Air Filter Latest


This thread has the latest on the Air Filter - updated most recently Jan 17th.

Glowforge Air Filter Status

The Glowforge Air Filter is an accessory many of you pre-ordered. It sits directly beneath your Glowforge, raising it by 5.5 inches, and removes both odor and potentially harmful smoke and fumes.

Unfortunately, we’ve determined we had to make significant changes to get the performance we know you want and expect. The latest still isn’t good enough for you yet, and that’s adding time to our delivery schedule. We’ve updated our delivery estimates to reflect the latest.

Introducing the Compact Filter

As we’ve seen delays delivering the Glowforge Air Filter, we decided to partner with an air filter vendor to create a new product that we could deliver more quickly - the Compact Filter. While the frame is a standard design, the insides have been completely customized to be the perfect partner for your Glowforge with upgraded fans, enhanced seals, and higher quality filter media. We plan to sell them for $995 as an alternative choice to the Glowforge Air Filter.

To be clear, this is not the Glowforge Air Filter (many of) you ordered - it’s something quite different:

  • It’s a small filter, about the size of a recycle bin, and it sits on the ground near your Glowforge, connected by a hose.

  • It does a fantastic job of removing the smoke and fumes from the Glowforge unit and returns the clean and filtered air to the room. That means it’s safe to operate your Glowforge anywhere when the instructions are followed. In fact, the filtered air from the Compact Filter has significantly fewer particles than typical indoor air.

  • We’ve added a switch in the Glowforge software that you turn on when the Compact Filter is attached. When it’s set, your Glowforge runs quieter because the fans from the Compact Filter do the brunt of the work.

  • It’s based on a tried and true filter design from a manufacturer that specializes in industrial filters, but upgraded with a much more powerful fan, and higher quality charcoal and particle filters.

  • Unlike the Glowforge Air Filter, the Compact Filter does not make your Glowforge taller but instead sits on the floor.

  • We expect it to sell for $995 when it is first released, although this may change.

  • The knob on the front starts at the lowest fan speed setting when your filter is empty. As it fills up, you can turn up the fan to get more life from the filter before you replace it.

  • It does not have any sensors or lifecycle monitoring. When you start to detect an odor, you turn up the fan; when the fan is at maximum speed and you start to detect odor, you replace the filter.

  • It’s 16.5" wide x 10.5" deep x 17" high.

  • The Compact Filter has a 6 month warranty, the same as the Glowforge Air Filter.

Would you like one now?

The first production run of the Compact Filter is now available in very limited quantities to US customers who have already pre-ordered a Glowforge Air Filter. If you would like to cancel your Glowforge Air Filter and receive a Compact Filter right now instead, read on.

  • You’ll receive a Compact Filter for the same price you paid for your Glowforge Air Filter. There is no additional charge and no rebate.
  • We do not accept returns for the Compact Filter, but do support it fully with a 6-month warranty, the same as for the Glowforge Air Filter. (Note that the warranty does not cover a full filter cartridge).
  • You’ll be an early adopter – we might be slow to answer questions or identify solutions if you run into a snag.
  • We don’t have the price of replacement cartridges ready, or data prepared on how long they will last with each Proofgrade material.
  • They have been tested with Proofgrade materials. While they may work with materials from other suppliers, we can’t guarantee it.
  • Draftboard and other MDF materials will use up the filter extremely quickly, and so we recommend against using them. Your filter cartridge will last up to ten times longer if you avoid Draftboard.
  • We will ship some units immediately. If you don’t receive a unit right away, we may contact you later when another shipment is available.
  • We’ve already delivered a few early units to Glowforge customers who’ve been using them - they may be able to chime in and answer questions in the comments below.
  • If you don’t have an account on this forum, now is a good time to create one - we’ll need your forum username to request a Compact Filter in place of your Glowforge Air Filter.
  • If you don’t get one, or don’t sign up, don’t worry - we plan to have a larger production run in the future. Similarly, if you’d like to buy one but haven’t already purchased a Glowforge Air Filter, we plan to make that option available.

Would you like to trade your Glowforge Air Filter order for a Compact Filter? Please fill out this form to let us know, and we’ll get back to you if we’re able to send you one.

The Glowforge Air Filter has been a long time in coming. I’m so sorry for the additional delay - we’re putting just as much care and attention to detail into the filter as we did into the printer. We’ll continue to do everything possible to get it to you as soon as we can. In the mean time, we’ll look to make the Compact Filter more widely available as an option for everyone.

Nov 2018 Update
Discussion of September 2018 Update
Filter portion
Building a shop to get GF out of the house
September 2018 Update
Filter Alternative?
Glowforge Filter Unit ETA
Glowforge in apartment - no air filter yet
October 2018 Update
A useless glowforge and no air filter
A useless glowforge and no air filter
Air filter deliveries
Still Waiting On Filtration
No option to enable Compact Filter in the UI
Still Waiting On Filtration
Air Filter Delivery Frustration
Delay length
An Honest Air Filter Update. Please!
An Honest Air Filter Update. Please!
My first and LAST post
Air Filter dates changed again
Jan 2019 Update (Latest)

Personally, I am glad you guys are working on getting it right. I’d rather have something that works great than something half-assed.


I’m wondering if it is going to be possible (maybe later, after the backlog is cleared) to purchase the filter separately @dan?
(For those of us who change our minds frequently.)

I like the idea of it running quieter too…nice incentive to add one. :slightly_smiling_face:


Thank you for the transparency. Had you elected to be this forthcoming earlier you might have kept more of my goodwill as a customer.

Is this the only problem that you have identified in the production run to date? Recognizing that one cannot have foreknowledge of all things, how much confidence do you have that the new tooling will remedy the problem and that there are not other production issues waiting in the wings? It seems odd that you are introducing an alternative product in October when you say your whizz-bang product will be shipping in January.


If you want to stress test it, do some of the deep engraving I’ve been doing on 0.5" Red Oak (315/full power). It produces copious oily smoke (you can actually see the smoke in the backyard when it’s engraving). I wonder how the filter will cope with that stuff. Just the front of the case gets caked with crud when I do those jobs, but I would question how well an activated charcoal filter might survive something like that given it will coat all the pores in the carbon with oily buildup.


Can we have both? I still want my GF filter, but it would be nice to be able to purchase a spare alternative, too.


Have we yet learned how long the filter consumables will last, and how much they will cost?

(Yeah, I know, how long it lasts depends on what you cut, but a ballpark figure would be invaluable for planning.)


Dremel says they are shipping their digilab laser cutter on sept 22. They will also have available an air filter for $2K from bofa. Probably GF wants to be able to have an air filter shipping in order to reduce marketing noise from Dremel.


I would hope that any carbon component would be in the “post filter” phase of the thing… not ‘pre’. A HEPA (or even a 13 MERV) box filter will get a lot of the odor just by trapping the particles. 1/2" prefilter, 3 or 4" merv/hepa cartridge, 1/8" carbon post…


First of all thank you for the update! Currently I can hardly use the glowforge because of noise and smoke (only Saturdays are left for me… :disappointed_relieved:) any improvement of those two factors are highly appreciated!
Dan do we have to add any “international” approval time to the proposed date? I’d like also to know how long the cartridge will last and how much replacement will cost. Are we able to order one additional cartridge to save some money on shipping?




Any chance that the air filter plastics will help to ensure a level bed for the Glowforge unit? There have been a lot of users complaining of the lid mis-aligning, and this is sometimes traced to a small difference in surface height across the body.

I don’t know how it would be accomplished, but would like to imagine there is a way to ensure level placement of the main unit with the filter serving as the base.


This is the only problem we know of and the new cartridges look to perform well. That said, there’s an infinite range of possible problems. The current forecast has significant buffer (it could be earlier) but there are a huge range of problems that we could find that could push it later.

We considered this a lot, and decided it was better to do more work to get people another option, vs. making everyone wait for what we think is the ideal product.


We plan to sell both a la carte when they’re available, so yes.


@Dan, I hope this works better than those super expensive 3rd party filters you provided for MFNY last year. For the cost of a used car, I figured they’d have worked better than they did (not sure if the oppressive heat affected their efficiency - Alex and I still talk about how awesome you and @Bailey were at helping us stay cool and able to keep going with that crazy mob with the waters and popsicles that one day). For something the size of a dorm fridge it got the air “cleaner” but certainly not “clean”.


Unfortunately we can’t find any good way to express it - no other filter manufacturers have either. It just varies too much with settings and material. I’ll ask the team to keep thinking about how we might be able to give better direction, though.


I believe this is an offset from the previously communicated times, which are longer for international. So no, we don’t know of any additional delay, although delays are possible and international dates have less certainty.


Yeah, $5k and still stinky. Our performance standard is “not stinky”.

Thanks for that though, we did our best with the popsicles. :slight_smile:


That would be great. Not having used any laser air filters before, I don’t have any idea at all what to expect. This could cost me a buck an hour or a nickel an hour to run.

I might suggest producing a runtime value given the assumption of cutting nothing but one specific material. You know what the most commonly cut PG materials are, so you could develop that figure for, say, the top 3-4 types of materials.


750 hour expected filter life when cutting Proofgrade Walnut Hardwood
500 hour expected filter life when cutting Proofgrade Medium Maple Plywood
450 hour expected filter life when cutting Proofgrade Medium Clear Acrylic
350 hour expected filter life when cutting Proofgrade Thin Leather

That way at least we get in the right ballpark with the most common materials, and extrapolating from one kind of material to another is the user’s responsibility, not yours.


As a patient customer, I would ask for you to add-on a few credits or bonus items for having to wait even longer on this!

If I’m remembering correctly, originally the filters were supposed to be shipped June/July 2018, now they’re being pushed again to JANUARY 2019! I received my Glowforge in January 2018. It will be a whole year waiting for the Air Filter! And I have not even attempted to laser cut anything plastic due to the harmful smokes I may inhale without a proper filter.

A read other Glowforge owners have posed the following questions: how long will the cartridges for the Air Filter last? And how much will the replacements cost?
—Perhaps here is an opportunity to provide a handful of filters to us, the customers, included within the shipment of our Air Filter.

Another important question for me has also been one asked by Glowforge owner @jacobturner. He wrote: “Any chance that the air filter plastics will help to ensure a level bed for the Glowforge unit? There have been a lot of users complaining of the lid mis-aligning, and this is sometimes traced to a small difference in surface height across the body.”
—I am very interested to hear the response to this question, as I am one of those affected by the “lid mis-alignment” ailment in my Glowforge unit.

Finally, one last thing I would like to suggest…
—Could you provide a temporary AirFilter (the one you would be producing for October) that us as customers could eventually exchange for the “ideal product” that would be shipped next year? In other words, give us something in the meantime, BUT allow us to exchange it for the original elite product once that is finished. Specially since you are saying: “there are a huge range of problems that we could find that could push [production] later”.