Compact Filter Reviews?

Good to hear. Thank you for the review.

jamesdhatch, my question wouldn’t have been ‘why couldn’t they get theirs out the door’ so much as ‘why couldn’t we have had this to begin with’. I know the design element is important to the Glowforge but at the end of the day it’s a tool. Pretty < Functional.

*shrugs *

In any case, my filter should be here tomorrow so we’ll wait and see how it works. Based on the reviews I’ve been seeing so far I’m really hopeful.

It’s also important to some of us on the customer side. I did not switch to the compact filter and will continue to wait because the streamlined GF implementation has value to me that exceeds the utility value of getting the compact now(ish). Having to manage another odd shaped box, floor standing, hose attached is more intrusive to my space vs the more compact portability of the GF filter for demo, MakerFaire, etc still drives my decision (& likely others who continue to wait).

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I can see that. It would have been nice to have this available right up front though. My GF lives in my basement on a bench next to the 3D printer. I’m not hauling it around to demos, I’m using it. If they made the compact filter available at a lower price than the full filter they would have sold them like hot cakes and could have used that income to advance the production of the pretty one.

With regards to the ‘now-ish’ note, I put in my request and will have my filter within 5 days. That’s pretty darn now-ish compared to the initial wait and then the wait for the designed filter. I’m very happy with the quick turn around.

I wonder if the ‘Compact Filter’ modal in the settings would work in conjunction with setups with high CFM boosters downrange of the exhaust of the machine? This would aid in reducing the noise levels locally at the machine.

That’s good news. The last official communication didn’t commit to delivery timeframes. Looks like that may no longer be the case but they haven’t caught up with communications.

Nowish is still not nowish and who the heck knows when for some of us.

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I just received my compact filter after much impatient waiting and so far I’m really happy with it.


  • The air filter installs as simply as pulling it out of the box, hooking up the hose, and flipping a setting in the app.
  • Odor performance has been great so far. 1.5hr plywood engrave with no smell.
  • At low speed it is really quiet. The Glowforge was quoted at being around 60db, I’d put this around 40db. It also is a more comfortable pitch, more similar to white noise than the shrill normal fans.
  • Chaning out filters seems like it will be easy. It pulls out of the box, drop a new one in


  • Doesn’t have a pre-filter of any kind, despite there being room inside the filter box above the main filter. @dan This really seems like a simple add to put a coarse foam large particle filter in the top, which should last practically forever since they can be rinsed out. As someone who works with wood a lot, it’s almost a requirement to grab the bigger particles that come out.
  • Fan speed is guess-work. There’s no automatic fan speed control, so you have to go by when things start to back up into the Glowforge or start to smell, but it seems pretty forgiving.

Honestly, I’m overall really happy with how well it performs. Other than the pre-filter lack (which is a $5 DIY mod at worst), it exceeds all expectations. The only thing remaining will be to see how the filter life is, which hopefully is 100+ hours, and see how much they cost.

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The coarse pre-filter seems like a no brainer. Good idea.

Hey Gang,

I just received mine today… I really like the size and portability of the unit.

Buuuut… Does anybody have an odd startup sound with the compact filter? It’s kind of a ringing / rubbing sound, hard to describe. It’s pretty loud at startup, I don’t notice it at speed.

That isn’t a normal sound.

Mine makes that sound if I turn the dial slowly.

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Does your fan start turning about when the dial is turned to 9 o’clock position? (pointing at the clean icon) That’s about where mine starts spinning as I turn the dial clockwise from full off.

Yeah, roughly in that area. It’s a little “loose-feeling” if you know what i mean by that, but it hasn’t “not turned on” so far. (Using this one since December…I was one of the first wave of tester volunteers.)

I’d suggest keeping an eye on it if it bothers you, but I honestly hadn’t really given it any thought until you mentioned it. Just felt like turning on a fan from zero. Some of the variable house fans that we have around here do that too. (They’re slow to spin up.)

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Thanks Jules, your description matches mine. It was just weird enough I wanted to check :slight_smile:

I’m glad they created this filter, it will work much better than the original in my situation since most of the time I can vent outside.

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Yeah, I switched back to venting outside after I completed the initial testing. It’s going to be useful for stinky things like acrylics, but I really don’t do that much acrylic work, so I mainly vent outside.
(I do mostly woods and plywood.) :slightly_smiling_face:

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I found these pre-filters on Amazon. Cheap and you can cut to fit with scissors. I just drop one on the top and let the suction hold it down. I don’t know how much it will help with dirty cuts, but it might extend the filter life a bit.

You would think that, once the original GF filter gets sorted, it would be pretty easy to develop a retrofit kit for the compact filter which would replace the manual fan speed control with a software-controlled version. This way both filter types would have the same type of functionality. If they don’t want to deal with making this available, maybe the can release the communications protocol so that us tinkerers can develop our own. @dan ?

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Great idea - will put it in the hopper!

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