I am new to glowforge and have been using it for 3 weeks with the compact air filter. The air filter doesn’t seem to be working now as smoke is filling the room and suspect the air filter is full but how can I tell when full? And is it normal to have to replace it every 3 weeks with what I would call low to moderate use?
If smoke is starting to seep out into the room, it’s definitely time to replace the filter. (Assuming you have the speed dialed up.)
As far as how much use it has had…there is no way of knowing how long the filter is going to last, because it depends entirely on what you have been doing with it, how many hours of actual cutting and engraving time you have on it, and what kind of materials you are working with.
Avoid things like MDF and Draftboard to extend the life…those products throw a lot of glue and particles, and will clog it up about ten times faster. Also avoid resinous woods and soft woods (padauk, cedar, pine,). A lot of heavy detailed cuts (living hinges) and deep 3D engraving also fill it up faster. (I tested one of the filters early on…the more material you throw up during an operation, the faster the filter will fill up.)
Some folks use a pre-filter to extend the life of the main filter.
Those have to be replaced more frequently, but they keep a lot of the larger particles out of the main filter.
A final trick which supposedly will extend filter life is to leave the fan running for an equivalent period of time after the cut is finished. (Same amount of time that the cut was running.)
Thank you so much for responding and the information. Most of what I have been doing is thick draft board and acrylic so sounds like the filter needs replaced. I am going to try the pre-filter as well. Thanks again!
Thanks for the answer @Jules, that’s right! I’m going to close this thread.