Filters in the UK?

I’m hoping someone might have some answers to extraction problems we’re having!

We bought a Glowforge Basic a couple of years ago for our College in the UK. Initially we wanted to buy the filter unit as well but for some reason they couldn’t ship it to the UK (not sure if this was a stock or customs issue)

We’re finally getting around to trying to use it regularly but having problems with stinking out the rest of the College! The current setup is the Glowforge is in it’s own cupboard with the hose hanging out the window. The area outside is sort of like a courtyard so surrounded by buildings on each side and the hose is about 2 stories up. We’re finding the smell getting trapped in this courtyard area and seeping into classrooms (particularly at the moment as everyone has windows open due to COVID)

We’re looking into getting some sort of air filter unit but everything I’ve found on the forum seems to be in the US and I’m wondering if anyone in the UK has any suggestions as to what would be suitable. Obviously being a College we don’t have a huge budget for this kind of thing. Would something like this help remove some of the smell/particles? Spares2go Carbon Charcoal Filter for Neff Cooker Hoods/Kitchen Vents (Pack of 2): Large Appliances

Materials were cutting/engraving mainly seem to be wood and card perhaps with the odd bit of acrylic.

Any help greatly appreciated! I’m rather new to all of this so I’m a little lost!

1 Like

There are many made for other laser systems, but as well there are also machines to remove smoke and fumes where there has been fire and flooding that are capable of dealing with the size and volume of the output of the Glowforge.

The largest issue is that the intakes are ~30 cm that has to be tapered to the Glowforge, You will also need to have a fan that that will pull more air than 250cfm, and better to go high like 500 cfm so as the filter begins to fill you will still have the power to get as much as possible as the good ones are very expensive.

I used it for excess fumes in the room now as I am able to pump out a window but it seems very impressive for all that,
This is a good discussion to try.

Thanks @rbtdanforth I’ve just been taking a look at that one at it seems fairly affordable . So, is this the kind of unit that the hose would attach too eliminating the need for outside extraction? And then I’m guessing filter replacements too

Mine has three filters ( I added a fourth that is sold for home ACs and washable foam so while it only gets big stuff it is washable, so no cost, The next level is a prefilter that is semi-cheap, and the last level is charcoal that is not too bad, but between the pre-filter and the charcoal is the HEPA filter that gets the tiny stuff as any good enough to use will be over $200us, but will need changing least often if you change the previous ones frequently.

Ok that sounds good! I’m still a little confused (sorry I’m a total noob with all this) so just to clarify; I’ve got the Glowforge in its own cupboard, I run the ducting hose into the air scrubber then just have a window open for good ventilation? I’m also just trying to find costs for replacement filters but struggling a little, are they a fairly generic size?

Your best bet is to relocate the machine so it can be vented out a window where it won’t bother others. The filter is really a last resort when there is truly no other option.

1 Like

If the filters are working, and your filter is rated at 850m3/hr and there are no leaks the air coming from it is better than outside air and depending on the room and number of folks, maybe good enough to deal with Covid as the HEPA filters are as good as the medical masks. I would expect the filters to be best sourced from the ones selling the machines, but if the three filters are separate and there is room for the AC foam then replacing them will be a lot cheaper as the most expensive will need changing least often.

This has all been super helpful, thank you! Ideally we are looking into relocating it but space in the college is tight so finding somewhere suitable is proving tricky!

Curious if you could (get maintenance to) screw a bracket into the exterior wall so the hose is pointed up into the sky, and leave that end connected - and instead pull the disconnected end into the window to attach to your :glowforge: when it’s ready to be used.

That won’t work if the entire building is 4-5 stories, but if the 2nd story is close to the top…

I did wonder about this kind of thing, we are at the top of the building but just across the courtyard there are classrooms higher than us. I did think that pointing the hose upwards would result in smoke/particles sinking back down the hose?

If the hose gets too long - then possibly. Many of us put a fan at the end of the hose - but I’m not sure how much of an option that is for you…but even if you could do hose to window-fan-hose to roof you’d probably be fine.

I just worry because the cost of the replacement filters adds up - no matter which company you buy your filter mechanism from.

1 Like

I thought it might be easier to share a few photos of where we have the laser to see if that helps

Here’s the window it goes out of:

the courtyard area it looks out on where the smell/fumes are getting trapped:

Where the window exits:

So maybe if we can’t find a new location we could try the hose pointing up the sloped roof with a fan to help disperse

1 Like

I added a 4 Inch Carbon Filter designed for growing Pot to the end of my line. It cut down airflow a bit, but still was totally functional. Doing this cut the smell down by 70% for ~1 year before I had to replace the filter material.

I just randomly checked Amazon UK and here’s the general item I’m talking about. There’s lots to choose from.


Looking at it I would say you would not need to send anything outside. It is every bit like mine, and the intake looks narrower than mine though it would still need some effort to step down.

I think we’re going to go down this route combined with a fan. Another possibly stupid question! With the carbon filter, would it need to go outside? I’m a little confused as to whether the smell/smoke would come out of the sides where the mesh is. In my head it goes GF>Hose>Fan>hose>filter>hose>outside.

Yes, the entire filter lives outside your house at the end of your hose. They are pretty solid though, so you could just tie a short string to dangle it out a window with the hose attached if you can’t manage a permanent exterior mount.