How loud is the glowforge with and without the air filter?



I tried searching the forums for an answer and found none so apologies if it’s been asked. How loud do you expect the glow forge to be with and without the air filter in terms of decibels? I imagine it being on par with a vacuum cleaner based on the videos I’ve seen (80ish dBA).

The answer certainly won’t be a deal breaker to me, i’m just curious. I know laser cutters can be quite loud especially in smaller work spaces.

Thank you so much!



I’d like to know this too–I was just about to post this same question when I saw this posting. I know the GF team is doing performance testing, so it would be cool if they could release a decibel graph from start to finish for the different models and options.

Considering it’s supposed to be able to be used indoors, it shouldn’t be rudely loud, but even moderate decibels for long enough can be damaging to hearing. I also had the same thought about the noise being comparable to a vacuum, but I’m confident we’re all aware of cases where someone bought the latest, greatest vacuum, only to find out it’s like standing next to a jet engine when it’s on. Hopefully someone who was at one of the MFs or the open house could chime in too.


It’s pretty loud right now because we put some serious fans in there. They’re all speed controlled by the cloud, though (air filter too) so we’ll be improving the software to run them just as needed.

Air filter pointless? Exhaust & air filter combo?
Beta day - one (Acrylic Dividers)

Wouldn’t it be better to have some speed control locally? I’d hate for things to start getting too hot and the Glowforge to try and tell the cloud “Hey I’m too hot please speed up my fans” just as the internet goes out at my place and have catastrophic things happen.


My first thought to the lost connection is, well it would shut the laser off, but not if its a small enough job to run off the cache. I agree that a local control would be nice, even if it was software driven, but I imagine the required mitigation would be–don’t leave your glowforge alone while printing, as Dan has mentioned in other posts, and hit Stop / open the lid if needed.

@dan, Could fan speed control be added to the feature wish list?


Perhaps the fans could just default to full speed when a connection is lost during a print.


Remember, if the laser gets too hot, it’ll automatically pause printing until it’s cool enough to continue.


Remember, the cloud service knows exactly how many watts are going in when. It sends a cooling plan at the same time as the motion plan.


I think that’s fair for the laser cooling portion, though what about the base? I could see an issue where a material may be smokier than expected, and I’d appreciate the ability to turn things up a bit (t-t-t-t-turbo mode) until the 'forge had finished cutting. I mean I dunno what sort of sensors you’re putting in to monitor air quality or smoke, or what camera wizardry. But like you, I know how these things can smell sometimes, and it would be great to be able to mitigate that.


Would it be possible to add an additional fan to ducting downstream of the Glowforge like a bathroom extraction fan for example? Or would that interfere with the GlowforgeGlowforge operation?


Yes - if you’re running the ductwork a long way, you can use a booster fan.

@jrnelson we have some cool stuff in mind for managing this… first things first though.


Will there be an option to bypass the filter on certain jobs if we have the ability for venting, but also have the filter unit?


Looks like yes according to a previous post. Filter bypass?


Awesome. I figured it was around here somewhere. Just getting used to the searching.


Just to piggyback on the noise topic here- There are a few bedrooms not to far from the room the laser will sit. My 3d Printer doesn’t wake anyone up but based on what Dan mentioned and some of the videos, I’m thinking I will try and reduce the sound a bit by placing the laser in a smaller nook area of the room and surrounding that small space with some type of eggcrate foam or other sound deadening material. Anyone have any recomendations as to what works and or what might be affordable?


empty egg cartons are the traditional cheap method for amateur recording booths, not as effective as fancy foam panels but a lot more affordable if you eat eggs anyway. Start saving them up now!


Honestly, just having a barrier of any kind will likely reduce the noise level a fair amount. Even hanging something like a couple of thick quilts would probably help out, and would be easily removable / modifiable later on.


Just be sure you don’t get foam under the Glowforge as the air intakes are down there. Ditto with jamming foam close around the right hand side.


Good to know, @dan . Thanks for that information.


Good to know… I’m thinking more along walls of the shop just to reduce the sound from bouncing around as my shop walls are fairly bare… aside from the :blue_heart:GlowForge posters that I would hate to cover up :wink: