Cleaning exhaust fan. No advice from GF?

Ive searched and searched however i can find no official advice on how to clean the exhaust fan. Is that right? I find it really odd they don’t think it needs maintaining

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@Jules is about as official as you can get without being an actual Glowforge employee. Here’s her exhaustive (snicker) rundown on how to do it:


Short version: There is no good way to do it, so I think GF just backed away slowly and pretended it didn’t exist. It’s a bad design flaw.


In my opinion it is the fan grill that is the biggest problem. It is a safety liability to the company to have an unguarded fan, but that requires the fan to blow directly into an obstruction. The result is the fan has to churn at 13,000 RPM in residue laden turbulance depositing more gunk on the fan blades, and presenting a surface that will eventually face load and block the machine from breathing.

I see you are one of the original backers, if your warranty is gone like mine you might consider doing What I did, providing you are comfortable with your tinkering skills.

I’m very happy with the results. Removing the obstruction to airflow (which also benefits cooling), allowing much easier cleaning of the fan from the rear, and eliminating a periodic maintenance requirement. It also runs a bit quieter.
I was a little reluctant to tear into my precious, but with care it really isn’t a big deal. I am much more comfortable with my ability to pull maintenance on any part of the machine, which will come in handy when tube replacement time rolls around.


Yeah id read that already. Just boggles my mind there is no advice. I just got a second GF and the difference between the two units is massive. The first unit has degraded significantly in its extraction performance and i clean out the rear fan very frequently with teapot cleaning brushes etc


My machine isnt quite out of warranty as its actually my third replacement unit. I was looking at it today though thinking surely the top left panel comes off so you can get proper access to the fan!

Id totally modify it. No concerns at all with opening it up. Just wasnt sure if that side could actually open

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out of interest can you link me to the teardown you mention your post. id just like to read it!

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You sound like you’d dig openglow.

Crabbier tone than here but technically deep.


The link @evansd2 posted is where I got the guidance.

While we don’t monitor Beyond the Manual, if you need help cleaning your exhaust fan, feel free to post in Problems and Support ant the team can help you through the process.


This is so awesome.

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Thanks i will do. Id just like to know what the official advice is.

If you do a quick parusal of the #problems-and-support area, it shouldn’t take long to find a post listing out all the steps. It’s fairly frequently posted as dirty stuff messes with everything.

There is no major official advice, just brush it off occasionally. @jules ‘s post is as official as it gets, way more thorough.


@jae says there is a process so ive posted over in problems and support as requeted.

Yes, the non-advice advice is here:

I am not sure why no one already told you. To find it all I did was search the forum for “clean exhaust” in problems and support.

@Jules goes way into it here (as @geek2nurse already mentioned):

And she says as much here:

I still think this may be the biggest design element I’d change on the entire machine, especially for pro users.