So it finally happened, after about two years of blissful cutting my landlord decided that the smell and fumes are too much and wants it gone I bought the air filter and use it most of the time (except for jobs with lots of engraving, that gets vented out the window). I change the filter every month and use carbon pre-filter sheets on top. But apparently there is some smell and it bothers him and a mystery tenant in another unit (the worst smells are getting filtered and what does get vented is barely noticeable imo.) Just wanted to vent here and maybe see other gf owners in apartments have the same issue and any advice.
Never had this issue, but nobody in my building knows I own a laser cutter or the property management company. Generally in cases like this the solution to the pollution is dilution but it sounds like you have people there who just want you to stop despite your efforts to appease them. Is there a specific material you are cutting that is causing the complaints? Could you move your venting point so that the exhausts is dumped at the roof level? Buy strong scented candles to perfume the air and make it less noticeable after your pre filter and filter? If possible change the window you vent from? One thing I would do is stop using the machine for a period of time and see if you still get complaints. Other than that, I would just move somewhere else.
Thank you for the thoughtful reply!
Material: I almost exclusively cut acrylic. It doesn’t smell that pleasant, and some are more stinky than others (like mirrored acrylic.) For my stinkiest material types, I use the glowforge filter for cutting. It does start to smell in the apartment because of it, but it’s not like everyone is sniffing around in my apartment. (Despite that, my landlord entered my apartment to fix a clog and I think that the faint smell accelerated his dislike for the printer.)
Venting: Unfortunately I’m in between the upper and lower floors so I can’t exhaust through the roof. I am currently exhausting out my window, but only when I do long engrave jobs (like 30 min of engraving and 1 min of cutting) on my least offensive materials (cast acrylic, paper).
Candles: good idea, I do tend to notice that the smell is completely overridden when I make duck soup.
Window: currently use one facing out the side. I don’t think changing now would do anything, but maybe if I had put the printer inside one of the bedrooms it change the smell distribution to a better one.
The landlord has already decided that it needs to go, so I asked for a week to work out moving logistics. I think you bring up some good ideas and I will try better at my next place. Looking for a way to vent to the roof sounds like a good idea. I’m not sure how smell dissipates but it goes… up?
I was suggesting above the roof mainly because the wind blows a bit quicker up there because of less obstructions like a smoke stack on a factory but to a lesser extent.
I have found cinnamon febreze works great for covering unwanted smells as it is quite overwhelming. I live on the top floor here so maybe that is part of why nobody has ever complained or at least never been able to pin anything to me heh.
I wonder if air from your apt is moving into the hallway and that is where the complaints come from? maybe increasing the air flow out of your apartment during cuts would stop it from going out there if it is? Like having a second fan blowing out another window or running the bathroom fan if you have one to pull more air out that way. When I cut smelly things like acrylic I use my inline fan to boost air flow out to help dilute as it goes outside and I also have it in a room and I close the door when doing acrylic, again to stop any smells from spreading and maybe going into the hall. If you are looking at a new place I would go for the top floor and if possible to have the least amount of people around your venting spot as possible. Would also suggest not letting anyone know you have the machine unless you need to for legal reasons, just causes unwanted hassle imo. Once people know it exists pretty much every bad smell will be attributed to you if you are causing it or not.
It’s a small apartment complex so I don’t think the communal hall (more of a stairwell) is the source. Rather, the weather has been really nice lately and I suspect that the neighbors directly below or above the window I use decided to open those.
I run 2 air filters, open a different window, run the AC, etc. to air out the apartment and I guess it is still not enough to erase it completely (but you’re onto something with cinnamon febreeze and candles!)
You’re totally on point that every bad smell will be attributed to me. I bet whatever they are smelling will continue to lurk around even after I pack everything away.
That’s a bummer. We live out in the country with no neighbors but my husband has said if we lived close to anyone, they would be complaining as he claims it smells bad outside and I’m one story up from the ground.
I am not in an apartment but in our hood, the houses are rather close together ( a brave soul could leap from roof to roof). I got a not of negative feedback on the fan noise originally. So I replaced the internal fan with an external fan and those issues went away.
The smoke vents out the side of my house, so it ends up rather close to one neighbor’s house as well. He has only complained once but that was enough for me to take more care to not smoke him out. If he is in his yard, I do not cut . Thus far, that seems to work. So, you may want to cut then the complainers are absent. I know that is not much help.
I hope you find a good solution.