Getting lots of smoke leaking out of my glowforge

I recently change out my dryer duct which had out my basement window. I put a brand new one with a better connector to the unit. Just did a long engrave about an hour on birch pjywood. I have smoke everywhere in the basement. My lid has never been closed all the way with a very slight gap and the front door has a small gap on the side where it meets the unit. I have had my unit since last october and this problem seems to have gotten worse. My wife is complaining and so is my daughter who is very sensitive to smells and dust(migraines) I need to fix this or I’m going to have to move my machine out of the house which costs money. Ideas?


So the question is: Did the new dryer duct cause the smoke problem? Or did you have an issue with smoke before the new dryer duct?

I have heard of people having holes in there dryer hoses causing this issue. Possibly your “better connector” is not really better.

The lid not closing all the way is an indication that your unit is not sitting flat or that what you have it on is not perfectly flat. There have been discussions about shimming corners to correct his issue.


how long is your duct run? the GF is capable of pushing (iirc) 10 ft. if your run is longer, it may not be pushing the smoke all the way out.

also, how well sealed is your duct? most of us who have eliminated much (most, all) of the smell when cutting have done something like used foil HVAC tape at any place there is a seal or possible opening. that includes where the duct connects to the outside. and, as @wilsonpf mentioned, if you’re using a foil duct hose, they often have pinhole leaks in them. when i used the original GF supplied one at first, i literally covered the entire thing in foil tape to eliminate leakage.

last, if your lid doesn’t close completely, you may need to level the base of the unit. there is some flex in it, so if your table top surface is not completely flat (more surface itself being perfectly flat than it being perfectly level), your door may be slightly off. try some small shims at the feet if it’s not and that may help with the lid sitting completely flush. which also may help with camera alignment.


The gaps in the door and lid are likely normal. It’s not supposed to be a tightly sealed unit. There are so many things to check with a proper exhaust. Exhaust fan clogs, hose length, vent flaps, debris in the hose, etc. One person left the instruction sheet in the hose, another had what to me looked like a mouse nest. Some have had flaps over the vent that didn’t open. Many have had hoses that exceeded 8 feet or had too many bends. Many, many have had exhaust grills covering the fan that had gunked up. Is the smoke coming out of the unit or out of the hose?


If the new duct is the only change, that’s where I’d start. Make sure you’re taped properly, make sure your clamps are good (a l ot of us use those screw-on pipe clamps), make sure that the damper on the new duct is opening as it should, make sure no kinks, pinches, excess twists/bends etc? All of this is obvious, but sometimes it’s good to run through the checklist.

Also make sure the exhaust fan is doing its thing. The deal is that the exhaust fan is supposed to be slightly more powerful than the intake fan so that the case has a slight negative pressure and sucks air in through the cracks. Only positive pressure should be on the far side of the exhaust fan.

You can check a bunch of this out by running a test job at 1 power so that it doesn’t generate much smoke but all the fans still do their thing.

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Thanks for reaching out about this. I’m so sorry you’re having trouble with your new exhaust setup.

Even with proper filtration, small amounts of smoke and fumes can enter the air around your Glowforge, producing a detectable odor. You may also smell an odor when you open the Glowforge lid, even long 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.

We’ve created an troubleshooting guide with illustrations. You can see it here:

If you’re still seeing or smelling excessive smoke or fumes when using Proofgrade materials, we’re here for you - please again and send us some photos of your Glowforge and your exhaust system.


Have you been cleaning the exhaust vent grate and fan on the back of the Glowforge? I mostly cut wood and acrylic and find that I need to clean the grate and fan every 40-60 hours.


I bought this thinking of directly connecting it to the Glowforge which I have not managed to do as yet. However, as it has good filters and two and a half times more air flow than the Glowforge it will clear out your basement of all smells and dust from the Glowforge or otherwise ( mine even clears cooking odors from the kitchen), It is not much noisier than the Glowforge, and is a bit pricey, but probably cheaper than creating a space outside the house warm enough in Winter and cool enough in summer to operate.