Fumes leak battling

Hello people :slight_smile:

Since i own a glowforge i’ve been battling with smoke leaks to reduce the smell on my little flat.
One of the worst thing was that my wall vent goes on a small courtyard and the air pressure/current there is probably higher than in my flat which made air more likely to come in than go out. I added a huge fan between the glowforge and the hole to help air go out. It helped.

I also taped the hose, even put some glue gun just to make sure nothing goes out of it and it seems OK.

Still it smells real strong after cutting wood/acrylic and a part of it seem to come from the lid of the glowforge as you can see from this video :

(sorry for the video being sideways, the forum doesn’t seem to use the orientation metadata of the file :frowning: )
I could just tape the lid but taping/untaping it everytime i need to open it would be quite anoying.

Am i the only one fighting with these problems this much ?
I really feel it’s not good for my health in the long term and venting the place becomes hard as it’s getting really cold outside.
Anyone actually succeeded in removing all the leaks?
Does the $1000 air filter actually solves it 100% or will the lid still leak for example ?

I’m wondering if i would have this much problem if the fan attached to the laser was blowing air to the left, in direction of the hose instead of to the front where the lid has lots of openings.

Thank you for reading me !
Have a good day :slight_smile:

Don’t tape the lid, the spaces are there on purpose to allow air to flow in.

It shouldn’t be leaking that much, seems like something’s not right. Is your exhaust fan clean?


Thank you for that very quick answer :slight_smile:
Taping the lid might not be a good idea indeed, that makes sense !

The fan needs a bit of cleanup but is OK-ish i think. I cleaned everything like 4 months ago but have only used the glowforge the past 4 days so it’s not perfect but really ok.
And i’ve had these kind of issues from the very beginging (march 2018) :confused:

Thank you again for your appreciated answer !

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Support should be along soon; maybe they’ll have some more suggestions!


If your external fan is always on it should keep pumping out any smells after the Glowforge is finished where the Glowforge fan shuts off.

Also what is the CFM of your external fan, If it is under 200 CFM it will not be doing a lot of good. Mine is 194 CFM and barely adequate if there is not much smoke.

Many look very hefty but are in the 100 CFM range.


I just realized i might have confused CFM VS CMH values when buying the fan now that you made me look at it more closely… I wanted something higher than the glowforge’s to really help it so i took a 310 (glowforge’s being 275) but now that i look at the product sheet again the value is in CMH not CFM :/. Which means i have a 182 CFM.

I feel like it helps a bit tho as i get less fumes since it’s there and i hear the glowforge fan turning faster when i put it on. But maybe that’s actually not the case i don’t really know.

I think I read that a slower external fan will block the GF fan from being able to exhaust as efficiently. Have you tried without it?


When everything is working as intended, the Glowforge should be under negative pressure. Smoke coming out of the lid suggests you’re not getting the airflow out of the machine that you need. It’s coming out very slowly, so you’re probably right on the edge.


Another thing that can make a difference is where you put your booster fan. If it’s at the very end of the line, right before it goes outside, you’re pulling the whole way and that can help to ensure any smoke stays in the hose. On the other hand, if it’s pushing the exhaust, it will have every opportunity to escape through any gap or seal on the way.


Yep i actually added the external fan only last february because of the fumes i was getting for more than a year before that. So i’m sure it’s not because of that external fan, but maybe it doesn’t help much indeed.

That makes sens. And i felt like there was something related to this as explained on my first message (the air coming from the courtyard more than going out). That’s why i added that external fan but it’s probably just not enough.

I may trying buying another one.

Is there any risks like having a “too powerful” external fan ?
I see this one that’s +700CFM

Clever precision ! My hose is very short and (less than 1.5 meter) and the fan is in the middle so i guess it should be ok but i’ll keep this in mind if someday i move out to a new place (with a dedicated room, my dream :heart_eyes:)


The biggest risk I see is not needing to clean the Glowforge as much. I think someone has one that is 800 cfm, and of course, the diameter is much bigger.

Looking up that one you have to do the wiring but it is 719.1 CFM which is plenty though I don’t see the diameter of the intakes so that could be the same issue the other guy had, not a huge one, however,

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As a goal, when the machine is venting properly and the exhaust run is completely sealed there should be zero smoke.
I ran into that when the exhaust fan grill was blocked by ash build up.


Hello @francois_dursus - I’m very sorry to hear you’re having so much trouble with your ventilation, thank you for letting us know.

When your Glowforge is properly set up, you may have some harmless odor during printing which will rapidly dissipate. You may also smell something when you open the Glowforge lid after a print is complete. This is not harmful.

However, if you detect a strong, sharp smell that also causes eyes, nose, or throat irritation, or if there is visible smoke escaping while the lid is closed, shut off your Glowforge unit immediately. Smoke and fumes could be entering the room in excessive concentrations.

Given the video you’ve shared, it’s clear to me that the printer is not ventilating properly. As your exhaust setup does include a custom fan I can’t comment specifically on your setup, but there are still a few areas we can check.

If you do want to continue to configure your exhaust differently, there are some great resources on this forum that can help. You can post in the Beyond the Manual section of our community forums to see if the community has suggestions: https://community.glowforge.com/c/beyond-the-manual. Note however that advice in this section is unsupported and is not reviewed by Glowforge.

What I’d like to do is make sure the printer itself is ventilating properly, and so the first thing I’d like to check is see if we can spot any visible issues with the exhaust system in the printer, especially since you note that this has been happening for most of the time you’ve owned the printer.

To help troubleshoot your exhaust, could you send me a few photos of your exhaust system? Specifically, please include pictures of the following:

  1. The exhaust fan from the inside of the unit. To capture this photo:

  2. Turn your Glowforge off

  3. Open the lid

  4. Using both hands, gently pull the printer arm towards you as shown below:

  5. Move your phone or camera inside the Glowforge on the left-hand side, past the metal rail, pointed away from you towards the exhaust hose, to capture a photo like the one below:

  6. A photo of where your exhaust hose attaches to the Glowforge, where your exhaust hose exits the room, and the path your exhaust hose takes from your Glowforge to the exterior vent

  7. The exhaust connection on the back of your Glowforge, with the exhaust hose removed:

Please let me know if you have any questions!

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Hey @francois_dursus,

Its been a while since we heard back from you, so I wanted to check in. Are you still having problems with your exhaust? If so, can you follow the previous post form my colleague Mike and post photos of your exhaust system? Once we have those photos, we’ll review and follow up with next steps. Thank you!

Hello !

I read your answer sorry for not answering, i’m a bit in a rush right now :confused:
But i’ll do that as soon as can !

Thank you again !

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.