Replace the Side Belt


Inside your Glowforge, there are two side belts that move the laser arm forward and back when you are making a print.

If a belt becomes damaged, your print might not turn out as expected or you may be unable to print altogether. If that’s the case, you can get back to printing by replacing the belt (or belts) that are a problem. Replacement side belts can be purchased in our shop here.


Once you have your new belt, these instructions will show you how to install it.

Before you begin

  • You’ll need a new side belt and a 3mm L-shaped hex key.
  • It's also helpful to read through all the instructions once before you begin.

Remove the old belt

  1. First, turn off your Glowforge. 
  2. To remove the old belt, slide the laser arm to the back, and then open the front door and carefully remove the crumb tray.
  3. Underneath the laser arm on the right side, you will see two small screws. Using your 3mm hex key, remove both screws to free the belt clamp that’s hidden behind this metal plate.



  4. Unhook the belt from the motor on the front of the printer. The belt should now easily slide off the back pulley and you can pull it out from behind the laser arm.


    Install the new belt 

    1. Make sure the new belt is in the correct position. The metal clamp will be on the top part of the loop with the holes facing toward you, and the screw should point up toward the top of the belt.


    2. Thread the right side of the belt from the back of the laser arm to the front of the laser arm.

      feed_belt_behind_the_back_of_laser_arm_alt_1.pngMake sure to insert the belt between the holes on the top and the metal part on the bottom of the laser arm.


    3. Now, loop the front side of the belt around the motor.


    4. Using your left hand, hold the far end of the belt and set it on the bottom back half of the pulley. Use your index and middle finger to hold it in place.
      Note: The belt will not yet be fully on the pulley.



    5. Still holding the belt firmly in place with your left hand, use your right hand to gradually pull the top portion of the belt towards you. The belt should roll onto the pulley until it is secure. This whole process is a little like putting a bicycle chain on.
    6. Now push the laser arm back so the clamp is behind the plate that holds the laser arm to the rails.


    7. Line up the holes in the plate with the holes in the clamp. To get them aligned correctly, you may have to pull the belt up a little. To check and see that the clamp and plate are lined up, insert the tool into the holes and ensure that it goes through both parts.


    8. To replace the screws, start them with your fingers, and then use the hex tool to tighten them.  
    9. If needed, repeat the process for the other side.
    10. When you’re satisfied that the belt (or belts) are installed correctly, turn on your Glowforge and try a test print.

Hopefully, these steps will get you back up and printing!

If not, we have a wonderfully talented and knowledgeable support team -- many of them fellow artists, makers, and crafters -- who want nothing more than to help you figure out and fix the trouble. For help or questions, please contact our team and we'll be happy to assist you.

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