Cleaning Tip

So I just want to let people know my experience with this shop vac I bought. If you put it in the back of the pro, and I imagine this works with any of the models, it causes the fan to start spinning (in fact you have to be very careful that’s not spin it too fast so you go close and let it start spinning you don’t even need to touch it) and it literally pulls out all the dust from the machine except obviously what stuck on. No longer do I have to use 1000 Q-tips. I thought I would share this tip with everyone image|375x500


This is generally not a good idea - the fan running backward generates an electrical charge into the system. Hopefully GF has protected their electronics from this, but if not it will damage your control boards. The ShopVac also creates a static charge on its plastic nozzles due to the flow of air. This can discharge to your Glowforge and destroy its electronics.

They did. :+1:


It’s protected and works great. I understand electronics - we don’t even have carpet which is just as “bad”. Unplugged it affects nothing negatively

There’s no direct connection between the stator windings and the GF (or any other device that uses similar fans). It’s all self-contained inside the fan, on the driver board behind the rotor.

What CAN damage many machines like the GF is the power induced back into the control boards for the stepper motors that move the gantry and head. As GD support often recommends manually moving them, however, they have (hopefully) used components that protect the control circuits from the induced voltage.

Static would still be a risk. I wouldn’t do it.

1 Like

Well my degree in engineering and tells me different. If it’s unplugged and you have a hard floor there would not be any static created especially if you wait 15 minutes to plug it back in and not touch the forge. Fuurthermore they should’ve made the fan much easier to get to if this was an issue and I’m sure it’s fine

Mostly you guys are missing the point. If you want you could make it to where the fans don’t move with popsicle sticks and still suck everything out that’s the real point



I’m not missing the point. I’m just saying spinning won’t harm anything.

It’s the air flow over the blades that creates static, rotating or not. Whether or not it could damage the machine, I’m not sure. I personally wouldn’t risk it. (although I no longer have a fan installed anyway…)

… and, yes, I’m an Electrical Engineer.


Me too and having a hard floor and/or waiting negates any static that may have arisen.


It’s equally as easy to break something sticking 1000 Q-tips into the back of a pro. I’ll stick to the shop vac and understanding the law of the conservation of energy and static flow. They made that back impossible to clean and now I found an amazing cleaning method which works and has worked. And if it creates static I wait for it to go away (which is a matter of time). And in that case anything can create static - literally anything that causes the fan to spin or socks on carpet and touch machine. Carry on the difficult way don’t mind me and my advice (all those above were done on Glowforge - clearly I understand how to use the machine)


How do you prevent the static discharge from the vacuum cleaner nozzle to anything that the vacuum cleaner nozzle touches? If this wasn’t an issue, please explain why electronics repair manuals list it as a danger and recommend anti-static blowers to clear dust? A quick Google search results in the same information:

While the fans may be protected by reverse generation diodes, the electronics can’t be protected from static shock. You may be fine using it, or you may generate enough discharge to damage something. The risk is there and anyone reading your tip should be aware of it.

Reading that article is helpful in the answer (as I said you can be inches away and keep it unplugged or 15 minutes either of which are solutions). Literally nothing in what you have pasted in backs anything you’re saying.

From article *** " vacuum isn’t directional. Thus you have to have the end very close to what you’re cleaning–if you have a static charge on it you might end up too close and a spark would jump.

Compressed air is directional, though. You’ll be holding it much farther from what you’re cleaning–there’s no chance of a spark jumping to the target (although you could still zap something off to the side that you got too close to.)

Obviously you must beware of condensation when dealing with compressed air. If that were the slightest risk (as I live in the desert it rarely is) I would discharge some air in a harmless direction first"

The answer clearly states unplgugged and not touching (which i mentioned you dont have to) is absolutely fine. Use 1000 Q Tips its your machine. If you think using1000 Q tips isnt “bad for it” youre not thinking sir. No need to defend us having to find a work around for literally the most important piece to clean. They should have made it easier - static is everywhere

I have found a even easier way. By putting the Vivosun system at the other end of the 4" hose it pulls constantly and spins the fan constantly in the proper direction pulling air through the Glowforge and constantly removing fumes and the smoke moves away much faster leaving much less reside than before.


100% correct this was gonna be my next step. Great idea. Hydroponic equipment is great for this.


Here’s my answer. :wink:

I also recently removed the exhaust fan and installed a quiet booster near the rear. The decibel difference is amazing! That 4" fan did 13,000 RPM, the booster with a 10"impeller does a fraction of that.

BTW, those are some fine engraves! :sunglasses:


Thank you! And what an elegant solution!

1 Like