Excessive Smoke

Hello, I’m a new Glowforge owner and the machine began to cut beautifully, but now it is starting to exhibit large amounts of smoke. I’ve tried disconnecting my hose and cleaning the fans, and cleaning the glowforge from residue. Nothing seems to work. I tried a small proof grade cut and the smoke continues to emerge.

Welcome to the fun!

a) are you using the filter or venting outside?
b) have you checked if the “GF Filter Attached” toggle in the app is on or off?

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Hi Ekla!

I have a filter attached and the toggle within the app is on.

Hi! :slight_smile: That sounds like either you need to turn the filter knob further right or the filter cartridge is full.

(the cartridge can get full VERY quickly depending on what materials you cut, Draftboard/MDF being the worst, and if you run the filter for extra time after each cut or not)

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Hi Ekla,
The filter has only been used for about 3 weeks going on 4.
If i turn the knob to the right will it help exit the smoke?

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Yes, if you detect excess smoke turn the knob to the right. If you’ve gone all the way to the right and still getting smoke then your filter cartridge is full and it’s time for a new one. 3-4 weeks of cutting Draftboard/MDF could indeed fill it, it’s a really “dirty” material full of glue. It helps to extend filter life to run the filter after the cut for at least the same amount of time (10 minute cut, run an extra 10 minutes).


Yes. The instructions say to turn it up if it becomes less effective. When it’s set to full, then your filter cartridge is full and needs to be replaced.

If you’ve been cutting a lot of draftboard or plywood, it’s easy to fill it in that time.


MDF / draftboard is terrible for the filter. You might have seen this already, but reposting just in case… The following Filter Life FAQ is a pretty useful reference to see how various materials will impact the filter life.

As you’ll see, the hardwoods and thicker plywoods are better for filter life. The 1/8 plywood is also pretty bad for the filter, if I remember correctly the center of the 1/8th plywood is actually MDF / draftboard.


I’m so sorry to hear that you’re running into trouble. I’ve extracted the log files from your Glowforge to review your most recent prints, and compared it with the details you’ve provided.

Based on the logs, I don’t see that the Air filter option has been toggled inside of the App. Have you turned this off in order to perform some additional cleaning?

I’d like to make sure that the settings for your Compact Filter are correct. The knob on the Compact Filter controls the power to the fan. If the power is too high or too low, your filter will not work properly. I’d like to make sure it’s turned to the right setting.

  1. What setting is the knob on your Compact Filter turned to?
  2. If it’s currently on “New,” would you turn it to use the middle setting, halfway between “New” and “Full” and let us know if that eliminates the smoke and fumes while you print?

Also, would you mind sending over a photo of the top of the filter cartridge?

  1. Turn off and unplug your Compact Filter
    The power switch is located on the back, next to the cord. Turn it off first, then unplug it from the wall.
  2. Open Compact Filter
    There are four latches holding the top of the Compact Filter in place. Lift the bottom of all four latches to release them.
  3. Take a picture
    Without removing it, take a picture of the top of the cartridge seated in the Compact Filter and send it in to us.

Once we can review the images of your Filter cartridge, and the fan settings you’re utilizing, we’ll send over the next best steps.

It’s been a little while since I’ve seen any replies on this thread so I’m going to close it. If you still need help with this please either start a new thread or email support@glowforge.com.