I can only speak for myself, but I’m sure I’m not alone on this one. I purchased the Glowforge Pro with the compact air filter with the intention of using it on a daily basis and in most cases, all day. I mean the Pro title alone indicates you’re taking this beyond a hobby/enthusiast level. I made this purchase to start a small business. Additionally, I don’t have the option at the moment to vent outside. After just a few weeks of fairly intense use, we have discovered that the air filter is already full. And with the replacement air filters currently out of stock, our small business venture has come to a complete stop. It’s actually a little nauseating considering how much money we have invested in this equipment and materials.
We had to learn a few things the hard way.
- We didn’t let the air filter run after the job was done. This should be more clearly communicated in the setup tutorial.
- We weren’t aware that some materials clogged the filter faster than others. Again, I know the documentation is there, but this needs to be better communicated.
- The air filter cartridge cannot be cleaned or recycled. I find it especially disturbing that the cartridge is not made of a biodegradable or recyclable material. It is not a good feeling knowing my only option is to throw this thing in the trash.
While I am trying to figure out some kind of temporary “homemade” solution for an air filter and realizing how much these frequent filter changes are going to eat into my profit margin, I feel compelled to challenge the Glowforge team to do this air filter thing better.
You’ve managed to engineer a pretty amazing piece of equipment and the design of this air filter leaves a lot to be desired. I have two major requests.
- Provide the filter cartridge in layers. Allow us to replace the filter layers independently. Clearly, the top filter which collects the most particles would require changing more frequently. Then the second layer less frequently, and the final layer which captures fumes and gases to be replaced the least frequently. It seems wasteful to lock all these components into a metal box which forces us to replace it all at once.
- Make it recyclable. Maybe I don’t understand something because I’m not an engineer but I can’t see why a metal casing is even necessary. Why can’t it be made of a biodegradable material or recyclable plastic?
I’m sorry for the rant, but I’m just feeling really frustrated and I know I’m not the only one.