Is this why my prints, GF, apartment smell so bad? (Transfer Tape and venting)


I have been using this transfer tape on my wood for my GF for a little while now - luckily I have not done that much printing but when I have it has smelled very bad - I have aired out the room for quite some time to try and get rid of the smell.

I am using the following transfer tape that says that the adhesive is natural latex. From a feel, it feels exactly like masking tape (i.e. it has a paper feel). I checked the inside of the GF and there is no damage to the PCB (assuming with vinyl is would corrode?)

It seems that it is made with Natural Latex?

Trägermaterial: Spezialpapier, imprägniert (Substrate: special paper, impregnated)
Adhesive: natural latex

Thank you

There’s nothing in the data sheet that indicates the transfer tape itself contains PVC, so it’s doubtful it’s outgassing Chlorine, which will destroy PCBs in short order.

It’s well known that transfer tape and other masking materials can smell awful - so much that many of us make sure to weed the masking immediately after a print finishes and seal it up in a ziplock bag to keep the odor down.

You shouldn’t smell anything when your GF is in operation. If you do, it’s time to check that your exhaust hose for pinholes, making sure nothing is obstructing the air inlets underneath the right side of the unit, etc. There are many excellent posts explaining best practices for dealing with exhaust - the search feature is a great tool.

Good luck!


Thank goodness! From googling it seems that the adhesive of Natural Latex is what is also used in normal masking tape. The people from the store wrote back and said:

Good day
Thank you for your enquiry.
The product does not contain PVC, but is intended for the transfer of PVC films.
The product cannot be processed with a laser. As it is a self-adhesive and self-packaging product, I cannot imagine how it would work.

Not sure what that is meant to mean? When I use it, it seems to stick and the laser cuts through it, I am still getting burning on the wood but I assume not as bad as I should be.

So I have a 8" AC Infinity pulling air out of the GF with a 6" to 8" adapter. Everything seems to be sealed but I still get a smell pretty quickly - perhaps its coming back through the window, I may need to seal it better.

So you don’t get ANY smell at all while the GF is running? If I open the lid of my GF, even a week after using it, it smells like burnt wood - and all the wood I have cut still smells a week later - I have just always assumed this is normal. The 8" pipe gets vented out the window.

1 Like

They’re just saying that the tape alone wouldn’t make a good material for laser projects and I’d agree with that.

Smelling burnt wood when opening the GF after a job is totally normal, but I stick to my assertion that you shouldn’t smell anything when the laser is actually firing.

Looking at your exhaust setup, the run from the GF to the fan is under negative pressure, so shouldn’t leak any fumes — I’d take a close look at the 8” hose since it’s positive pressure from the fan to the window. As you said, be absolutely sure the window — and any nearby windows! — are fully sealed.

Here’s a post in which I detailed my struggle with odor and how I resolved it once and for all:


Agree with that. I also don’t get much smell after a print completes and I open the lid, but I give it a few seconds for my external exhaust fan to draw out any lingering fumes. My fan is close to the window, and my duct is 25’ long before that.


Thank you - I went around and re sealed my entire window including the back with the AC sheet I got which seals the window. I hadn’t sealed the back left correctly. There doesn’t seem to be any air escaping around the side of the fan ducts.

I just did another print - was 1h10m - for the first 25 mins no smell but then it started to smell in the room so it must just build up.

1 Like

In that case, you have a problem with your vent setup. The entire machine and duct should be under negative pressure while operating, which is why no fumes of any kind can get into the room while it is operating.


Negative pressure meaning the air is being sucked out by the AC infinity?


Yes, and in thru not only the inlet fans below the machine, but also every gap around the lid.

Are your exhaust fan an grill/grate clean?


If you smell anything during operations there is a leak downstream of the fan that is pushing the air out. For this reason the fan should be as close to the end as possible.

The interior of the laser will always smell like burnt wood.


I get some smell no matter what and I’m vented really well and keep the system clean. I get a little smell, but its residue and not leaks.

Thank you everyone - I will recheck the entire GF - I know my lid is slightly miss aligned but that shouldn’t do it. I will check again after Christmas

1 Like

There are (and are supposed to be ) openings all about the machine. The point is for the air to move in, gather the smoke, and move it out and away. If that is happening and it is not pushing out, then no extra opening will make much difference.

You can fix that by shimming up a corner with some paper or cardboard.


This topic was automatically closed 32 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.