Alternative air filter

We are in the process of receiving a new machine, but air filters are on back order for 2-3 months. Does anyone have an alternative that’s similar to what Glowforge has?

I don’t have any alternative ideas for a filter since I vent out. I’m sure by now you’ve read a lot about venting the Glowforge and that using a filter is pretty much a last resort idea…not nearly as ideal as venting to the outside and certainly more expensive in the long run. Venting outside should be a first choice and would be well-worth figuring out a way to do instead of using a filter.


Unfortunately, venting out isn’t an option at our office. We require the use of the filters, but if we were able to find an alternative it be ideal.

Filters, or machines with filters, are often posted for sale here.

That might be the most practical (and timely) solution.

The Flux Beam filter has a similar form factor and price as the GF version. I have zero idea how well it works though. The GF version works quite well as long as you’re not running draftboard/MDF primarily. Do get least one extra filter, when it’s done it happens fast.

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This looks very similar to the Glowforge one! I wonder how well it would work? We run our machines daily, so we definitely need something that won’t fill up fast.

The unfortunate truth is that a filter on that scale will need new filter media within about 40-50 hrs of use, give or take, depending on what you’re working with. You’re creating particle-heavy smoke by vaporizing material. You can refer to the published numbers for the Glowforge filter. With some materials, you could fill a cartridge in a day.

Using indoors with a filter is, as stated above, a last resort and only appropriate for light, occasional use - unless budget is no factor and you can afford to replace the filters frequently. The pre-filter that one above has would help a little, but not much.

Sorry to sound so negative but, as I started with, that is the unfortunate truth.


… and you can source them reliably, which may be difficult these days.


What are you cutting/engraving daily? There’s no filter that won’t fill up fast vs other filters, it’s the nature of laser cutting. The biggest factor is the material you’re running. Nothing but acrylic, paper and leather will probably last the longest. MDF/Draftboard and other materials full of glue the shortest. Good quality plywood like true baltic birch somewhere in the middle.

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plywood. We just need something that’s similar to the Glowforge filter, that can help until we get the actual filter from back order.

If you buy a different filter, there would be no need to get the one from Glowforge.

It’s not “better”, there’s no such thing as a filter that doesn’t “fill up” as much as another - other than the pre-filter media which has been discussed by GF, but never offered. Some have come up with their own workaround.

Again, a filter is a last-ditch effort for occasional use. Most plywood is one of the worst materials, due to the MDF core - unless it’s all veneer, like Baltic Birch.


What’s your budget?

You may want to search the forum for conversations about the filters. Many people have expressed disappointment that they fill up quickly and are very costly to replace.