Complaints from Neighbours about odor... again

Hello everyone,
I now have my glowforge basic since mid may and everything started good.
I live in an appartment complex on the 4th flour (of 4) with a lot of neighbours.

I used the glowforge for a few weeks until I got a message from my property management that a neighbour is complaining about noise and odor.

So I took a downtime and fiddled a bit to cancel noise and odor.
I padded the window and got a lot of pipes and stuff and I now use an active charcoal filter (which some use for homegrowing weed, it seems :man_shrugging: ).

And the last weeks and months were cool and all and I didn’t get any new complaints.
Until now.
The management sent a letter, again and is telling me to stop the odor and fumes (not the noise, this time) because some (not only one) neighbours are complaining.

So: what else can I do to stop nerving my neighbours?
Over the months the hobby evolved into a business and I’m kind of dependent on the money I make with it. So, a clever, fast and hopefully cheap solution would be great…

Thanks a lot!

The box with filter and ventilation inside. The air is leaving the apartement through the hole in the window (left):


I can’t help with the filtering, although there have been people on here who have talked about industrial filters (hopefully GF will have at least one of their filters ready soon).

I just want to comment on your absolute commitment to figuring this out and making it work. It’s unfortunate you have to deal with it, but I’m impressed. Nice job!


I’m surprised you have complaints at all. I vent out my slider off the edge of my deck. Standing right under the vent, the odor is only barely noticeable, be it wood, acrylic, or leather.

I am not sure about dealing with your neighbor issue. Maybe doubling down on the filter? Depending on the available space, in-line fan out of the first filter into a second? Second vent into bathroom with your vent fan going? (Most of my spray painting is in my bathroom with the fan going.)

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Too bad you aren’t on the top floor of the building where you might have access to a roof vent from a kitchen or bathroom.
Not ideal, but a potential solution short of moving.

That looks like a very creative way of addressing the noise/smell issue! I hope it helps. Gives me some good ideas for my own setup as well.

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Well. It is the top floor with an empty attic above :wink:
But I don‘t have access to it, sadly

Well, it did but nit anymore as it seems

If in a total panic rent a storage unit.
I know 3 people that do maker projects in a storage unit because they live in apartments and are unable to make noise and smells. (it also allows for 4x8 work tables)

I have no idea if this is common. The one I asked said no one ever comes around to check what he is doing and he figured it was easier to be forgiven than ask permission, so no idea if this is legal/normal or not.
Depending on location, temperatures problems that do not occur with a lot of wood work may be an issue also with a GF unit.

Seems like a drastic Hail Mary. May want to read the fine print before signing to make sure you can do it.


Silly question perhaps, but you didn’t mention it, and I try not to assume stuff: have you replaced the filter media?


Checking this is on my agenda for tomorow :blush:

I wonder if it is a particular material you are cutting that is causing a problem - rather than always…

Ohh… I re-read your post, didn’t realize it was no longer helping. Do you know what the specific complaints are? I mean… is there some kind of acceptable decibel level if they are complaining about too much noise? Ugh, it sounds like you are in a tough spot.

Maybe you could get more specific info about the complaint to see if there is some kind of acceptable time frame you can work out where you can use it.

I tried to get more informations but the management is saying „sorry, I can‘t name the person(s) complaining“ which ends in „i don‘t get any more details on the matter“.
So I don‘t know who, when, why exactly, …

I assume MDF and leather is worse than acrylic, regarding the smell.
Buut that‘s just me. I really can‘t tell for sure…

Is your electric included in your rent?
Just a thought - they would complain about it themselves then.

My twin grandsons are in the room next to my glowforge and they just slept through a 15 minute print. I don’t seem that loud to me but I normally wear ear protection.

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No, electric bills are extra. And I was surprised how small the consumption was when I checked last.

Yeah, it‘s as loud as a vacuum and I don‘t think the noise is a problem anymore since I managed to build the windowcover so I don‘t have to use the GF with windows open :wink:

Perhaps ask management to give your information to the neighbors so they can reach out to you if they are so inclined? Then you can all have a sit down conversation. Passive aggressive reports to management is the stuff that makes for bad neighbors and stressful living, IMO. It’s the main reason I despise apartment life.


Could you burn some weed with the GF first? That way, the nit-picky neighbors won’t be able to tell the difference between your apartment and the other neighbors… :yum:


Just like any filter, the media is going to have to be changed periodically. If it was working but is no longer, that’s indicating the media has basically hit its holding capacity.


Although I have no solutions to offer, I’ve noticed that many posters here are addressing the noise issue, which apparently had already been solved. It is the odor issue which now needs attention.