Acrylic smells

when I cut acrylic it smells up my entire house, even though my window is open and the ceiling fan is blaring. I have the out-the-window exhaust system. Any ideas on how to minimize the smell?

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Welcome to the forum. Are you using the acrylic from Glowforge? If you leave the lid of the Glowforge closed for a couple of minutes after a cut, it will help a little. Also, is your exhaust system tightly sealed or are you just putting the hose out of an open window?

If the open window is near the exhaust out window then it’s super easy for the exhaust to blow back IN.

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Where is the fan located along the hose? Place it at the very end so that it is pulling the he entire length and exiting the window. If it is anywhere else, it is pushing the fumes through any leaks into the room.


Yeah, don’t do this. Acrylic is the only time I don’t open the doors!


Ceiling fan? All that’s doing is ensuring the smoke is more evenly distributed within the space the fan is running in. It’s a giant mixer for the gasses in the room.


I messed with my extended exhaust run for about a month trying to stop odor from the laser until I meticulously sealed every joint with the exception of where the vent plugs into the machine. Now there is zero smell from any material while running.

If you are using a booster fan in the run @ovm.steve gives solid advice.

Oh no, I’m sorry you’ve hit a snag.

When you remove the material from your Glowforge, it will have a faint smell that may or may not be pleasant, depending on the material. Leaving the material in the Glowforge will minimize this, as the fans will air out the material, and the smell will disappear with time.

There appears to be some excellent suggestions from our other forum users here. Would you let us know if it helps resolve the trouble?

I messed with mine, and spent a lot of time sealing suspected gaps to minimal benefit. The solution was an external exhaust fan at the discharge end of the duct. It didn’t work much better at first, until I disabled the GF’s built-in fan. Then it worked great.

If the fan is sucking through the duct, instead of pushing through the duct, the duct runs at negative pressure and no smoke can leak even if there isn’t a good seal.

The best way to reduce smoke odor to the maximum is a fan on the far end of the duct, ideally outside the window or wall you’re venting through (because the fan is going to leak a little. I had to take mine apart and RTV all the seams and screw holes because my fan is on the inside of the window).


Yes! My exhaust run is around 40 feet through my shop into the furnace room and up through the roof with 4 elbows, so I have two 190CFM boosters. One 5 feet from the machine and another in the furnace room where it runs up to the roof.
After dancing with the odor problem without success I decided to take no prisoners and positively seal every joint in the standard 4" metal vent pipe I used.

In hindsight it would have been better to use one fan with a much higher CFM at the end as you said.

thank you for you suggestion. Yes it is Glowforge acrylic and the room smells before I even open the lid. I don’t even enter the room for about an 1/2 hour after it cuts.

thank you for your great suggestions .

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I hope that you are in the room when it is cutting because acrylic can catch fire rather easily.

I wish I had a solution. My machine stinks terribly when I cut acrylic. The clear is bad but the white is even worse! I have a VERY sensitive nose. So after I cut acrylic, I turn off my machine. Then I open another window open on the opposite side of the room (it is not where the exhaust can re-enter) and stick a window fan in it to suck out the air in the room. Within 5-10 minutes I can re-enter the room for my next project. It is very annoying, but I usually cut any acrylic project just before I am done with my machine. So I don’t have to keep turning the GF off and on again.

I should note that I run my exhaust with a dryer hose out a side window with the window sealed well with a towel between the two window panes where they overlap. So the best money I ever spent was on that Comfort Zone window fan!! It has adjustable sides to expand for different window widths so you don’t have gaps and 2 fan speeds from which to choose. 9" 2-Speed Twin Window Fan w/Manual Reversible Airflow Control, White – Comfort Zone, H2 Brands Group (
Sounds like your exhaust setup is much different but if nothing else works you can try one of these fans in the other window. I wouldn’t run the ceiling fan. It has always made it worse for me.

I appreciate you taking the time to review some of the suggestions the community has provided on this forum post. My colleague @jeremyh also provided some quick steps to help reduce the behavior you are seeing after printing.

Could you let us know if any of these tips were helpful, or if you are still running into the same snag?

thank you so much for your suggestions , they’re great.

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Hi @pauljac50. Thanks for your recent response, and it sounds like the suggestions, including the last post from @aprilevans0808, were able to help. I’ll go ahead and move this from our Everything Else part of our Community to allow any further discussion with this thread. If you run into any further trouble, please open a new thread, or write us at We’ll be happy to help. Thank you!

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