I have been using the glowforge for about a week now, and I have been noticing a smell whenever I use it. When I cut wood, I can definitely smell it when I open the lid and after a cut and during the cut, and for leather its the same. For really long cuts from wood, it makes our entire apartment smell for hours, and even though I can not smell acrylic, the fact that I can smell smoke from wood worries me because of how toxic melted plastic can be. My question is what is a normal amount of smoke from the Glowforge and should I be worried about acrylic? I have been using the glowforge air filter and only proof grade materials.
I’m sure others will chime in with more precise thoughts, but my first thought is that you have issues with your venting system. A very small odor is to be expected…particularly when you open the lid, but you shouldn’t experience the smell for hours afterward. If you’re venting properly, there will be little worry about toxic fumes nor smoke odors lingering.
There will be a detectable odor when you open the door, just from the residual deposit of vaporized material, with a completely sealed exhaust run there should be zero odor during operation.
A picture or two of your exhaust setup might help.
The exhaust duct downstream of the machine is pressurized because the fan is pushing it. Any leak will make itself known.
A popular modification is to disable the internal fan with the filter switch and incorporate an external fan placed close to the end of the exhaust run so that the entire vent is under suction instead of pressure.
In an apartment environment, you will be lucky not to have neighbors complaining about the noise or smell. I recommend sharing a gift made especially for them with your laser superpowers. If they share a connection with the environmental result, they would normally be more forgiving.
I’d bet on a small leak in your vent hose or connectors.
I’m so sorry to hear your Glowforge is having issues with smells lasting hours after printing. That is not normal and I would like to look into the issue more.
When your Glowforge and Air Filter are properly set up, you may have some harmless odor during printing which will rapidly dissipate. You may also smell something when you open the Glowforge lid after a print is complete. This is not harmful.
However, if you notice a strong, unpleasant or irritating odor when printing, or see smoke, shut off your Glowforge unit immediately. Smoke and fumes could be entering the room in excessive concentrations.
We’ve created a troubleshooting guide with illustrations. You can see it here: Excessive Smoke or Fumes During Print – Glowforge
It’s been a little while since I’ve seen any replies on this thread so I’m going to close it. If you still need help with this please either start a new thread or email firstname.lastname@example.org.