Smoke leaks all over

Today I discovered that my GF is venting smoke from all over the place – front, sides, rear. I just started using my filter, which helps a little, but my room just fills up with all sorts of probably unhealthy smoke.

As many others have noted, there are troubleshooting steps. I’ve done most of the fixes, and those that I haven’t done aren’t currently feasible for one reason or another.

This is extremely frustrating & disappointing and well below my expectations. I’m not looking for an in depth troubleshooting process here, I’m just venting.

Shouldn’t be doing that. Do you have the speed dialed up on the fan, and the switch thrown for using the Compact Filter in the Glowforge app?

Or not, as the case may be.


The only time you should get any smell, let alone visible smoke, when using the filter is when the cartridge is blocked and needs replacement. If yours is new, that should not be the case. You do have to turn the dial up a little. It’s quite loud, you are certain it is on and running?

I’m on GF #3 and all 3 leaked smoke out the lid and front. (The lid does NOT make an airtight seal.) I ended up getting some stick-on weatherstripping tape and putting it along the top left edge (on the lid). E.g.:

The weatherstripping works well on the top, but not on the front. When doing wood, I’ll take a small rag and an old hotel room keycard. Lay the rag over the front-left side of the door and use the keycard to gently wedge in the rag.

NOTE: Even though the right side of the lid can leak, that’s not where I see the smoke coming out. The fans move all of the smoke to the left. If your room is filling with smoke, it’s because it’s leaking out of the left side of the lid.

Guess you’re just really unlucky. That is not typical. My machine has two flaps that seal well on both sides of the lid. Even now with just a cheap external/in-line fan and a 35’ duct, I get no smell or smoke, even from the areas that those flaps don’t cover. The smoke streams away to the left side and out the back.

Flaps? Mine doesn’t have any flaps.

As Jules noted, it’s important to make sure you are not set up to use the Compact Filter, which reduces (or turns off) the internal fan.

As shown in the pic below, my glowforge is set up with the Filter attached.

YOUR toggle should be the other way if venting, and using the filter, should be as the pic shows… Be sure you are turning up the knob on the Filter. It requires you to adjust it for a higher volume.

You should hear the fan in the filter as you increase the air volume on the knob on the filter itself.

Hope that helps, but it sounds like Jules already covered the issues.

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That’s correct, and it’s not supposed to. The machine maintains a negative pressure while operating that is supposed to suck air in through the cracks in the lid. If you are having smoke leaking out of 3 separate machines I would look at your venting setup. It might be that the hose is too long (8 ft maximum with no more than two 90° bends in the hose. Nothing over 90°, so watch for loops and sharp kinks in it) or something is blocking the outlet. Also check that nothing is blocking the air intake underneath the right side of the machine.

If the run on the hose is longer by necessity, you might need to add a booster in-line fan.


I think this is actually fairly typical. People comment on it all the time. Certainly not “pouring out” but some leaking smoke/odor. I experience it and I know plenty of other people do, too.

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Unless you never open the lid, some odor is inevitable. But that’s not what the person who started this thread is talking about.

Thanks. I read the OP. And all the subsequent posts.


The OP stated they had just started using the filter.

I guess I’m just lucky then. My machine draws air IN while operating. Always has.

Of course you can smell the material when you open the lid after a print. That’s not what this thread is about.

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I know no reason why a compact filter will not move the smoke out except for two reasons. Either the filter is blocked or full (and it takes very little MDF from thin ply or straight MDF to do that) or there is a problem with the Fan in the filter. You should be able to take off the hose turn on the filter and feel the air moving pretty good. If not and there is no other option to pump outside then the filter needs repair,

Posting in P&S will open a ticket so if you do not wish to do so you will need to move it to Everything Else

I’m sorry for the trouble with your filter, and for the frustration.

When your Glowforge and Compact Filter are properly set up, you may have some harmless odor during printing which will rapidly dissipate. You may also smell something when you open the Glowforge lid after a print is complete. This is not harmful.

However, if you notice a strong, unpleasant or irritating odor when printing, or see smoke, shut off your Glowforge unit immediately. Smoke and fumes could be entering the room in excessive concentrations.

Thank you for the information that you’ve already tried some of the troubleshooting steps.

Would you please let us know which steps you haven’t done as they weren’t feasible?

To help troubleshoot your exhaust, could you send me a few photos of your exhaust system? Specifically, please include pictures of the following:

  1. The exhaust fan from the inside of the unit. To capture this photo:

  2. Turn your Glowforge off

  3. Open the lid

  4. Using both hands, gently pull the printer arm towards you as shown below:

  5. Move your phone or camera inside the Glowforge on the left-hand side, past the metal rail, pointed away from you towards the exhaust hose, to capture a photo like the one below:

  6. A photo of where your exhaust hose attaches to the Glowforge, where your exhaust hose exits the room, and the path your exhaust hose takes from your Glowforge to the exterior vent or Compact Filter

  7. The exhaust connection on the back of your Glowforge, with the exhaust hose removed:

After taking photos of the above, please also include a photo of you Compact Filter cartridge:

  1. Turn off and unplug your Compact Filter
    The power switch is located on the back, next to the cord. Turn it off first, then unplug it from the wall.
  2. Open Compact Filter
    There are four latches holding the top of the Compact Filter in place. Lift the bottom of all four latches to release them.
  3. Take a picture
    Without removing it, take a picture of the top of the cartridge seated in the Compact Filter and send it in to us.

We’ll review the images and follow up with next steps. Thank you!

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I misread the OP.

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