I am baffled

It’s taped off and sealed, 2 fans sucking air our, air purifier running. The exhaust to the outside is 100% sealed.

Yet I can still smell burning wood in my room, which is 2 walls and a room away from the glowforge. My doors and windows are closed

I am at a loss for what to do lol

The system needs fresh air in order to successfully vent - get that tape off there!


No I didnt tape the vent holes lol. Just the parts where the lid opens

Don’t tape up anything. The exhaust works by sucking room air in through all the gaps.


Well in the manual it says those gaps are sealed, so air shouldnt get in through them anyway?

That’s what she meant. The gaps are there on purpose. :blush:


By design the exhaust fan moves more air than the intake, so there should be a negative pressure inside the machine. Every other opening in the case is sucking air in.

There is an issue with the machine breathing properly, probably an exhaust restriction.


Alright, I took the tape off but I still dont know why i can smell it even though I am 2 walls and a room seperate from it lol

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is it possible that the room “2 walls away” is getting it’s fresh air from near where the GF exhaust is exiting?


First, never leave the Glowforge unattended. I hope you are not a room away while the machine is running. Your best bet at finding where the smell is coming, is to be right by the machine and try to locate the area where smoke may be entering your work area. Could you possible have tiny holes in your exhaust hose?

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I’m so sorry to hear that you hit this snag.

The seals on the sides of the lid are not air-tight. Your Glowforge, to prevent smoke and fumes from escaping, fans pull more air out than they push in. This creates negative pressure which keeps smoke and fumes from escaping from the seams around the lid.

You can test if your Glowforge is functioning properly using the following test.

  1. Remove any material from the bed, leaving the crumb tray

  2. Disconnect the exhaust hose

  3. Use the fan maintenance page to turn on the fans in your Glowforge

  • Go to https://app.glowforge.com/maintenance/fan and follow the instructions to proceed. You will not need the degreaser.
  • Click the ‘Start Fan’ button and allow the fans to run
  • You do not need to follow the rest of the “Fan Cleaning” instructions to move the Glowforge outside or use degreaser.
  • Click ‘Finish’ to exit fan cleaning mode
  1. Use a lit candle to determine if air is moving into or out of the seams along your Glowforge by holding it near the edges of the front door, lid, and the bottom corner on the front right side. If you see that the flame / smoke is being drawn towards the seams, that’s an indication that your Glowforge exhaust is functioning properly. If air is blowing out of those seams, pushing the flame / smoke away from the unit, it indicates a problem with the exhaust system.

Let me know how it goes!

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I have had the same problem since the beginning, and I’ve never been able to figure out where it’s coming from. No matter how carefully I set up the exhaust, I still get a small amount of smell coming back into the room. I almost think it might be going outside and coming back in. It’s fairly minimal, so I’ve just resigned myself to living with it.

This is so weird to me…I used to have my GF in its own walk-in(ish) closet downstairs that had a vent tied into the bathroom vent system. The whole downstairs would smell of wood smoke when I used it – not overwhelming, but definitely there. When our friends who are buying our house moved into the downstairs, I moved it upstairs into a spare bedroom, set it on an old coffee table, sliced a hole in the window screen and shoved the end of the hose through it. Not a whiff of smoke when I use it, even though there’s nothing preventing the smoke coming back in through the rest of the 5’ high screen opening. Figures. When I worked at making it smell-proof, I couldn’t, and now that I don’t care because it’s just temporary until we move, it has magically stopped smelling. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


How long have you had your glowforge?
Initially I had the same problem. I have an extended exhaust run, and carefully inspecting it including the booster fan, I found I had a lot of leaks. Every joint in the standard 4" metal vent pipe, especially the adjustable elbows had to be sealed. I used caulk. Took me about a month of sealing this or that joint. After I broke down and sealed everything I have zero smell. Only a whiff when I opened the lid.

After about 3 months of heavy everyday use I started getting smoke in the room, so like you I taped up the cracks. Turns out the exhaust fan guard was blocked by ash (If you pull off the hose and look inside you can see it) so the intake fans were pressurizing the machine so it was blowing smoke out of every crack. Cleaning the grill solved it.

Keep after it, you should be able to get the smell under control.


I know it’s most likely not the problem but I have the Glowforge in my basement and I thought I started smelling the exhaust in our main living area one day then I realized I was smelling a freshly finished project that I brought up. (yeah I felt kind of dumb).


if you’ve been running it for a while, or running a lot of Draftboard, check the grid on the back where the hose hooks up. It will collect small particles on that grid and build up (especially with draftboard and acrylic, cause they are sticky). I take a small clean paint brush and knock it loose while sucking it out with a shop vac and then the flow improves and no more back flow of smoke!
P.S. I don’t know if you intended the irony in the title, but if you did…props to you :grin:


When I first set up Puffette there was some leakage but I figured correctly that any little crack would fill up as fast as any filter. If you are using the front pass through and a large piece of wood much of the smoke is blasted into the crumb tray that is open in the front right near the pass through, and only the sides of that passage is then open to the rest of the machine, Under those conditions even with the fans working well the back pressure of all that smoke is likely to sneak some out under the wood in the pass through. :nauseated_face:


Yeah, I wondered about that, if the pro had greater CFM because of the passthrough.

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It’s been a little while since I’ve seen any replies on this thread from you, 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.