Compact Filter Reviews?

it may have just been my impression then. but i feel like i remember seeing Dan say that you can’t use the vent when the GF is on top of the filter. he may not have explained why (can’t remember). and there may be ways to work around it.

Here’s one a little larger for $3250

I’ve seen the Trotec Atmos Mono for $1800+ used.

The Full Spectrum Laser compact filter is $1100.

The smallest ULS filter system is $6k+.

The bosslaesr filter is:

  • available now
  • for commercial grade use
  • has low cost filter replacement options.

Apples and Ambulances.

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It’s still a $600 filter set.

So again, what exactly was your point about paying $999 for it? That it’s too expensive?

For a thing I’m getting now?
For a thing I paid for 2017, yeah, kinda.

We are using higher quality carbon, motors, particle filter media, and specified a different cartridge assembly process and seal design. I think the sheet metal case is the same, though. :slight_smile:

The Compact Filter fan speed cannot be controlled in the software - the software controls the fan in the Glowforge, not in the filter.

This is correct - you can switch between venting and filtering, but you can’t easily route the filter exhaust outside if you wanted to for some reason.


Well that’s just going to fuel the whole “if they could do that, why couldn’t they get theirs out the door” posts now :slight_smile:

I received my compact filter today. Installation is easy. You basically just hook up the exhaust tube and plug it in.
I cut my stinkiest mirrored acrylic for 40 minutes tonight and didn’t smell anything. Normally my entire house would have smelled after 10 minutes of venting out the window.
The fan has a much deeper sound than that of the main Glowforge unit, and it is definitely quieter on the “new” fan speed. I was actually able to hear myself think when it was cutting!
I love that the fan stays on the whole time so it continues to eliminate smells after cutting. Still can’t understand why this isn’t manually controllable in the app.
Overall, very happy I went with the compact filter. I plan on putting a quick release on the filter so I can easily switch to the window vent for draftboard and plywood. But now I feel much better about cutting acrylic without fumigating the whole house.


Injection molded plastics. Lots of other stuff is tricky, but that’s the time consuming one.


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.