How much smell should be coming from the unit with external in-line fan venting outside?

So im in a classroom, I have a giant classroom, I notice that when im cutting its very obvious, you can easily smell it.

I am moving to a new school next year and will be in a much smaller room, im wondering if anyone has tips for reducing smell. Obviously theres not much smoke at all, but just the smell that lingers. Teachers are bound to complain lol…

Smell is common i have inline fan and i still get smell. Acrylic is the worse but wood not so bad. Smell is totally normal i say crack open a window

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There are years of discussions if you hit the search button, but some of the common tips are to make sure your exhaust hose is as short as possible, with as few turns as possible, all of the connections are thoroughly taped up, and your booster fan is at the end of the line so it’s pulling rather than pushing. And of course, keep everything clean.

Some of the smell is residue on materials and the machine. Discarding offcuts and masking and getting them out of the room is the main thing I do to avoid my whole basement having that lingering laser smell.


When I set up my external fan I used Reflectix insulation foil tape to seal leaks. Its easy to apply and easy to remove. When I did my first engraving after install, the smell was strong. I turned the fan on high and moved an incense stick up and down the vent tubing to find leaks. I sealed them using the tape and now there is no smells escaping from the ducts.

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Look at all the smoke that gets trapped in the crumb tray, while you can hear my inline fan still running and doing nothing about it.

Echoing @chris1, the partially burned sheets of material, and your students’ laser cut projects, will keep putting that burned “smell” in the air even if the Glowforge is removed from the room. Airtight tupperware might be useful for storage.

If there is odor during operation, there is room for improvement in your exhaust run. I have an extended run over 30 feet and there is zero smell during use.
Be sure the exhaust fan grill stays clean, it can/will become restricted with accumulation.


Same as PTL above. I get no smell/odor whatsoever, and my duct is ~35’. I use a 6" Vivosum inline duct fan, which is 25’ away from the machine, then another 10’ to the window.

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Got it, so the longer the duct the less smell you seem to get, even though that would reduce the power of the fan a bit?

Not really. Just good quality ducting no matter what the length won’t leak odors with an appropriate fan. Everything is under negative pressure until it gets to the fan.

If you have a very quiet exhaust fan left on 24/7 it will eventually move all the air in the room outside. If there is a variable speed you can turn the speed down when the Glowforge is not in use to what has the best result for you. Even the cut wood stored near the Glowforge could be set up to move the air around that out the exhaust as well.

Then also a large room air purifier with charcoal and a HEPA filter can remove smells and any covid etc. lingering about. The very lack of smell can be a stand-in for things like covid that you cannot smell.

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