send photos of the damage to support@glowforge.com and wait until you hear back from us. If the Glowforge itself is visibly damaged, do not plug it in or attempt to operate it; contact us immediately.

Getting Acquainted

Here’s a quick tour of parts you’ll need to know:

Your Glowforge 3D Laser Printer & Accessory Pack

Your shipment arrived in two boxes plus another one for the air filter if you ordered one of those. The largest box contains your Glowforge printer and (shipped inside your Glowforge for safety) the printer head and power cord. We suggest telling the neighbors the box contains a big microwave, so they don’t pester you all day to use it.

The box that’s short and wide is your Glowforge Accessory pack. This either in the large box or a stand alone package. It contains your your Proofgrade™ materials along with your accessories. Set it to the side for just a few minutes.

Remove straps and edge protectors (selected packages)

If your Glowforge box has straps and edge protectors as shown, cut the straps and remove the edge protectors. You do not need to save these with the rest of your packaging.

Remove white handles (selected packages)

If your package came with white handles, these instructions show how to remove and replace them. 


Choose a Location

  1. Choose a Location

    Choose a location in a well-ventilated room with a 4“ (10.1 cm) outdoor exhaust vent. This is the same type of vent used to connect a dryer. The exhaust vent should be at least 3 feet (0.9 m) from property lines and openings into a building, and at least 10 feet (3 m) from mechanical air intakes. You can also put the hose out an open window, so long as the end of the hose is at least 3 feet (0.9 m) from the window and meets the other criteria above.

    Glowforge Basic 3D Laser Printer (Box #1)

    ON/OFF Switch

  2. Prepare a Surface

    Get a hard, flat, and stable surface ready. If the surface is unstable, uneven, or too small, then you could have inaccurate prints, the doors may not close properly, and the camera might be misaligned. You could even damage your Glowforge.

  3. Unseal your Glowforge box

    Carefully cut both strips of tape sealing the underside of your Glowforge box

  4. Remove the Lid

    First peek: that’s your very own Glowforge.

  5. Remove the top layer of protective foam

    If your Accessory pack shipped inside your Glowforge box, you’ll find the protective foam underneath the top pad.

  6. Unfold the plastic covering so that you can lift your Glowforge out.

    Your Glowforge is shipped in a protective plastic bag to protect it from the elements during shipping. Unfold the plastic bag without cutting or tearing it, and move it to the sides so you can reach in. Be sure to keep the plastic bag in case you need to ship your Glowforge again.

  7. Have two people lift the Glowforge printer out of the box


  8. Leave a Little Room

    Place the printer with at least a 1 in (2.5 cm) of clear space in all directions. Do not block the air intake on the bottom right side of the Glowforge printer.

  9. Confirm Safety Equipment

    Confirm that your safety equipment meets requirements: Fire Safety and Smoke and Fume Safety.


Remove Printer Head and Important Orange and Red Bits

We’ve secured your Glowforge with two foam blocks and several important orange and red bits. In addition to providing support during travel, the rear foam block also holds your Printer Head.

  1. Remove the tape from the front of your Glowforge then lift the lid & lower the front door


  2. Remove the Front Foam Block

    Gently pull out the foam closest to the lowered front door.

  3. Remove knobs

    To the left and right, you’ll find red knobs. Unscrew and pull them out.

  4. Reveal Printer Head

    Remove the top layer of the rear foam block to reveal your Printer Head and lens tool.


  5. Remove Rear Foam Block

    Gently remove the rear foam block, including the Printer Head and lens tool. Set these aside for now. Don’t worry! You’ll power up your Glowforge in mere minutes.

  6. Remove Orange Tape from Laser Arm

    Pull the tape from the point farthest away from you towards you, then gently remove it from the wire ribbon

    You don’t need to save the tape!

  7. Remove Clip

    Under the glass tube, you’ll find an orange clip. Push down on it and it will pop off.

  8. Remove Red Strips

    Push the laser tube back gently, then lift off the two red silicone strips.


Glowforge Pro Only: Removing your Pro Shields (optional)

Your two Pro Shields arrive installed inside your Glowforge Pro. They finger-screw right into the front and back passthrough slots of your Glowforge Pro to ensure that nothing - material or laser light - comes in or out when the slot is not in use.

The Pro Shields should always be installed except while the passthrough slot is in use. The Laser Safety Officer (LSO) training provided to Pro customers has important information about the Pro Shields. Please re-read it before removing them.

Should you need to remove them, follow these instructions:

  1. Turn off your Glowforge

    Turn off your Glowforge using the power switch on the back. The lights and button should be off.

  2. Lower the front door and remove the crumb tray

    Lift the lid, then lower the front door. Lift the crumb tray slightly and slide it towards you to remove it. Be careful not to tilt the crumb tray up, or it will knock into the laser arm and rails. Leave the front door open.

  3. Remove the front Pro Shield from the front door of your Glowforge

    With the front door opened, turn the black finger screws on either end of the Pro Shield counterclockwise to unscrew them, then lift the shield away from the front door.

  4. Using two hands, gently pull the laser arm to the front of your Glowforge

    This will expose the rear Pro Shield so you can easily remove it

  5. Remove the back Pro Shield from the inner back wall of your Glowforge

    Turn the black finger screws on either end of the Pro Shield counterclockwise to unscrew them, then lift the shield away from the wall.

  6. Reinstall your crumb tray, close the front door, and turn on your Glowforge!

    Instructions for installing your crumb tray are available.


Your Glowforge Accessory Pack

It’s time to open your Glowforge Accessory Pack.

Universal Accessory Pack

Inside you’ll find your jet black ferrous steel crumb tray, power cord, exhaust hose, and two ring clamps.


Slide In the Crumb Tray

The black and metal crumb tray sits inside the bed of your Glowforge, supports the material you place inside, and catches leftover print bits to keep your Glowforge nice and tidy. It has four little feet that rest in four little dimples. The handle goes in front, and the feet go on the bottom.

  1. Lift the lid of your Glowforge & lower the front door


  2. Gently Move Laser Arm

    Using two hands, gently push the laser arm away from you until it’s near the back of the printer.

  3. Pick Up the Crumb Tray

    Pick up the crumb tray - make sure the handle is in front and the wide black plastic strip is in the back.

  4. Slide In the Crumb Tray

    Slide it in until you feel the feet settle into the dimples in the base of the Glowforge printer.

  5. Make Sure the Handle is in Front

    Check that the handle’s in the front, and the wide black part is in the back, just like the picture. Otherwise, you’ll have mysterious printing problems, and feel silly when we ask you if your tray is in backwards.

  6. Close the Front Door


Snap in the Printer Head

Never connect or disconnect the printer head while the Glowforge is plugged in or you might break something.

  1. Position the laser arm and metal plate

    Gently slide the metal plate on the laser arm all the way to the right, then push the arm to the back of the printer.

  2. Carefully Pick Up the Printer Head

    Do not touch any part of the printer head that is not flat black metal. Be especially careful of the yellow window on the side of the head. Remove the printer head from the white foam tray and remove the orange foam cylinder from inside the head.

  3. Pick Up the Wire Ribbon

    Holding only the finished black surfaces of the printer head, pick up the printer head and wire ribbon as shown.

  4. Slide the Ribbon into the Head.

    Make sure the tab on the wire ribbon is facing up. Slide the ribbon into the head until it clicks.

  5. Attach the Head

    As shown, lower the printer head over the metal plate so that it rests next to the two round posts. Then push it gently away from you – you’ll feel a “click” as magnets pull the printer head until it sits snugly atop the metal plate.

  6. Make sure the head slides freely and move it to the center

    Using both hands, gently move the laser arm to the center of the bed.

    Gently slide the head all the way to the left, then right.

    If it doesn’t slide easily, make sure that the ribbon cable is a simple loop with no twists, as shown.


    Move the head back to roughly the center of the bed, under the lid camera.

  7. Close the front door and lower the lid on your Glowforge


  8. Save Everything!

    If you need to ship your Glowforge, for example for warranty service, you’ll need all the original parts: boxes, handle locks, foam, and important orange and red bits. Store them safely - replacement packing materials are $249.

Set Up Exhaust

  1. Connect Hose to printer

    Use the hose provided. Slide the ring clamp around the hose then squeeze the two ends of the clamp together to fit the hose and clamp over the exhaust connection on the back of your Glowforge printer. Let go, then check to be sure the clamp is settled over the white ring around the exhaust and will not come off with a gentle tug.

     Exhaust installed with ring clamps

  2. Connect Hose to Outdoors

    Connect the other end of the hose to the outdoors through a window or a vent that connects directly outside. Do not use a vent that extends the length of the hose past 8 feet or adds any turns. Keep the hose as straight as you can, with no more than two turns of 90 degrees or less. Make sure the hose isn’t twisted, pinched, kinked, or flattened.

  3. Disconnect Hose After Use

    Changing weather conditions may cause hot, cold, or humid air to enter your Glowforge that could damage it. When your Glowforge is not in use, remove the hose from the vent or window, or disconnect it from your Glowforge.

Connect to Electrical Power

  1. Ensure your Glowforge is off

    Make sure your Glowforge is turned off (O is depressed) and then connect the power cable.

  2. Plug in your Glowforge

    Plug the Glowforge into a grounded wall outlet with 800 watts of power available. Make sure you connect the printer directly to a wall outlet and not a surge protector or power strip.

  3. Turn on your Glowforge

    Turn on your Glowforge by pressing the switch so the “I” side is depressed.

    Lights will come on, the head will move, and you might hear a bubbling sound. The printer's button will glow teal. Your Glowforge is on!


Sign In and Connect Your Glowforge to Wi-Fi


Your Wi-Fi network must be 2.4 GHz b/g/n and WPA2, WPA, WEP, or open. Note that every user must have their own account. If another user needs an account email us at support@glowforge.com to request one. It is a violation of your agreement to allow anyone other than you to use your Glowforge online account.

  1. Get Ready

    Find a device that uses Wi-Fi to access the internet, like a laptop computer. Go to community.glowforge.com and make sure the page loads correctly.

  2. Begin Setup

    To begin setup, go to setup.glowforge.com

  3. Sign In

    Your username is the email you used when placing your order. If you have not used your Glowforge account yet, you can set up your password by clicking “Forgot password?” You’ll receive an email to help you create or reset your password.

  4. Enable Airplane Mode

    If you are using a phone or other device that can access the internet through the cellular network, turn on airplane mode. Otherwise, it will use the cellular network, and won’t communicate with your Glowforge in the next step.

  5. Connect to Your Glowforge Printer's Wi-Fi

    Your Glowforge is now broadcasting a special Wi-Fi channel so you can connect to it and finish setting it up. Follow the instructions on screen to connect to your Glowforge printer's Wi-Fi. You will not be able to access the internet again until you either finish, or stop and reconnect to your usual Wi-Fi network.

  6. Your Glowforge Will Begin to Calibrate

    When you connect successfully, the printer head will center and begin its calibration process before completing and moving back to the printer's back left corner.

  7. You Are Connected

    Your Glowforge is now connected to the internet and ready to print! 

See also

Make Your First Prints

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