Dense Smoke! Air flow stopped? Compact filter working

Hi GF Fam,

Sooo we are experiencing major smoke overflow issues out of a supposed “brand new” GF Pro. Less than 10 hours of use using only PG materials.
We have alerted GF (with several messages) and have received 2 not helpful at all replies. We have not and can not use this brand new machine. Tech support sent us back to the manual to make certain we aren’t fools. Maybe we are fools or maybe are smart enough to catch a major snafu in advance of epic disaster. Either way we’d like a functional brand new machine.
We believe the situation is with the internal blower that has failed or isn’t working or is stuck in cool down phase blah blah and is not pushing smoke towards the exhaust port…at all.

Poppy explains the situation in further detail in this video (Link below) You will notice the dense smoke pooling inside the GF and the fumes+ leaving from several places. Top shield sits slightly proud (a term mentioned in earlier threads) The compact filter was tested with and without hose…it is functioning as expected.

In any case, here’s Poppy with Recap #1

Poppy’s Recap #1

Please help Poppy GF! You’re his only hope! Poppy’s creations will save the world.
Save Poppy, save the world :earth_americas:

Thank you in advance for any help GF and GF Community.

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When a Compact Filter is being used with a Glowforge, it is the fan in the filter that sucks the smoke out. Turn the dial up on the front of the Compact Filter until the smoke evacuates the Glowforge. (Glowforge cuts the fan in the Glowforge when Compact Filter mode is selected.)


Cheers @Jules thanks so much for the love and super fast reply.
I believe we tried this and had no better result.
Would you have a next suggestion?
Thank you friend :hugs::innocent:

How noisy is the fan when you turn it on to the correct speed? (Should be about the noise level of a vacuum cleaner.)

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Yes more like a dehumidifier dB level

Turn the dial all the way to the right. See if it sucks smoke out at that level.

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Yesss we did. We tried all levels of the slightly variable speeds

Problem might be with the Compact Filter. It should absolutely roar when you turn it all the way up. The filter might be clogged too…were you cutting draftboard or MDF for those ten hours?


Good suggestion. We did take a look into the filter and it looked kinda clean… what should the top of the filter look like after 10 hours of use? Thanks again! You’re the coolest :sunglasses:

Unfortunately, a completely clogged filter can still look fairly clean. I sent one back to the GF crew for an autopsy, and after completely clogging it, it just looked slightly gray.

(Those really tiny pores in the filter just get blocked with the least amount of resins and dusts, but they’re necessary to remove the smell.)


Ok I hear all of that, thank you. We checked through it…we have major suction from compact filter.
We know there was a fan operating on the inside of the machine blowing from right to left to assist in exhausting smoke and particulate matter towards the corner and I to the compact filter. That stopped working

Oh! That’s your air assist fan. There are instructions for removing it for cleaning here:

That’s the first thing to try. If those get crudded up they can indeed cause smoke buildup.


Awesome @Jules !!!
That is something we can handle I hope.
We will check on this first thing in the AM tomorrow and report back ASAP!

Cheers and thank you for all of your time, support and kindness! :hugs::raised_hands:t4::facepunch:t4::alien:

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Good luck! :smile:


Ok I just checked that support link and we don’t think that’s it but we will try in the morning. The Smoke seems to be pooling in right side of machine and is not flowing whereas it used to get swept and pushed from right to left when we first started.
We are not obstructing the vent beneath

To the extent that you can, watch it while it cuts, right at the beginning, and see if any smoke is getting blown forward. That’s the air assist fan. If that’s okay, then it’s likely just a clogged filter. (That filling up with smoke is pretty much what it looks like when that happens.)

If you want to wait to hear from support about it you can, but I’d almost bet that’s what it is. (They do sell replacement filter cartridges in the Shop under the Spare Parts category. Probably not a bad idea to have a spare on hand if you can, because they can clog very quickly.)

Couple of things…you can extend filter life by running the fan for a while after a print finishes (an equal amount of time to the print.) You can open the lid, take out the print, and get on with whatever you were doing, but leave the fan running to clear it. Also, some folks were experimenting with pre-filters to catch the bigger particles and keep from clogging them up so fast. (Honeywell makes them.) They had limited success though, so it’s still not ideal.

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This is all superb info to have and I’m glad you included it in this thread.
Our last test revealed NO movement of air.

We do leave the filter running to clean the extra bad air stuff. We also noticed the compact filter warm to touch on bottom and side after running for long duration or when running to clear air after print. Possible the compact filter is issue but focusing still on the air movement from right side is non existent like it was when we were have super success

ZAnother thing to check is make sure the air intake on the right underside of the Glowforge is not blocked.


Tell you what…disconnect the compact filter hose, take the cartridge out of the filter and run it…see if it will suck a piece of paper down onto the port. (Don’t let it go, just see if it sucks it down.) Then put the cartridge back into the filter, run it again, and see if it sucks the paper down with the same force.


That’s exactly what it sounds like to me.