Replacement Glowforge significant more ash/soot

My original Glowforge was replaced with a refurbished model to address a camera/alignment issue. The replacement unit works great, except I feel it creates significantly more ash/soot during cutting than the last model. I find myself having to constantly clean the glass, camera, lenses, etc. much more often than before. Also more ash remains on the material afterwards, and there are ash fragments along the top edges of engraves that I now have to scrape off. I did not have to do this before.

I’ve checked that the exhaust seems to be blowing with the approximate same force as with the prior unit (just put my hand in front), and I can’t find any obstructions or problems with the exhaust fan or hose.

Any suggestions?

Laser power and focus is equal. Exhaust is equal. Air assist is working? You are left with a difference in material, or a sketchy memory. Not being flip, just logical.


Materials are identical (all Proofgrade). Not sure what air assist is? Memory is fine - the amount of ash I’m cleaning out is WAY more than it used to be.

Is this the one replaced a few months ago?

Air assist is a fan behind the head and gantry that directs airflow towards where the beam is interacting with material. It helps to achieve cleaner cuts and keep flames to a minimum.

If you are cutting more Draftboard recently than you were before, be aware that even though it is Proofgrade, Draftboard results in a lot more smoke and residue than any other Proofgrade (like plywood or hardwood for example).

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Try cleaning the air assist. Fingers crossed!

Make sure your lens is installed properly. An upside-down lens will still (kinda) work with higher power, but with worse results (more smoke, dirty cuts).


Yes, this is the one warranty replaced a few months ago for the camera alignment issues. It’s a different unit.

I’ll check out the air assist, thanks!

I’m so sorry for the delay responding here.

I extracted the logs to investigate the problem you reported, and the logs indicate your exhaust fan is in need of cleaning, and I have a method you can use to clean your fan.

First, you’ll need to obtain a can of 3M Novec Electronic Degreaser, which you can purchase from Amazon or Digikey.

That page will walk you through the cleaning process. Brief summary:

  1. Turn off and unplug your unit and move it outside. Make sure it’s in a location where it has power and Wi-Fi

  2. Using the fan maintenance page, you’ll be able to turn the fan on

  3. Following all manufacturer’s safety instructions from 3M, spray the degreaser into the fan while it’s running for approximately 5 - 10 seconds, or until the fan is clean.

  4. When you’re done cleaning, turn off your unit to stop the fan, and return it to its usual home. You should now see considerably better performance from your exhaust fan!

Please let us know if you have any questions!


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