Manual fan control


After cutting some Proofgrade maple plywood, there is still a little smoke left after cooldown, and no way to purge it. I suggest that there be some way to activate the fan when not cutting. When I went to lift the piece, there was still a not insignificant waft of smoke hiding under the work.

Feature request: Manual fan control and/or constant low on

I know this has been suggested before and I believe they’re planning on adding some sort of user control over it. But I wouldn’t expect it soon. You should probably expect some changes to the auto control sooner, however. They’ve already made a couple of changes to how long the fans run after a job.

Anyway, I’ve mentioned it before myself. So I’ll second it here as well. :wink:


The physics of the situation pretty much require you to lift the piece up for that smoke to escape, so it would be nice if the fan didn’t stop as soon as the lid opened. That might leave them a bit in the liability zone though


Running just the exhaust without the cooler shouldn’t cause any liability issues (and would be the preferred method).

And with the added point of trapped smoke, it seems an easier fix than trying to balance the consequence of venting the tray without turbulence shifting materials.


I was wondering how much I’d affect the structural integrity of the honeycomb if I ran a long drill back to front through it on the edge to give it a way for the smoke to be pulled. Not sure whether I’d be hitting too many intersections vs cells though. Would do it in a heartbeat if they had spare trays available to buy.


Until there is a manual control for the fan, getting a exhaust booster would be as effective.

Something like this:

Put near the end of the vent hose but before the exhaust point (vent connection or just hanging out the window).

Obviously, you will need an additional vent hose and clamps

But, with it running, you will have constant air flow (to remove smoke/odors) and bring ambient air temps into your GF :glowforge: to maintain temperature.


True. But that’s brute force. A perforated honeycomb would be more elegant :smile:


But, But It’s such a purtty black honeycomb… :rofl:


My PRU is sporting the silver one :slight_smile: But if you did it on a black one you’d get thousands of points of light when you looked down into it. That’d be purty too!


On a serious note, since the airflow goes over the right hand gantry rail and the bottom of the GF :glowforge: is a metal plate (and in the crumb tray carrier), there is no way to get air to feed up through the honeycomb.

I guess after the warranty is over, one could modify to change air flow patterns. Not sure if that could help.


That’s why I was thinking of drilling in front to back (or back to front) through the whole tray. I’d need a longish bit - maybe 18" (not sure how deep the whole tray is). That would allow smoke to be pulled from the cells under the material into the open cells. Would expect that since the box is negatively pressurized, that there should be enough suction effect to pull through the holes out the back of the carrier.


That’s true. Maybe also build in the ability to lock the bed in more as well for more precision in jigs.

Most stuff I do is 1/4" or less (except the slate).


Do you need to ‘drill’ ?
Not sure what you have in mind, but would a groove milled out of the bottom surface of the tray have the same effect ?



It would but it wouldn’t be a single groove but one under each row of honeycomb cells. I would think a hole drilled through the cell walls would cause less structural compromise than grooves in the bottom. But it’s all a guess.


I take it there is no gap between the bottom of the tray and the case when the locating ‘pimples’ are properly located ?


Nope. There are 4 oblong/elliptical dimples in the machine’s base and corresponding bumps in the bottom of the frame of the crumb tray. Right now there’s no way for smoke that goes into a cell to come out except through the top of the honeycomb. If there’s a piece of material there, the smoke is trapped until you take it out and by then the fan has stopped so it will backdraft into your room.


I don’t know if suitable material is available, but how difficult would it be to engineer a substitute crumb tray ?
I have been thinking along the lines of making a vacuum tray. Obviously lots of experimenting to do with not upsetting the air-assist, etc., but I feel it’s doable.


Not hard at all. Lots of us who have Chinese lasers have done it more than once :slight_smile: Materials are readily available and there are a myriad number of techniques. Almost all would be non-destructive drop-in units that would not affect your warranty.


Thanks for the suggestion @jsc -I’ll make sure the team gets it!