Masking Tape or Low Tack Paper

How long have you had your machine? And when was the last time you cleaned the fans in it? I’m just curious because the only time I had any issues with strong odors (not included a leak in the hose from where my cat had his way with it) were when my fans were gummed up with all the glues from the materials I was cutting. Even when you switch to an inline fan, that will also need to be cleaned periodically.

On my 4" Vivosun fan I had to tape the bejeezus out of every single seam before the smoke smell stopped, that thing is like a sieve. Also plugged the space between my double hung window panes with foam.

Finally a post I can contribute to despite my newbie status! I have just ordered my third roll of this. I really like it. It is easy to apply and easy to remove. I guess I should bite the bullet and get the big roll of 300 feet next time. I’m using about 2 rolls every 6-8 weeks of the 100 foot size.


I have been looking for some new masking paper. I will give this a try. Thanks!

Thanks ! We have not done this, and we will be sure to give this a shot with some compressed air

Thanks, our inline fan is also a vivosun, we taped around it but I am thinking I may need to caulk the thing thanks to the reccomendation from @PrintToLaser !


Thanks, not sure about the type of adhesive, but I will keep this one in mind after a few others we are testing for odor.

Consider metal HVAC tape when trying to seal versus “duct tape”. Who knew- “duct tape” is apparently not for “ducts”.


Many decades ago before it was readily available on hardware store shelves we called it gun tape. It was what was used to cover the gun ports after the guns were cleaned on fighter planes. If you watch old WW2 videos of dog fights you can see the stuff fluttering on the wings. They didn’t remove it just fired through it.

1 Like

I have not noticed an odor from it.

I found the metal HVAC tape lifted off the curves of the vivosun after a few days, grrr. Ended up with packing tape which seems to be holding up.

1 Like

There are definitely more seams than you would think!

I have been an owner of the Glowforge for just over a month but I already have cut many pieces and masked every single one of boards. ( I went through 3 rolls of 100 yard masking tape in a month). I have the printer in my basement vented out with a booster fan. I still smell everything and especially the masking tape, I no longer let it sit and immediately take it outside. I Use RTAPE HIGH TACK 4075 APPLICATION TAPE. And to be honest im freaking out what I have been breathing it. I do not sit by the printer like they say I have to to watch it but for me is enough to open the lid few times a day smell it and get a hoarse voice. ( I may be extra sensitive to smoke smells). I have my sons bedroom downstairs as well and I stop cutting at least an hr before he gets home then open everything up and air it out. I have purchase the air purifier ( IQAir GS air purifier )and air quality monitors which light up in red the minute i would walk into the room with the printer or get near it. This has been driving me crazy and im really concerned, I’ve been googling searching for any kind of VOC reducing methods they can come up with, and certainly do no want to cut anything that’s going to kill me or make me sick. As of right now im pausing all my etsy sales and moving my Glowforge to a shop I have for another business so it is out of my home and I will be wearing a mask just to walk in there and remove the wood from the tray. Am I being overly paranoid? I see them advertising it just sitting in their kitchen and im worried I almost need to build a purified bomb shelter around it.

Thanks for your post. We just finished deep clean on all the fans on our GF this weekend, which needed to happen anyways but we are still getting a lot of smoke from anything that involves a cut. When cutting some wood with masking tape the other day i saw fumes coming out of the front of the machine, i held up my phone light and i could see all the places along the front seams where the fumes were coming from. This is pretty annoying considering we have an inline duct fan, sealed with tape.
I plan on taking another round to try to better seal out inline duct fan, but it feels like there is still so much odor coming out with any type of cut.

We also have to air our room out when i need to do computer work in there :frowning:

If you saw something coming out the front, you’ve got a problem getting air out the back. The front is not airtight as it’s part of how air gets in to sweep back across the bed to carry smoke & deposits out the back.

Have you cleaned the grill in the exhaust or removed it even? Is the inline fan >200CFM? If either answer is no, you need to rectify that before looking anywhere else for the problem.

1 Like

Thanks for the recommendation. We did clean the grill to the exhaust, we didn’t remove it but tried cleaning it by blowing canned moisture free air through it and cleaned the grill to clear out any gunk (there was a bit of old char and stuff that we cleaned out)

We can take another look at that as we also took the inline fan out and completely cleaned that.

Our add on inline duct fan is 195CFM which was about as good as we could find for a 4” duct fan. This is the one we have:

VIVOSUN 4 Inch 195 CFM Inline Duct Ventilation Fan Vent Blower for Grow Tent

Any other thoughts/recommendations ? Seems like the higher CFM fans are usually larger than 4” and very spendy… have you found any great ones?

I have one of the larger 6" ones but used the 195cfm 4" for a couple of years without a problem.

Do you get fumes/smoke from the front if you run both fans at the same time (turn off the “filter attached” button in the UI) ?

It should be under negative pressure if you’ve got enough airflow through the exhaust. Is there anything blocking the intake grill under the bottom right corner of the machine?

Does the path of smoke change when you’re engraving/cutting in the back vs when you are working on the front of a sheet?

1 Like

Thanks, we spent the weekend taking the hose off again and working to get some more junk out of the hexagon grill on the backside of the machine. With the hose off we could see some masking tape sticky stuff that was blocking a bit of airflow. With this cleaned again, we were able to get a bit better airflow through the machine.
We will still try caulking the vivosun fan, as i think there is air leaking somewhere in that setup. When you upgraded to a 6" duct fan, did you use a 4" to 6" converter or how did you best set that up, agreed that most of the higher CFM fans are in the 6" plus range

I would definitely recommend taking the hose off the back and looking from the back of the machine in through that hexagonal grill, we had a lost of gunk from masking tape blocking a bit of our air flow there. Its not perfect, but ours definitely has less fumes after we were able to clean this part out real well ! I hope this helps


Do that for sure. They leak through the seams of the parts. The halves where the housing screws together. Everywhere you see 2 pieces of metal joining.

I have mine at the end of the run right before it goes outside. I used a 4 to 6" adapter from HD (in the heating/cooling section).

You may get better airflow if you attach the 4" end of the adapter to the back of the GF and then use 6" all the way to the exit. But there’s also the school of thought that says to keep the exhaust fan near the end of the run to keep the whole path under negative pressure. I went with that - in retrospect I could have gotten some 6" hose and gone from the GF to the exhaust fan at the exit. I’ll probably do that next time I’m looking for a project to do around the house.