Question about the CO2 laser

Does the laser just stop working when it needs to be replaced or does it get less efficient? I was also wondering if room is needed around the Glowforge to allow for airflow?

See “Life Expectancy of Laser”

Other than the internal airflow for the Basic, and a rough discussion of the air filter unit, Dan has never talked about the intake for the Basic GF. Maybe rear louvers? The air filter is designed to sit underneath so the intake wouldn’t be there.

If the laser did blow, would we have to buy one direct from Glowforge - or could we source one elsewhere? (I’m an overseas buyer)

It is a custom tube so Glowforge will be the only option
Continuing the discussion from Life Expectancy of Laser:

The air intake is on the bottom (of both Basic and Pro), on the right. The clean air cools the PCBs before moving across the cutting area, over the water cooler heatsink, and out the exhaust.

Is there any concern about smoke condensing on the heat sink, eventually reducing effectiveness of the heat sink?

I was wondering the same thing. Seems problematic to pass dirty air over a heat exchanger.