Pre-release users - outdoor odor from vented exhaust?


I’m starting to think about how noticeable the outdoor odor will be in the GF vented exhaust. I plan to put my Pro GF in the basement, where it will exhaust through a window well directly above the GF. The window well is covered so getting the exhaust past that is one issue, but we live in a townhome development and there are units about 15-20 feet away on either side of the exhaust vent so that might be a more critical issue.

Do any of you PRU folks have an opinion on how ticked off my neighbors will be at the odor, especially as the weather warms up and folks start to leave windows open. To make it worse, it vents out the back of our unit and neighbors on each side have back yard patios and the closest one barbecues and entertains out there frequently in the summer.

How close to vent hose do you need to be to smell the glowforge output?

I think once it vents outside, and dilutes in the air, then wood projects will smell more like a campfire than the acrid kind of smell that you get indoors.

Acrylic may be a diff story…

And leather will be…um…well, ever light your hair on fire?


Depends on your neighbors. I’m in a subdivision, but am venting exactly as you describe. My neighbor’s bedroom window is about 20 feet away. Probably won’t be cutting at night this summer until my “forever” Basic+Filter arrives.


Our external vent comes just below roof level. From the ground (two stories down) I smell nothing. When I was engraving leather I stepped out there to take look…well I guess a sniff. Nothing. As for the neighbors, I asked the folks across the street and the folks nextdoor earlier this year about it and they said they didn’t smell anything. Then promptly asked me to engrave something for them. Pretty sure at that height it’s getting mixed/deluded with the air. Plus unless you are engraving a solid black 8" x"8 of something I think it would go unnoticed.


I will let you know in an hour or so, when I fire the beast up…


I vent out the window about 6 ft up from ground level. The noise outside is very audible, and I can smell the smoke from the driveway, which is on the opposite side of the front of the house.


We’re fairly rural, and we have it vented out of an upstairs window at the front of the house. The guys said that you can catch a faint whiff of it outside, but it’s minimal. The smoke was more noticeable out there than the smell.

FWIW, I’ve mostly been cutting leather, and it is every bit as stinky as they say (very glad I chose a pro w/filter!). Someone here described the odor as being similar to the smell when getting your teeth drilled; it’s a very apt description.


disclaimer the weather sucks… But that being said, the smell is noticeable (I’m engraving Maple right now) but from about 10 feet away it had dissipated well.

Now the noise on the other hand outside, sounds like SpaceX is testing their Falcon Heavy i the backyard…

That’s at 1m

My Venting Setup
Glowforge is loud

Yikes! Sounds like noise, smoke, and odor might all be a problem at one time or another. I hadn’t thought of noise or smoke being a problem so a special thanks for those comments. I went with a Pro + filter so that filter might be a lot more essential than seemed likely at first.

Now it seems like it would be a good idea to explore venting through our radon abatement system (3-in PVC pipe) or maybe relocating the GF and trying to vent into the fireplace on the 1st floor. Either of those options would probably mitigate the smoke and noise issues and almost all of the odors. I’m not too crazy about either of those possibilities. Venting to the radon abatement pipe might tricky due to the diameter reduction (4-in GF to 3-in at abatement pipe, plus the pressure drop along the 20+ feet of pipe. If I didn’t have a townhome association to deal with I’d probably think about running a GF vent pipe up to the roof line and parallel to the abatement pipe.

Nothing like a personal engineering challenge to get the creative juices flowing.


craaap. I am in an apartment and plan on venting into the common walkway. My little neighborhood is spooky quiet, and this might be an issue. Maybe I can convince my wife to let me have the thing in the kitchen and vent out the back door? (I already know the answer :confused: )


Double Yikes! That’s 20 dB higher than my CNC mill spindle at 4,000 rpm and 10 dB higher than my CNC lathe spindle at 2500 rpm at the same distance or less. Thanks a great deal for taking the trouble to measure that!

@dan - is there any chance of reducing the noise from the vent? Might the filter be any more quiet? I gather that the filter discharges to inside the room (rather than outdoors) but 80 db inside the house is pretty darned loud. It’s uncomfortable to crank the radio in my office up that loud.

@takitus - I recall that you have reduced vent noise near the GF with insulation. Do you think that sort of insulation would have any effect on noise coming out of the vent?


I never considered how loud the Glowforge would be… In the video it shows the lady in her kitchen or something, and music playing instead of hearing the noise. The Tested video has music playing over a timelapse, so again I figured it was silent, or pretty quiet…


Standard upright vacuum cleaner sound level. Higher pitch but about the same volume to my ears.


Glowforge is loud

Not at all, especially since my vent is a straight run right out from the laser. It’s way louder outside than it is inside because of the soundproofing indoors.

If there were more bends in the tube and the exit point was pointed downwards, it would help a lot, but at this point the people in front of me get to hear that whine at all hours of the day


if it sounds like a vacuum, my neighbors will think I am a crackhead with all the Forgin’ I plan on doing


Or very clean.


Could be worse. I had an indoor aquaponics setup once. I grew some leafy vegetables and broccoli IIRC. One winter night I came home through the front door (the garage is on an alley so 99% of the time I enter through the back) and notice the grow lights are like a beacon pouring out an upstairs window. Thought to myself, “great, I’m going to die in a drug raid over a salad.”


Hahaha! Stay safe!


Thanks. I had too many problems keeping the fish alive. They’re sensitive to composition changes in the water besides O2. The volume of water was so small that I think it didn’t have enough buffering capacity for my noob skill level and the fish kept dying. I could have switched to peeponics, but didn’t. The table that is patiently waiting for its glowforge was built for that experiment.