Compact Filter running out too soon

I have a GF Basic and a Compact Filter. Since getting the filter, I have already been through two filter cartridges. I am very surprised at how quickly they seem to fill up.

The first filter cartridge lasted me about 2-3 months, which involved very infrequent use of the Glowforge. However, at that time I was primarily using draftboard, not aware that it would cause the filter to fill much more quickly than other materials.

The second cartridge I have had only since early February. I probably use the GF about once every week at maximum. I have not used any draftboard since that time, almost exclusively cutting proofgrade plywood.

Is the compact filter really not up to the task? Given that the cartridges cost $250, and the rate I seem to be going through them, we’re talking about around $1000 a year for maintenance cost for my GF – not what I was expecting.

Is there any way to get some stats from my GF about how much time it has been in use? I would like to understand whether my usage is really within the envelope of the filter cartridge specifications.

Thank you!

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Unfortunately, what’s in the middle of PG plywood is MDF, aka draftboard. :frowning:

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Dang, I never considered that.

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Yeah…if you can vent out a window you’re 'way better off doing that and saving the filter for when you can’t, for whatever reason.


I had the same issue, I filled mine in a bout a month and at $250 that was painful. As @geek2nurse mentions, if you can vent out a window you’ll be very happy. I couldn’t have a permanent window vent so I came up with a removable option - works very well for me and I put it up when I’m going to use the GF and take it down when I’m done.

I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve hit this snag. As @geek2nurse pointed out, MDF based materials can drastically reduce the lifespan of your Compact Filter Cartridge. When you utilizing your Compact Filter, we recommend running air through your Compact Filter after each print to prolong the life of the cartridge. I’ve included that part from the manual here:

For best results, leave it running one minute for each minute that you print. For example, when you finish two 30-minute prints, leave it running for an hour after they finish.

I hope this information helps! I’ll close this thread for now, but please don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly at if you run into any trouble. We’re here to help!

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