I'm getting very concerned about venting and cleaning the machine

I have almost convinced myself to cancel my order (does anyone know how to go about doing that?) because of venting and cleaning worries.

I’ll be using it in my small craft room in a subdivision. I keep reading about how bad the fumes are. I’m going to be venting out a window.

Also, I keep seeing people post about other lasers that the cleaning process for the bed itself isn’t pleasant. Is that the same with the Glowforge?

Doubt very seriously if the venting outdoors will ever be noticed by the neighbors unless your windows are less than 15 ft from each other. Also most odors will only travel horizontally if weather conditions are just right. Odor is dependent on material and most of that will be vented. For example, I heat my house with a woodstove but can not smell any wood burning because it all goes up the chimney. It’s when you open the laser top that residual smells will escape into the room. But I leave it to folks that use a laser everyday to answer better. I’ve only used one a half dozen times.

I should hedge on the answer above, I assumed you ordered a GF basic or Pro without filter because you were worried about the neighbors. I can not guess how well the filtered units will work.

As for cleaning, in yesterday’s live Q&A, Dan said maintenance is minimal. An archive of it is posted in the Q&A thread.

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If it comes to you losing sleep…

Cleaning the bed rarely comes up. You might get to the point where you have cut so much in such a short time frame that some smoking happens on the back of soft woods. Just use a bit of water on a cloth and it cleans right off. IPA works even better if you have some around.

If you do want to clean the bed, it is very minimally different from cleaning a grill. As far as I have seen, Forge uses a mesh, not a honeycomb. Fine honeycombs are the pain to clean.

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IPA = Isopropyl Alcohol not India Pale Ale. :stuck_out_tongue:


Thanx for the disambiguation, I would have been embarrassed to ask!

HA!! I am dyslexic and thus misspell 99% of all sesquipedalians I use and rely on the magic of computers to fix them. Well, I spelled “disambiguation” right and thought the computer was messing up.

rpegg do you work for glowforge?

Nope. Just have the time to read all the previous replies by the company. Only work maybe 40hrs/month by choice.


@jasinandstacie, if you’d like to cancel, just send us an email at support@ and we’ll get you taken care of right away.

But I don’t think there’s any basis to your worries. I vented a much larger laser out my window, directly at a neighbor’s house 10 feet away. The odor dissipates almost immediately.

The bed doesn’t require cleaning, although if it collects small bits you should shake it out over a garbage can.

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Does the GF require any venting if it has the filter? Can I use it on the 12th floor of an office building? I can’t open any of the windows in my office.

Paraphrasing from the various GF posts: The filter unit is not set up to vent outside. The units are not configured to both vent and use the filter unit simultaneously. You can switch between the two as the need requires if for instance you lived in say Minnesota and didn’t want to use a window in the winter.

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I’ve been using a 90W 24"x36" for the last few years to run a sign business. I cut for hours daily and clean the machine with water/rag about once a week. I vent out a window and the only fumes that I ever notice is acrylic. I think you have nothing to worry about unless the neighbors’ window is open really close to your vent tube.

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