Should I be smelling this?

I’m new to laser anything and have searched the forums, but haven’t found this–should I be able to smell the material cutting/engraving? Pro unit, vented outside with included hose and a purchased dryer vent w/flap. It’s a seriously strong smell and begins well before the project is finished/opening the door once complete.

There is no way for us to quantify this. There will always be an odor but for wood, it should not be that bad. Then again, not everyone reacts the same so…?

Check your hose and connections, if there is no leakage what you smell is probably normal.


Yeah you’re going to smell the residue when you open the lid, and a small moment of scent when the fans fire up. (Kind of like an ash tray.)

You shouldn’t smell much while the machine is running though, if you do, check the connections to make sure smoke isn’t leaking out during operations.

Get rid of the masking ASAP by putting it in a ziploc bag…cuts way down on the smell.


I’ve checked the connections, but will take a more serious look at it and maybe change some things. It gets pretty bad, so I am guessing I have an unnoticed leak.
I read the tip about the ziplock bag before–genius–I’ve been using that one! Thanks guys!


The first thing I did on my new laser is to put in some thin craft foam between the lower door and the plastic lip. Smell can escape through that gap.


Personally I don’t like those spring clips that the duct manufacturer includes. My first step in searching out the odor source was to replace that with a screw clamp.

I also trimmed the flex hose to just the needed length.


Make sure you’re getting strong air out the exhaust so that the Glowforge itself has negative pressure.

Some have used incense to check for airflow on the outside of the unit and around the exhaust connections.

If you do switch to screw clamps like @PrintToLaser don’t over tighten. Some folks have cracked their case with them which is why Glowforge switched away from them.

You may want to add some tape around the exhaust connections.


I hadn’t seen those examples. Surprises me, because a circle can support quite a load that is tightened evenly around it’s circumference.
I cinched this one down with a nut driver.

I didn’t know glowforge ever supplied them. My PRU just had the spring clamps that are included with the flex hose.

It must have happened really early in the testing stage, my PRU came with a worm clamp.

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Here’s the mention I saw of the switch out:



Thanks for posting @kfd . I’m glad you contacted us about this.

Even with proper filtration, small amounts of smoke and fumes can enter the air around your Glowforge, producing a detectable odor. You may also smell an odor when you open the Glowforge lid, even long after a print is complete. This is not harmful.

We’ve created an troubleshooting guide with illustrations. You can see it here:

If you’re still seeing or smelling excessive smoke or fumes when using Proofgrade materials, we’re here for you. Write us again and send us:

  1. The name of the material you’re using
  2. A description of where the smoke/fumes are coming from: the door, lid, or hose
  3. When you smell the fumes: during the print or after it has completed
  4. Photos of your Glowforge and your exhaust system
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