New User, GF filter and/or external exhaust

Good morning,

My wife and I purchased the Pro with the air filter. Here is the question, how does the air filter exhaust? I’m battling cancer and am on chemo (two weeks to the next, ugh)_ and can’t be around fumes of any sort. Does the filter exhaust outside? or would it be better to cancel that part of the order and go with external exhaust, my thoughts after reading blogs 6"? Thanks in advance, David and Gabi


It exhausts inside. The combination of filter elements inside the filter includes both dust filtering and odor/volatiles (with an activated charcoal component).

However, it can fill up very fast. In a matter of hours if using MDF (like PG Draftboard which is solid MDF or the PG standard medium plywoods which have an MDF core). It can last much longer if used for materials like acrylic or engraving tile. The replacement filter cartridges are $250 and have been in & out of stock so you’d want more than one on hand. They cannot be rejuvenated (cleaned & reused) at home.

If you can, venting outside is the preferred way to go. You can also attach a larger exhaust fan on the end of the hose which are generally quieter and more effective than the internal fan. Lots & lots of posts on how folks have done the venting so if you describe your situation - e.g. double hung window, sliding door, casement windows, hole in the wall, etc. someone here who has the same situation can let you know how to vent.


Thanks, I’m trying to cancel that part of the order, its three months out and I wouldn’t be able to use it. I’ve already B-lined the parts for a 6". I have a blast gate from my shop system already. Hope they will cancel the air filter part. This is my wife’s way of keeping me from all the sharps in the garage.


Even with everything working perfectly there will be fumes. The laser works by heating and most of the smoke will be taken out but the material will still be giving off the fumes. Not so much for normal situations but whenever you open the machine there will be some fumes.

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With a 6" fan on the vent hose next to the where it goes out through the house wall, and leaving it closed for a minute or so after the cutting finishes (as well as sealing the fan & the hose/GF connection he shouldn’t get any appreciable fumes.

I’ve heard he could use an empty plastic V8 bottle to seal the GF end :wink:


I’ll just echo what’s been already stated.

With a good exhaust setup, you’ll get virtually no odor from the machine, even when opening it up after a print if you just wait a few seconds.

I have a 6" Vivosun fan on the far end of a 25’-long 4" hose, then another 10’ of 6" out of a window. I get no odor whatsoever even with stinky material like leather or acrylic.

Keep in mind, however, the laser cuts with, essentially, fire, and the edges of many materials will have char that does indeed have a strong odor when handled. If you’re particularly sensitive to it, you might want to buy disposable latex gloves.

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As the parent of a child who had leukemia (and was in treatment when I got my Glowforge), I can appreciate this situation. The key to successfully using the Glowforge will be ensuring that your vent set up is done very well. If you choose to use an inline fan, it will reduce the noise and help exhaust the machine (and then you can turn off the built-in fan). Make sure all hose connections are sealed very well with tape that is made for this purpose. Make sure the place where your vent exits your home is sealed up well, also.

I made a few things for our team at the hospital, and that was a lot of fun. I’ve made a few cancer-themed designs (which you might happen to see in the Glowforge catalog).

Good luck! I can’t wait to see what you create!

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This is a good reminder. My venting goes out a basement window. Sealed up in the basement it’s not noticable at all. I’d go upstairs and smell it and my wife would mention it…the basement window is right under the bathroom window which my wife leaves open during the summer :stuck_out_tongue::man_shrugging:


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