Air Filter Problems & Smoke/Smell

I have the compact air filter… worked great for about 1 week, maybe 5 - 10 hours of engraving on my pro, and now it’s down… Seems to be a filter problem, that’s where the air loss is coming from… The fan/motor seem to be operating just fine when I take the filter out, and I can feel suction… I set the filter back on, and there is a major loss of air flow… I troubleshot the exit line, and cleaned the machine, lenses, and bulb… we’ve gone ahead and exited the smoke out of the office rather than using the filter. Kind of sucks - Kind of getting the run around from glowforge…

Also, while using proofgrade materials, we’re getting some heavy smoke & smells… I’m doing alot of cutting… I’m wondering if the focus isn’t perfect, and I’m scorching through too far creating a black residish type smoke…

Again, I didn’t really experience any of these problems the first couple of weeks I had my machine…

Any thoughts, recommendations?

I’m starting to brainstorm modifications already…

Are you using MDF / draftboard? From what I’ve seen in the forums, those clog the filter pretty quickly. Some people are using prefilters to keep from having to replace the main filter so often.


No, I’m sticking with the clean proofgrade 1/8" hardwoods… maple, oak, walnut… the cleaner burning wood types… The more I think about it, the more I think maybe I’m searing the crumb tray some how, and that’s creating that toxic smoke… Seeing images of other peoples fan problems, I’ve noticed a similar residue problems… that residue doesn’t come from the hardwood. If we’re searing the poly on the tray, that’s going create all kinds of sticky problems down the road…

Could I potentially use my own spoil board/crumb tray? Maybe even just use the draftboard as an intermediate layer or is that going to create a new problem? fire? ect.

I don’t see why not…we do all sorts of stuff to prop things up for engraving with the crumb tray removed. If you use layers of wood or other flammables within the laserable space, though, you create air gaps that could increase the risk for flames.

Thanks for your help… I’ll just keep tinkering, and I’m sure I’ll get some of these kinks worked out… so far that machine has created some beautiful mock up ideas for my business… I haven’t been able to get in touch with glowforge about the air filter, but I’m staying positive, and I’m sure I’ll get some help here shortly…

By posting in Problems and Support you’ve opened a support ticket, so they should be checking in soon.

If you sent them email already, you’ll have duplicate tickets for them to resolve, which can slow things down, FYI. I like posting here first, since this way you get forum input too, which can help with troubleshooting and speed up finding a solution. :slight_smile:

I sure wish I could get some more info… I suppose I’ll post a video

My anxiety is through the roof today…

As your machine is functioning you’re going to triage further down the list than someone who is down completely, but they will get back to you. I believe the auto-response email gives a timeline. It’s the same timeline here, just a different format (ditto for chat)

What speed do you have the Compact set for? If you visit The Glowforge Compact Filter you find a lot of information on tweaks to the filter (I don’t have one so I can’t comment directly except for the speed thing which I read about on that thread)

Also, thick cut/engrave lines are usually because the lens has been put in upside down. When you have the :glowforge: head in your hand, the lens should look like a bowl as you slide it back in (read this: Won't cut through proofgrade draftboard)

I don’t have a filter myself, so I can’t really be much help…there’s a lot of info in the announcement thread about the stand-alone filters, you could try browsing through there while you’re waiting.

Wait…Filters have shipped? I completely forgot they were a thing. I Should get my refunded if this is how the are performing.

Compact filters have shipped
:glowforge: filters are still in process

I’m so sorry for the difficulty. I see that you’ve reached out to us by email and I’ll be following up there shortly.

Since we’re taking care of it there, I’m going to close this thread. Thank you for your patience.