Air Assist Alert

Glowforge Performance Series Performance Series


Your Glowforge has a small but powerful fan, called the air assist fan, pointed where the laser contacts the material. It’s under the laser arm, behind the laser head. With your laser head seated properly, the fan will push smoke away from the print area and give you cleaner prints.

When the head is not seated properly, however, the air assist fan cannot spin up to full speed, and you’ll see an “air assist alert” in the app when you print. Here's how to clean the air assist fan and, if necessary, re-seat your printer head to clear the air assist alert error. 

Troubleshooting Steps

If you run into this alert, here’s how to re-seat your printer head. Before you begin, turn off your Glowforge and unplug it.

  1. If you haven't already, try cleaning your air assist fan. Sometimes an air assist alert is just a sign that it's time to give the fan a good clean! Take a photo of the air assist fan in case you need to send it to support later.

    If that doesn't work, or you've already cleaned it, continue to step 2.

  2. Remove the printer head:

    Holding only the finished black surfaces, grasp the printer head as shown below. Pull gently up and back to disengage the magnets and remove the head.

    Glowforge print head being removed from the carriage plate

  3. Clean the contact points:

    Carefully wipe the four gold pins next to the lens on the bottom of the printer head, as well as the four gold contacts on the carriage plate. Take a photo of these pins in case you need to send it to support later.

    Image of the 4 spring-loaded pins on the underside of the print head

  4. Look at the back of the print head, and check the other side of the four gold-pin connectors for damage or anything unusual. Take a photo of the back of the print head, similar to the example below, in case you need to send it to support later.
    Image of the back of the Glowforge print head. The back of the head has an exposed motor, circuit board and small fan.
  5. Reconnect the printer head:

    Lower the head over the metal plate so that it rests next to the two round posts. 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.

    The printer head being placed back onto the carriage plate, with the back of the head facing away from the person placing it on the plate.

  6. Restart your Glowforge:

    Plug in your Glowforge, turn it back on, and run a test print.


If you are still having trouble, please contact Glowforge Support, include the photos you took during steps 1, 3, and 4, and let us know what you've tried so far.

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