Is the GF air filter worth the money? Are there alternatives?

I have been wanting to buy the air filter as soon as I could afford it. But started researching now that I’m ready and wondered if there is another option. I found the below filter on Amazon.

Basically, I’m wondering what the benefit of the GF filter would be over this one and how often the filter needs to be replaced on any filter? I’m also assuming the GF filter comes with a cartridge? There is very little information from GF on the listing.

Thank you.

I looks identical. I would imagine they are saving some $$$ on the filter quality. Buying this and getting a gf filter may well produce the same results.

That is nowhere big enough to handle the Glowforge! The rated capacity works out to 105.9 CFM while the Glowforge needs a minimum of 200 CFM and that is with a clean filter. As the filter fills the CFM will drop eventually to zero but of course will smoke out the room long before that.

The key numbers to watch is the CFM at the start and the price of replacing the HEPA filter (replacing the carbon and prefilters is comparatively cheap if they are separate and you will need to do that more often)

If you can vent outside that is waaay cheaper, if not the GF filter is not too horrid as ready to go but the filter fills fast. The Blu-dri has a lot higher CFM and likely cheaper to run (the HEPA filter is still $250) and costa a bit less but the 12" intake is a challenge to get down to 4".


You won’t find a better filter for less, but filters are a last resort.

It simply takes a LOT of media to filter out what a laser produces, and they are not cheap. As stated, the one you link to won’t work at all, far too low capacity.


Thank you so much! I have had my GF for almost a year and have been wanting to reduce my environmental impact from venting out the window. I was just curious if I could reduce the cost while I was researching.

Thank you. I have been venting out the window for almost a year and am ready to not have to deal with the window vent and reducing my environmental impact by just venting in to the air outside. I think I’ll go ahead and buy the GF filter and not have to mess with opening and closing my window all the time.

Just be prepared for the additional cost over and above the actual cost of the filter. As has been mentioned, a new filter insert will cost $250…and depending on what your cutting/printing in your GF, they can fill up as quickly as a month or even less. If you can afford that, then go for it.


Since the GF filter insert is not recyclable (in most situations), there’s an awful lot of metal, filter material (HEPA) and activated charcoal that is going to be thrown into the landfill along with all the residue that’s currently going into the air. (Not to mention all of the manufacturing debris, power, trucking fuel, etc. to get it to you.) Maybe more sequestered than in the air, but net a larger environmental impact using the filter. And do that a dozen times this year. Oh, and whatever impact is accomplished earning the $3,000 annually needed to replace those cartridges monthly.


There are many designs that amount to filling the area opened by the window (in my case 2" of roofing foam)with a 4" hole cut in. I bought a plastic dryer vent with a one way flapperdoodle but you can build the same with a 2 liter soda bottle and extra parts made with the Glowforge

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Yup, venting out a window is by far more “environmentally friendly” than using a filter. The machine is not creating harmful toxins, just dust and odor.


There are several good alternatives, all floor standing units, that cost around $3k but the filters will cost you half as much per unit of time. The compact filter is really ideal for a short term solution for something like a trade show. Venting smoke out your window isn’t an option for a lot of people who don’t live in a rural area, and I really wish glowforge would have went with a better option. I ended up with BOFA since it was the cheapest all together with shipping, but I really wanted the Airdock system (except the filters shipped from Canada when I last checked, making the shipping almost as much as the filters).

My overall solution is running through a filter but then venting mostly clean air outside. The carbon can last a lot longer that way than venting into an enclosed space.


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