Replacing filter for compact unit

Has anybody who uses the compact filter find they have to replace filters periodically in a short time. I purchased my GF in February and replaced my filter in the middle of June and now I have to replace it again. Support showed me a chart that shows how many times you can use the filter on different material and I haven’t come close to that. If I owned my own house I would not have purchased the filtering unit.


There are many existing threads on this. You can fill the filter media in 8hrs with draftboard, and not much longer with Proofgrade medium plywoods.

The filter is a last resort for people who don’t have any other option. Venting outdoors is the best option. I ran my hose along the floor and out an open door while printing for the first two years.


Thanks for the input. The way I see it is that it’s a big investment. I really can’t justify the expense. Am I really going to make back the investment of the filter.

I living in an apartment in New York City, and filtering is a must for me. Even with a window nearby the density of people here demands the filter.

The main thing I’m careful to avoid is anything that contains MDF like the proof grade draft board and 1/8 proof grade ply. Like @eflyguy mentioned, these will fill up the filter in just a few hours as they burn extremely dirty.

I use a lot of hardboard and plywood’s that aren’t based on an MDF core.

I do also use a pre-filter that will go into a closed beta soon, so when that’s more widely available you might want to try it.


Thanks for your reply. Why does Glowforge sell product with MDF core in their proof grade material(which seems to be out of stock often)? Are they trying to sell more filters?

A relatively small number of customers have filters. The materials are suitable for the majority of owners. Unless you feel it is unfair to allow the majority access to versatile materials because your situation prevents it?


One of the issues with natural materials is they are not as homogenous as MDF, so the results are not as consistent.


I didn’t say it’s unfair,that’s how you perceived it. As a business owner since the 1990’s I look at it as an investment. I have to justify spending $240.00. In other words,am I making enough profit to purchase the filter. Again, I thank you for your input.

Thank you. It’s always nice to learn.

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The uniformity of MDF makes it really easy to use with a laser cutter. Like @PrintToLaser said this makes for consistent results. In turn this leads to successful outcomes - designs & cuts that work every time. Which is great for many laser printer / Glowforge users, and ultimately Glowforge.

Putting an MDF core inside a hardwood veneer brings that same level of consistent / reliable outcomes to a finished product that looks like real wood. Again, lots of happy laser cutting, lots of great outcomes.

I personally avoid MDF, proof grade draft board, 1/8 proof grade plywood and anything that looks like it has an MDF core as it will simply destroy the filter cartridge in no time. Not even a pre-filter will fully save it.

This does mean I need to regularly test cut/engrave new batches of wood - dialing / tweak my settings. For me it’s worth the effort as using a filter is a must in Manhattan.

I doubt glowforge wants to sell more filter cartridges. I think they offer them because they know there are customers like me that live in dense urban setting and must have a filter.

I do wish they would add draft board to the filter life expectancy table in the FAQs. They make if clear in the notes that draft board is terrible for the filter, but I think a lot of people miss that and just look at the materials table.


Thanks again for your input. As a former New Yorker I can understand your situation. I’ve purchased wood from a company in Wisconson called Ocooch Hardwoods.Check out their website. They sell their material that is 12 X 24 but will cut it to 12 X 20 and will send the extra piece if you want it. I take it to make tests or items that would work in a 12 x4 space. Have a good week end.


Ocooch is one of the most common suppliers recommended here. Good stuff…

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… are awesome!!

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