Thank you for this info. I have reached out to customer service to see if they can retroactively add it. Fingers crossed!
Thanks for the great info Ben. Looking forward to your views on the GF Air Filter when you receive it. I’ve only been on these forums for a day or two, but I’ve already read several of your tips and POVs throughout these forums and all of it is very helpful. You are definitely a straight shooter and I appreciate that.
Yes, most materials either don’t arrive perfectly flat, or can absorb moisture and warp a bit… So these are a fabulous free design:
hold down pins
Also magnets can be great for thinner material (though don’t get super strong ones or too close to the path of the beam, as the magnetic field can affect the beam itself).
When the material doesn’t contact the bed tightly, the gaps will not only cause more flash/scorching, but can lead to incomplete cut-through. If you’re in a high humidty season/area, you’ll want to slow down your speed a bit to compensate for that, too.
I don’t work with wood myself (apart from a sign or display board), but there are loads of others who do, and may have already posted great storage ideas as well as settings for different species, too.
Yes, I saw those in the free design. Didn’t realize how necessary they are, so I will make them tonight. As for humidity, I’m in Chicago, so it’s definitely humid in the summer, but cold and dry now. I will remember this when the weather warms back up again. Thanks!
A while back I pulled some tips together:
Have fun when it arrives!
Then I would return that filter, eat the fees, and never look back. What is the “just in case” that would make you want to use a $250 filter cartridge?
Generally, if it was flat to begin with, the warping comes from changes in humidity, up or down, between where it was made/stored and its final location. I’m not that far away from you and haven’t had any serious warping issues, but even a little warp can affect a cut/engrave. And as you get more experience and want to try more things you’ll probably expand your sourcing, so those hold down pins are wonderful.
And if you try lighter materials like paper, cardstock, etc… it needs to be held down across its entire surface or the parts you cut out are liable to blow away. But we have solutions for that as well.
Yeah what they said - and save your Amazon shipping boxes for testing material! There’s no PG setting for them (because cardboard is incredibly varied) but there are settings in here that’ll cut it well.
I don’t have a Pro either, but I love love love my basic!
SO MANY PROJECTS so little time
Also, somewhere Dan commented that they were working toward the filters fitting both the CF and the GFF so even if they discontinue the CF you should still be able to get the cartridges
Personally I love my compact filter and I am not worried about it at all as they’ve said they’re going to try to make the new filter cartridges compatible (I do vent sometimes and use a prefilter so I’m getting several months of use out of each cartridge)
But that said, if you have the ability to vent all the time and you don’t plan to cut stinky things or don’t think you need the filter then by all means send it back. It’s totally not necessary to have a great experience with the GF.
Read this thread
Vent outdoors. It’s not GFs fault that filters clog, but their marketing could be a little more transparent.
It can be tricky to figure out settings for new materials, but that’s part of the fun. My machine is a toy, but if I was stamping out multiples for sale, that’s still a small up-front time investment to ensure success. I even verify settings for Proofgrade materials before running a big job, because “things change” and I’d rather not waste a few $$ if I can spend a couple of minutes up-front.
I worry about bugging my significant other, who I live with, with any weird smells or dust coming from the second bedroom, which is now home to the GF. Could cutting acrylic with a laser be harmful to breath in? Even if its vented out the window. I also want to be aware of what I’m releasing out my window, for the neighbors, the environment, etc. Do you think I’m being overly cautious? I’ve only cut on the GF once, so I’m still figuring it all out.
I will be cutting mostly wood, but also some acrylic. Do you recommend using the CF for the acrylic? Or is that also fine to vent out he window?
If it’s vented out the window, it’s fine (safe) indoors and out.
Awesome tips! Just what I was searching for. Thank you!
fwiw, sometimes I don’t even bother to vent for small jobs - the smell of some cut wood is rather pleasing.
I literally have my GF in the living room - there is no dust from the machine.
Acrylic smells terrible, but it won’t hurt you unless you’re seriously huffing the fumes. I vent outdoors and for acrylic I shut the back door that’s right next to the window - when cutting wood I leave the backdoor open because it smells like a fireplace
If you ever cut leather some folks also think that smells terrible…it smells like burning flesh, cuz it is burning flesh
A properly sealed and vented system should be the same as a filtered system, however, whenever you open the lid to the glowforge there is going to be some smell. There is always some residual odor. Also, the masking will pick up some of the odor so when you weed all that masking off seal it up in a plastic bag. Some people have more sensitive olfactory systems than others, so some people are more bothered by it than others; it all depends on the quality of your SO’s nose. Acrylic certainly has a different smell than wood and most people do not approve of it.
If your second bedroom has a door on it, and your ventilation system is properly sealed, I would think most of the odor, what there is of it, would stay in that room. Well, except for the part that clings to your hands. Wash them all you want, the final bit takes time. Maybe a lotion will help IDK.
As regards your neighbors, are you in a condo with neighbors above you or in a single family home out in the suburbs? What you vent outside is being dispersed into a very large volume of air, but not so large that it won’t bother neighbors if they live close enough to your vent. I have read of people living in apartments/condos with neighbors that have complained about both the smell and noise.
No matter how you vent, there will be some odors in the room with the Glowforge. There can be a little smoke left under the material that escapes when the lid is open, and the cut pieces themselves will smell. There are ways to reduce the odor if it really bothers you or your significant other.
Buyer’s remorse is a real thing, and many of us have had it at one time or another. However, you had some reasons for making this purchase and those reasons are probably still valid. Once you start doing the things you bought the Glowforge for, you will probably find other reasons for having it. Yes it is a lot of money, and maybe you will decide to return the compact filter (although you might be ahead to sell it yourself rather than face the 30% restocking fee) but it is really a great tool. People that changed their minds after owning for a bit have had luck selling their machine, but I hope you give it a chance to work for you. As you know, the forum is full of helpful people and lots of experience/information. Good luck whatever you decide to do.
As others have said, there will be smells. Venting or filtering doesn’t stop the stink on the pieces you take out.
You can minimize the odor. Closing the door to the craft room will help a lot. Putting the scraps in covered trash helps, etc.
I have my GF near my kitchen and family room and we are not bothered by anything… but life with a laser cutter is not odorless.