Setting Up the Glowforge Vent



Hello all (and @dan).

In a couple weeks contractors will start remodeling our basement and the hobby room. They have been told that we will need a vent inserted into the exterior wall of the house. We purchased the laser cutter with ventilation. I would like the ventilation hole added during construction rather than busting open the wall in December. I don’t know how to ask this question concisely (below is a list):

• I need to know how big the hole needs to be?

• What does the Glowforge vent look like?

• How does the ventilation attach to the exterior vent?

You get the idea. Any help will be greatly appreciated.



When you say you purchased the cutter with ventilation, do you mean the piece that sits under the Glowforge with the filtration in it? If so, then you don’t need any exterior ventilation… no need to have a vent in the house. The filter in the GF takes care of that.

If you bought the basic, without the filtration unit (like me), then the GF vents using a standard 4" dryer hose which is supplied with the GF. All you will need is a dryer vent to the outside, which is a common item you can get at Home Depot and the like.

For the time-being I plan on hanging the dryer hose out the window until I can get something more aesthetically pleasing.


What @chadmart1076 said, a standard 4" dryer hose, which is included with the Glowforge!


We purchased the Glowforge Basic + Air Filter. Thank you for your quick response. Saves us from having to punch a hole in our wall. :relaxed:


Sorry, I responded before reading your response @dan (Friday). I feel redundant, but, just to be clear:

The Glowforge Basic + Air Filter:

  1. Does NOT need to be vent outdoors because it has a built in filter.

  2. Does it need an outside ventilation to vent hot air?

Sorry for being confused.



The air filter is a separate unit.
With the air filter attached, it does not need to be vented outside.
However, unless anything has changed, the filter will be shipped separately from the Glowforge. They may not arrive at the same time.

Personally, I would have the vent installed, just in case you decide you want to vent outside instead of using the filter. It will be cheaper and easier to do it during the renovations.

I ordered the Basic + Air Filter as well. I’m planning on venting out the window most of the time. I’ll probably only use the Air Filter if I take it somewhere else with me, or if it gets really really cold outside.


Thank you Joe!


No Problem. Good luck with the Remodel!


Just ask them to install a standard dryer vent in the wall. Thats what it hooks up to. Im sure theyll be able to do that


I second @joe’s advice.
Having the option would appeal to me, just for the flexibility, and conserving the filter (it is a consumable).

Since you are in the position to have the vent installed during remodeling, it would add a minimum $ to the job, and will never be easier than that.


Thank you all.


I agree with @joe and @printolaser. If you have construction happening, get them to install a vent (standard 4" dryer vent). You’ll be glad you have the option of using the air filter or venting outside. The air filter will require occasional filter replacements so venting outside, when practical, will lower the on-going cost of running your Glowforge.


…and give you the option of continuing to use the glowforge between when you realize you need to change the filters and when you get around to ordering, receiving and installing the new filters too!


Excellent point. :thumbsup:


Any word on how notification of filter change will work? Do you reset it in the software, like the little button on your fridge’s water filter? (This assumes that Glowforge is even tracking the filter and alerting when it needs to be changed.) I can’t imagine it is doing post-filter analysis or anything.

Or is it just a matter of marking the calendar or checking the total machine run time? (Again, assuming that you would be able to look this up for your machine in the software.)


Good question.
I would expect replacement frequency to depend on material selection and time in use. Saturation of the charcoal media would probably first manifest as you being able to detect an odor, and become more pronounced as the filter efficiency diminished.

The only metric I can think of being detectable by the machine would be resistance to airflow because of face loading, and that wouldn’t be a problem with the nature vaporized material.
Just my speculation.


So then the first thing I make with my filtered GF is the window adaptor?


That’s what I plan on doing. :sunglasses:


I might venture to say that even with the filter attachment one would still want to vent the Glowforge out externally so odors don’t remain closed in?


I see your point, but Dan has mentioned in other threads that the ventilation is either/or… You will need to use the window vent if you don’t have the filter, but you can’t use it with the filter.