Im trying to decide if I should even set my new Glowforge up or if I should just wait until the situation changes…
I physically can not put my new Glowforge in the house. There is just no way. It was a gift from a family member, I wasn’t planning on buying one until I moved next year due to this issue. But now it’s here so… My ONLY option is a shop building outside which gets INCREDIBLY hot in spring (100 plus) & just downright insane during summer (120 is average).
QUESTION 1: Is it safe to run the Glowforge when the ambient temperature is that hot?
Second, its very VERY dusty where I live. Think tsunamis of dirt on everything, it’s beyond ridiculous. There’s absolutely no way I can help this. By placing my Glowforge out in the shop, even if I cover it well, it will be subject to lots of dust/dirt.
QUESTION 2: Is this going to affect it & if so how exactly? Will it be a major problem? Can dust inside the machine cause a major issue? Is there anything that can be done about it? Example, can I just use an air compressor to blow it out before use or is that not a good idea?
Question 1: nope. Though it’s not a safety thing so much as it is a “life of the laser” thing, from what I understand. The GF has sensors that won’t let it even turn on if the temp is that hot. I forget what the threshold is, someone will be along any minute now and tell us.
Question 2: if it’s that dusty I might not want to junk it up.
I use mine in a “shed”, but it’s a fairly finished shed (insulation and sheetrock etc) with an AC unit and dehumidifier to keep the environment consistent. It’s not terribly dusty, but we do get a lot of pollen in this neck of the woods. Luckily, the room with the GF lives is fairly dust and pollen free, just by virtue of how the shed is built, with a front and back room and doors that close, etc.
There are other cooling solutions too, there was a recent thread that used a peltier setup, and others that use ice chests, etc… but I like that this is an air purifier on top of all that, given your dust needs.
Those kinds of tents are definitely not insulated, so it might be a struggle to cool it quickly, and you’ll be hoovering up 200 cfm through the glowforge, so you might not be out of the woods on dust entirely… it’s a challenging setup you’re in. These things probably have equations you can use to figure out exactly how quickly all the air will turn over, but you figure it’s probably 10x10x7, that means you turn over the volume of air inside the tent every three minutes.
It might be smarter to use a cover on the gf when not using it – like this:
and then use a more directed AC option like here:
That way you’re not struggling to AC the entire tent, but you still get a filtered air feed to the unit and the cover can keep the dust off.
I might still use a 10x10 tent just to keep dust out in general, plus a cover for the unit, and then a directed AC like that.
What a great gift to you from your family! I think waiting a year to use your Glowforge would be awfully hard, and I think some of the solutions suggested here in the forum are worth a try. One other possibility would be to look for a rental space arrangement - a booth in a Maker Space area, backroom of an existing workspace, friend’s spare basement, etc.
if you’re in a particularly hot area and an AC can’t keep up with cooling the whole space, you can get a portable AC and redirect the cold air output to where the air intake is beneath the front right corner of the GF. i did this outside in 85+ degree weather this weekend (@rpegg’s photo)
Oh a farm shop. Love it! No doubt it gets screaming hot, but what a great space! I have no doubt you can find a way to wall off a small area to cool and use your Glowforge in a dust reduced area. How about a Little Tykes playhouse or a tent?
Thanks and yeah, its gonna take some effort but I think, as others said also, that a good tent with an AC/air filter might be what I have to do. I need to really research ways to filter dust/dirt though as I’m more concerned about that part. I can always work in the shop at night so the heat isn’t TOO much of a huge deal right now. Maybe if I get to using it a good portion of the day then the heat will have to be addressed… I just don’t want to do anything to mess up the machine.
As the Glowforge itself creates huge amounts of dust I can’t imagine that being a severe problem but I think that @evansd2 ‘s idea of a room in the room is a good one. I once built an oven where the problem was the opposite (keeping it hot enough) but it was huge and we built it from AC duct material that comes in 4’x8’ sheets that decent duct tape inside and out worked out well and it was so light that we lifted it over the mold from one to the other needing 4 people as it was ungainly but it did not weigh 20 pounds. The huge pieces of acrylic we were bending were over 100 pounds.
We merely rented the duct material as it did not change it and the AC company just used it in their next job.
It should be pretty easy to build a small Glowforge only “room” and a small window AC
Another consideration is if you already have your laser the warranty is ticking away. I recommend you do what you have to to operate it in order to insure there are no issues with your new glowforge.
That’s quite the gift, you are going to enjoy exploring its capabilities for a long time!
If you cool the GF with directed air to the intake as @shop did you should be aware that there is at least one sensor that measures the cooling fluid temperature. If the room is warm it may take a little while to cool the fluid before turning on the unit. Also I am under the impression there is now more than one enabled temperature sensor inside the machine. Try to keep the lid closed as much as possible between prints to keep warm outside air from being an issue.