Air Filters, question about the need



Hello all,
So, I have a Jewelry store where I hope to setup my Glowforge. When I originally made my order, I added on the air filter, as we are indoors. After some redecorating, I now realize the Glowforge will be near our polishing machine, which was a large filtration system with an extended vent. I’m new to laser cutters, but our laser solderer works fine with this kind of setup. Am I underestimating the need for the air filter? Or can I do without it?
Russell Bauman


If you already have extraction and can feed the GF into it, I’d be inclined to do it. Think of all the lovely laserable materials you can buy with the savings.:grinning:


All of the Pre-Release users are currently running the machines using only external venting, since the filters are not ready yet.

There’s a bit of smell after the operation is completed, when you open the lid to the machine. But while it is running and venting outside, I can’t smell a thing. And I sit about eight feet away from it.

Haven’t tested the filter yet though, so can’t give you a comparison.

The external venting is through a 4" dryer type hose.


Thanks! So, um do I email them to cancel that?


Don’t have the link right off hand…wait just a second…


I think you need to email to cancel just the filter. But I could be wrong. I couldn’t find the option on the website.



Yeah, I can’t find it either…but emailing support will work too.


I would talk to Glowforge personnel about your situation before canceling, in case you’ve overlooked something.


There’s a bit of smell after the operation is completed, when you open the lid to the machine.

I’ve been seeing this comment a lot. Is it just the residual smell coming from the material itself, or is there still some smoke in the unit that comes out. What I’m getting at is, could it be reduced by simply running the exhaust fan for a little longer after the job is done (or even at a low level for a little bit after the lid is opened)?

@dan an idea for a hopper item might be to have the ability to long-press the button to manually turn on/off the exhaust fan (with some sort of reasonable auto-shutoff) as well as a setting to keep the exhaust fan running after the print and even a little after the lid has been opened, to cut down on smoke/smells escaping the Glowforge. (Or does it already do this?)



Before you cancel the filter, make sure that your current extraction can handle the added CFM required to properly vent the Glowforge (no idea how much that is…)

There is a mix of the smoke from the last cut (if the fans cut out immediately upon final fire of laser) and the smoke trapped under your working piece in the mesh of the honeycomb.

Plus some smell lingers on the part itself.


I don’t get much smoke coming out from the machine after it turns off…maybe a tiny wisp once or twice.

What I smell is on the masking and the grid…the burned residue from the woods and materials. Taking the masking off and sticking it in a closed container (Ziploc) reduces the smell to just about nothing. Brushing the residue off the grid - keeping it clean, cuts down on the smell as well.


If you’d like to cancel the filter, email and we’ll take care of the change!


Don’t get much smoke with the Proofgrade but I get quite a bit of residual smoke from a different formulation of MDF that I have been using. The smell is not real strong from it, but is noticeable.


One big advantage if you already have forced exhaust already in place, and as @jacobturner comments, you have sufficient CFM, then you’d have the advantage that even after the GF exhaust fan turns off, it would still have some draw through the duct, allowing trace smoke to continue to vent.


I haven’t done anything other than some standard 1/4" ply from Home Depot and Lowes, and that wasn’t too bad.

Oh…except for that mirrored acrylic…no smoke issues, but lordy, what a stench! :confounded:


Worse than plain acrylic? Odd you can smell the mirroring. My guess would be it is just a thin layer of aluminium.


Extruded vs. cast I believe.


Interesting as I have a piece of mirror that is probably the first thing I will cut.


I’ll post a video I can tonight. I get some wild swirls in there when it’s cutting. More than I expected.


I certainly get lots of smoke with proof grade, but yes, when I cut some Home Depot ply, it was a LOT of smoke…