Smoke coming out from front of Glowforge

I looked on the forum and saw several folks mention this but I don’t know if anyone ever received a solid answer or solution to the problem. smoke started coming out of the front of my Glowforge last week and it’s A LOT. like, we can’t be in the same room with it because of the smell. it’s most offensive when the head is near the front of the Glowforge and it’s programmed to cut. I just installed a new hose today in the hopes that that would help, but up until then, nothing has changed since day one of me using it, and the problem started happening a week ago. any thoughts/solutions. I need to use this every day for products and this is definitely setting us back. thanks for any input!


If there is a “lot” of smoke coming out of the machine Lisa, I wouldn’t use it, with one exception.

Can you shoot a video with your phone of the smoking problem and post a link for Support to take a look at it? Please record the time, time zone and date when you shoot the video, so that support can look at the metrics for your machine at that time. Then post the video or send a link to support.

It’s not safe to operate the machines without venting them properly over the long term - after you shoot a short video, you might want to wait to hear from Support before you run it again. They might want you to check out your venting setup to make sure the end isn’t blocked, or remove the hose to check to see if the grid over the fan is clogged…you could do that while you wait to hear from them, after you shoot the video.

And good luck - we’ve had other folks start to see smoke coming out of the machine and cleaning the exhaust venting area resolved it…they need to be maintained according to the cleaning instructions here: Cleaning the exhaust.

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This is my experience also. My solution has been to seal up all lid seams with blue painters tape before cutting. I imagine this problem to be very noticeable during pass-through projects.

has that worked ok? I was thinking of doing the same thing.

Oddly enough, no, there is not a wisp of smoke that escapes from the machine while using the pass-through slot. I frequently forget to put the pass-through shield back on and I can’t tell any difference.

I’m probably going to explain this wrong, but I think the machine is supposed to maintain negative pressure until the fan forces the exhaust out…the air flow around the actual machine is from air in the room flowing in to the machine through the cracks. It’s not an airtight machine, and it’s not supposed to be.

(Hopefully one of the guys more interested in fluid dynamics will chime in here.)

probably just need to clean the exhaust grate. I had to clean mine again yesterday. I use a q-tip + shopvac.

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The main airflow in is via the intake on the far right and that has two big fans sucking air in to cool radiator. They should suck less air in than the exhaust pulls out to leave an overall negative pressure so any cracks suck air in but it seems the balance can easily shift to positive pressure if the outlet is blocked.


FD = Fluid Dynamacist??? :grin:


Do you have a PRO?
After a maintenance cleaning session I had this issue. Tore it all apart, including the crumb tray. After putting it back into operation, I started smelling smoke.

Smoke from cuts does a slow eddy action on front left corner when the head is cutting down in that area (seems to swirl once or twice at times before scooting off). The rest of the bed area sucks to the back.
Where those eddies form was where it leaked. Barely noticeable, but little wisps when cutting was going on in the front left corner.

When the cuts finished I opened the door and examined that lower left corner. The bottom door was just a tiny bit ajar on the left (maybe 1/16" aka 1.5mm), due to the pressure on that lower door with the pass through covers installed and pushing tight against the tray front.
I loosened the shield screws and shifted it a tad, then gave the lower door a harder push and it closed up tight on both sides.
No more smoke even with those eddies in that corner.

So if you have a PRO with those shields in place, make sure left and right edges on the front lower door are snug and flush, even if have to wiggle things and push on it a little.


The tape does help some in my opinion. The smoke direction and velocity during cutting near the front of the machine is exactly as first described - fast and towards the front. Overall negative pressure can’t help with this. I think it’s coming from the fan on the head to blow smoke away from the optics and inadvertently forces it toward the front. I also have a diy exhaust filter (merv 16 HEPA + carbon canister) pulling ~200-300 cfm and it doesn’t help alleviate the smoke velocity right at the head - hence the tape.

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the only time i’ve seen smoke (and it was a lot) coming out of the front of my GF is when i forgot to open the blast gate for my vent.

Thanks for letting us know 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.

However, if you detect a strong, sharp smell that can also cause eyes, nose, or throat irritation, or if there is visible smoke escaping while the lid is closed, shut off your Glowforge unit immediately. Smoke and fumes could be entering the room in excessive concentrations.

We’ve created a 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. Could you please email us with:

  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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I had this same issue. It ended up that my vent to the outside (which I attached the hose to) had a little door that would rotate to let air out when there was air pressure. This was not opening all the way thus causing back pressure on my system instead venting at full flow. I know that some outside dryer style vents have an angled roof on them as well which might contribute to back pressure. Eliminating my door took care of 98% of the problem. I still use a small strip of painters tape at all the seams to keep things completely sealed.

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