How Do I Keep My Inline Fan Clean?

I recently purchased a 6" inline fan to help quietly vent my Glowforge. Today I started having smoke backup, cleaned the Glowforge thoroughly, and it didn’t help. I took apart the exhaust system, and the inline fan is caked with particles. We have taken it apart and are cleaning it out, but I fear we may have ruined the inline fan. I’ve read through the forum, and no one else mentions having this issue. Does anyone use a filter before the inline fan in order to keep the fan in good working order? The manufacturers suggested a carbon filter. Other suggestions are appreciated.

Anything you put inline to your fan will slow the airflow, which may or may not be worth the tradeoff. I would say the best thing is to just be vigilant about cleaning it. Not sure how you ruined it, I have a cloudline s6 and it’s much easier to clean than the fans in the machine itself.

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I’m not sure it is ruined, but the person I talked to at AC Infinity seemed to think it wasn’t a good thing that so many particles were getting in there.

Which brings me to another question - we are constantly having to clean the Glowforge fan, too, because it’s accumulating particles even though we aren’t using it. So, basically, we are now cleaning the GF fan AND the inline fan on a regular basis. Most people say it’s fine to just turn the GF fan off while using the inline fan, but I’m wondering if we should try to remove it instead?

Could we be using the inline fan at too high of a speed? Maybe a slower speed would force fewer particles to get to the inline fan.

If you have a basic it’s not hard.

If you have a pro getting at the fan is not easy. The cooling system is in the way.

Search the forum for more info, people have done it and shown how.

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I have had my booster running (with light use) for 3 years now and have never cleaned it. Personally, I wouldn’t even worry about it until the running fan changes it’s sound or develops a vibration.
Lasers are filthy machines due to vaporizing material. The number one rule is clean optics! Inspect the windows regularly. I do it almost every time I turn on the machine. Build up on the optics will give the beam something to heat and eventually burn. the lens and mirror need cleaning much less often in my experience.

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Thanks. Ours has been getting heavy use, with holiday orders. It was so caked with particulate that air wasn’t flowing through it, and smoke was backing up and coming out of the GF into the room. I think we have a few ideas of things to change that might help.

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We have a Pro - that’s why we haven’t attempted it!

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Yeah, me too. I just clean it from the rear. I don’t use the spray, I just go after it with brushes and damp (not dripping) alcohol swabs.

Gets the job done well enough.

I can’t remember @evansd2, did you cut out the grate? I’m seriously thinking about doing it, just haven’t worked up the nerve yet (I can clean the front easily enough since I have a basic, but the back is still filthy and I have that honeycomb grate).

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Nope, because it would possibly make it so GF won’t repair the machine if something goes wrong.

If anything I’d take the fan completely out.

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Silly question, but what do you mean by “windows”. I clean the lenses and mirror when needed, but not sure what the windows are.

There are cleaning instructions for all of the windows that need to be wiped here:

And a lot of people miss the one underneath the left side…

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There is only one lens, in the head. the other two are windows.

That’s not a silly question, It may feel like it because you think you should know that so you were reluctant to throw that question out on the table.
A question reflects the desire to understand - which is something a lot of people don’t exhibit.

This community is the best resource for your glowforge. I wandered in here with no idea what I was doing. Ignorance is a hole we are all climbing out of, no one’s immune! :sunglasses:

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