Is the New GF AirFilter Worth It?

I had seen someone else’s post from yesterday asking about the expected delivery of the GF AirFilter. The GF response mentioned an email with a reservation code, so I went looking and found mine in the spam folder.

I clicked on the link to start the process to get mine, and was disappointed to find the disclosure that "We do not recommend the filter for use with MDF products like Draftboard or Proofgrade Medium Plywood, as the filter cartridge will quickly fail. " What??? I had heard before that Draftboard shortens the lifespan of the filter, but had no idea that GF did not want us to use Proofgrade plywood in the filter either.

I am not sure now what the point would be of getting it since most of my prints are with PG plywood, and I am not keen on the idea of continuously disconnecting and reconnecting the vent hose between the window and the filter. Am I missing something?

No. PG plywood uses MDF core (as do many other plywoods, although not all.)

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If you can vent it instead of filter it, it’s better in lots of ways, filter life is just one.

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Some have no choice, but because I vent outside I see the filter as a special application like using the machine at a makers faire or in any demo situation where there is no other choice. I personally find the filter replacement cost prohibitive.

There have been some clever magnetic connections for a window vent around here that make it easy.

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Yeah, I am going to cancel and ask for a refund. So very disappointed that GF was not able to deliver the airfilter unit initially envisioned / promised.

I had to chuckle when I just re-read the email from Dan announcing the air filter was ready, apologizing for the delay but stating that delivery was delayed until GF was “confident it would perform the way [I] expected”. Um, no, it doesn’t. Not by a long shot. A real bummer.

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Don’t own a filter but guessing that the current release is far better than the original design. It might have looked cooler but the performance would have been similar and a filter change would require lifting the 70lb laser unit out of the way.

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The original design would work with proofgrade materials. The current design doesn’t work with the most common proofgrade items used.

Incorrect.

The original design was a marketing plan. They could never get anywhere close to satisfactory performance for any materials with that design. You simply can’t get the level of airflow and filtering required in shape like that.

It’s documented in the official Air Filter Latest thread.

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You may call it a marketing plan. But that method of use is why I ordered one. Unfortunately, they could not deliver on that vision after several years and gave up. The current design falls well short of my expectations.

Think we’re just talking the difference between original plans vs. engineering reality. Some people wanted the planned filter. Sucked wonderfully and was pretty. For me it would be an operational nightmare. I’m a big guy with some latent muscle. Moving 70 awkward pounds just to replace a filter made zero engineering sense. And unfortunately the planned performance was never a reality. So no one should want the result of the original design.

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I was not attracted by the original footprint, just the sorts of thing you could use it for.

There is no reason to think that the original filter concept used some kind of cartridge that was better able to absorb the load from certain materials.

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i think their marketing didn’t really mention the downsides to a non-industrial fume extractor. whether it had remained an under-the-machine system, or in its current incarnation, it’s just not big enough to really handle the load people seem to expect it would.

we have an industrial fume extractor at work and it will handle significantly more hours of operations (we do a lot of baltic birch and a lot of acrylic, and we got about 300 hours out of our first set of filters).

but.

that machine cost ~$7k and the replacement filters cost us $1600.

it’s also more than 4 ft tall and maybe 28" square. and REALLY loud (running at around 500cfm).

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I was attracted by the form factor of the original filter as well, but I don’t recall any guarantees about large particulates not clogging it. Particles clog filters. What turned me off to the original design was having to remove the glowforge to access the filter. Why wasn’t a side loading filter part of the original plan?

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In October 2015, @Dan said in this forum that the filter should be effective in an office environment with most materials. As it turned out, they could not deliver on that, as much as they tried. That is why I am bummed. Having no prior experience whatsoever with lasers, I had no reason to be skeptical as to whether they could successfully engineer this at the target price point.

As a side note, I was never a big fan of having the filter sit underneath of the GF and then having to move things around to change the filter.

The current filter meets that description. They never promised how long the original design would go between cartridge changes.

Filters suck and blow at the same time. Find a way to use a window.

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The current airfilter DOES NOT work with most materials. Proofgrade draftboard and plywood, I believe, are the most commonly used materials.

I do vent out a window, but would prefer not to be tethered to that.

It actually DOES work, just not for very long with some materials, thus not reccomending those materials.
I’ve been able to get months out of a cartridge on birch ply but do notice if I do more than a few jobs on draftboard or PG medium ply needing to crank up the dial faster.

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