Do I have a paperweight for 5 months

I’d pretty much given up looking at anything on this in disgust. I got my email the other day then saw that my air filter will not be available till mid June. I have no where to place this that I can vent it out a window. That was suppose to be the whole point of having the air filter.
So do I even bother and just have them hold it till June or go ahead an get it in fear of a Coolest Cooler situation?

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If you truly have no way to vent, wait, your warranty starts when your unit leaves the factory. Might as well preserve warranty days if it is going to sit.


Cut a hole in the wall and install a dryer vent, then cancel the filter. I have little faith in the filter, and the vent installation is easier and less expensive than you might think.

Of course there are a million reasons why you might not be free to cut a hole in the wall but I’d seriously try to work it out.

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As @markevans36301 said, you dont have to accept your Glowforge now.
If you are unable to vent then it would be in your best interests to defer until the filter is ready.

You will have access to the user interface. It is straight forward but there are huge limitations on file importing, for instance multi layer pdf’s and svgs (at least from my experience), also file size. I am redoing a lot of my work from the last 2 years. I would have saved a bunch of time if I had access to the user interface and knew these limitation. Consider that in your decision.


I plan to put my near a window, and run the vent hose to a dryer vent installed in a board that sits where the window would be, with the window open just enough to accommodate it.

Alternatively, you could build a filter. 4-inch flexible duct to a 4-inch pipe cut into the lid of a five-gallon bucket. Submerge the end of that pipe two thirds into the bucket, fill halfway with water. Cut a vent hole in the bucket lid, install a 4-inch Pro Flo filter on another pipe in that hole. Cap the filter end. Now you have a water trap for particulate and filter for everything else. if you’re worried about gasses, you can make a PVC housing for activated charcoal to instill in either 4 in pipe.

If there is no way to make it work without the filter, then there is really no option but to wait. It sucks big time, but why have it sitting in a corner burning nothing but the warranty period?

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You’ll be creating back pressure with that method (proportional to the depth at which you sink your pipe). I wouldn’t recommend it, it’ll reduce your airflow. Filters in general will always introduce some back pressure, the trick is getting the pressure as low as possible while still getting good filtration – it’s not an easy balance to strike. I have no idea what the limits of the glowforge are on this sort of thing, and I seriously doubt they’ll tell you detailed specs to allow you to try to concoct an optimized filter. Maybe we have an expert on this in the forums, but it isn’t me… I’m a generalist.

Wild speculation follows, but with a slightly informed background [degree in environmental engineering]:

I really believe that there is no substitute for exterior venting, and that filters should be an absolute last resort. It’s straight physics, you have particulates and VOCs and god knows what else. If you think you’re getting a pure odorless experience with a filter, I believe you’ll be disappointed. Scrubbing this much out of the air will take a lot more space than you think [I believe more than the GF filter is going to provide], and you’ll be changing media a lot. Even if the filter is 90% effective at reducing volatiles from the exhaust, it’s still going to stink like crazy if you cut leather or rubber or acrylic. Trace amounts of those compounds will be very noticeable.

This doesn’t even cover things that might be harmful. I have no idea if or how the GF filter will handle CO emission and a wide spectrum of possible emissions, especially from non-PG materials. Caveat Emptor, as they have been very tight-lipped about exactly what it can and can’t filter, and what to expect. I believe that are good reasons why it’s taking so long to try to get the filter out the door, and that these types performance issues are probably at the heart of it.

They promised a lot showing a GF setup in someone’s kitchen during the funding period – I can tell you that now that I have my GF, filter or not, there’s no way I would do that. Lasering is just too smelly. The best filter in the world wont stop massive odor problems caused just by opening the unit after the job is complete.

Again, this is wild speculation but if there is any way for you to cut a vent, I say do it. I did mine with a compass and a jigsaw, because I couldn’t be bothered to get a hole saw. Took me about 1.5 hours to do it all told – it really is a simple project if you have a relatively straightforward wall setup. I used this:

Just be careful when cutting into a wall to be sure there are no electrical wires in it. Here’s a guide to finding wires in your walls:

Given the risk of shocky injury, I would recommend googling beyond this one link before you go cutting.


filtering can work very well. we obviously don’t know much about how the GF filter will work because nobody’s seen one in action.

but we have a BOFA two-stage filtration system for our universal laser and i can’t smell a thing when we run extruded acrylic on it. it’s huge and it’s not quiet, but it’s effective.


“it’s huge and it’s not quiet, but it’s effective.”

Exactly. Huge. Not in the “fits neatly under your glowforge all sexy-like in the promo video”.

Assume your big filter has a cyclone to catch particles, then a giant physical filter to catch even smaller dust, then a huge array of activated charcoal to eat up VOCs and stuff, and has a nice big non-inline assist fan to run it all?

How much does media cost in something like that? Can it eat up CO? Inquiring minds want to know.

well, we just installed the laser last week and we’ve only used it a little bit. I think what the rep said was ~$200 and maybe once a year or so replacing it in general (which obviously varies by how much you use it and what type of materials you cut).

it’s two stage, so the first stage is a bag style filter (his description) that gets the large particulate. the second stage is HEPA and small particulate.

this is the actual system we have.

and it costs in the same price range as a GF basic.


Here’s what it looks like in the room so you get sense of scale next to an industrial laser.


True, but you will also trigger your warranty start date. YMMV, but GFUI access isn’t worth burning your warranty time…

If you don’t have a viable venting solution, I’d wait. I know that’s a hard decision at this point, but there it is.


Installing a booster fan will solve the increased backpressure issue. A low voltage DC fan such a computer fan will be more than enough. Informed background: Degree in nuclear engineering.

I agree that for personal safety, the vent method would work the best, which is why I recommended it first. A 4-inch duct ran to a 1x6 with a blast gate inside, and a dryer vent outside will fit in a window slot. The blast gate and dry vent setup will allow for a space of air for insulation. No need for additional hole IF you have a window available.