Compact Filter Reviews?

My apologies if this is a duplicate. If so, I couldn’t find the original thread. :frowning:

I see some people have gotten their compact filters. Can we get some reviews? Maybe photos, filter information, etc.?

My Glowforge is awesome but my wife has a very sensitive respiratory system and venting hasn’t worked well at all. I am willing to accept that I’m not going to get the air system I paid for but I just want something that works. Specifically with regards to the smell.

Any info would be appreciated.

Thanks all.

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Yes, there are a couple reviews listed on the Air Filter Latest thread below:

If you want to sign up for one that you did not pre-order, you can still do so…you need to sign up for it in the first post in the thread here:

And be sure to tell them somewhere on the form that it is a new purchase that you did not pre-order. They would have to bill you separately for that via PayPal, and it’s a more involved process than just switching out a pre-order.


So, photos aren’t hard, they’re in the links @Jules provided above, look for the user guide.

Filter info is still a little sketchy as far as cost. Lifespan of the filter will be determined by the kind of cutting you do. Lots of MDF/draftboard will clog things right up fast.

I’ve been using mine for several weeks now, and there are only 2 things that I’ve noticed:

  1. I forget to turn it on first sometimes. The reminder comes quickly from the smell. One of the features of the original design will be turning the filter on/off automatically.
  2. As you use it you’ll need to increase the air flow setting over time. You generally figure that out by the smell also.

Changing out the element will be as easy as popping the top off the enclosure and pulling the old one out, then dropping the new one in. We’re talking about 50ish pounds so keep that in mind.

Setup is easy, but the GF staff do need to push some type of update so that you can enable the new fan setting in the GFUI/App. If you change back and forth between filter and venting outside you’ll need to remember to adjust this setting each time you change.

Overall I’m really happy with the compact filter. I opted to take it because I didn’t want to deal with putting the the GF on top of the original filter and making my unit taller. Also, changing filters on the original design looks like it will involve pulling the 55ish pound GF off the top of the filter then changing elements. I don’t think we know that for sure, but I do like the form factor of the compact filter better for my needs.

I’ll learn the filter lifespan when the time is right. I don’t believe they’ve published costs for the filter element yet.

Edit: changed weight of GF to 55 from 70. Thanks @jbmanning5


FWIW, the Glowforge is about 55lbs, I believe (shipping weight is 70). But, is tough to pick up because of the girth. And then you have to have somewhere to set it.


We’re all guessing about this. It could be that you could lift the GF slightly and rotate it or slide it to the side (with a small stand on your work surface to support however much you might need to slide it. It’s possible the entire interior of the GF filter is occupied by the replaceable media but I’m thinking there will be some electronics, fans and potentially baffling pathways before hitting the media.

Don’t know how the electrical connection is going to be made between the two units to tell the main unit the filter is attached, but it’s extremely likely that can be modified to allow for the filter to stay attached but the GF wouldn’t “know” that and with a switchable Y exhaust (like @jules did for her CF filter) you could switch back and forth.

So far we don’t know much except the shape of the GF Filter and the air connector (the elbow off the back). Everything else is supposition. (Yeah I know Dan said you’d have to lift it off, but they’re also the ones who say don’t use magnets but made a honeycomb bed out of steel because magnets work vs the often used aluminum honeycomb. They say what’s needed to make the FNLs happy, not what they and others really do.)

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Based on the teardown, they appear to communicate via an IR port.


Cool. Easy to stop that from happening when you want to vent out the back.


Thanks for the feedback all.

I put in my order for the compact unit over the weekend and FedEx says it will be here by Friday! I’m super stoked but also disappointed in a few things:

  • It’s not the sexy air system that I thought I was buying and after, what, 18mos, I kinda feel like I was forced into this.
  • We STILL don’t know how much replacement filters will cost. The user manual says to check the GF shop but they don’t seem to have the info yet. I’m a pretty low volume user so I don’t think this will be an issue for me but schools, libraries, maker spaces, etc… those folks need to budget.
  • If the compact unit is efficient and functional and they just slapped it together as a stop gap measure… Why is the actual air filter taking so long? If it’s going to be THAT much better then aren’t we getting taken for a ride on the compact unit?

Meh. Anyway… I will be posting a detailed unboxing and initial review once I get the new filter. I hate to sound all doom and gloom above. I really am happy with my GF and look forward to many years of lazering. Hopefully now my wife will even let me run it while she’s home :stuck_out_tongue:

They didn’t develop the compact - they partnered with another company that was already building it. They modded it a bit so they could control fan speed & things in the GF but they didn’t slap something together.


Must be awesome to finally be made whole. They must have some terrible algorithm doing the choosing, because I’m still here sitting on my thumbs.

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GF was was responsible for providing the product purchased. If all they did is, as you suggest, re-purpose an existing design, then why am I paying $999 for it?

That’s probably about the price you’d otherwise pay. Either that or somebody’s making a profit.

Probably a little of Column A, and a little of Column B. You already paid the money, so why change the price since you’ll never know how much it otherwise would have cost.

As opposed to?

I see similar products in that size range run around $1100.


my guess is that GF was able to get the price down to $999 with a little scale.

it’s not as pretty as the original. but personally, i think it’s more flexible.


I’m really excited about the new filter design and functionality. I just wish I could get one already. :wink:

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Or by just taking a little less profit than the MSRP would be…

It does seem more flexible. Additional details on the Glowforge-unit would be nice though for those waiting (I canceled long ago) - such as switching between venting and filtering (the process). Confirmation on the media replacement (that the Glowforge does have to be lifted and moved). I don’t recall that either of those two questions have been definitively answered, but it’s possible that I missed them as well.

i thought both of those had been confirmed by @dan.

there’s no way to switch between venting/filtering while the GF is mounted on the GF filter (although there have been thoughts offered on mods based on what little we know that might work).

the GF does have to be lifted to replace the filter media.

Dan did answer that in the affirmative a year or so ago. Same with the “you can’t switch between filter & vent without taking the GF off the filter” issue.

Both are things I’ve got some thoughts on in terms of simplifying and since my GF will be out of warranty by then I’m not too worried about doing it. Won’t be destructive but it won’t be “as suggested” by the FNLs either :slightly_smiling_face:

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The posts I could find were really ambiguous - basically, could be read as - you can vent out the window, or you can filter, but you can’t do both because the filter itself doesn’t have an exhaust (exhaust the filtered air out a window).

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such as?