Smoke on the Horizon

I was reading recently on the forum that I shouldn’t be smelling my cut of wood until after I lift the lid. I also shouldn’t see any smoke coming out of the front of the Glowforge.

And here I thought those things were normal for my machine, as neither are excessive.

Most of the smoke gets pulled to the back left and gets vented out (I assume), so I double checked my grille. The grille is clean and I verified that the fan is spinning while I was doing an engrave. On the other hand, using a napkin, it looks like I’m getting air blowing out of the sides of the lid, on the front. I can also see small wisps of smoke during cuts coming out of the front.



How long is your exhaust line and where does it go?

It’s the one that came with the system. Not sure of the length, but can measure it if need be.

About 3’ of it is inside and the rest runs out a window.

You might want to make sure that the part outside the window isn’t curved in a way to offer lots of resistance, or hasn’t acquired any air-blocking friends.

Let me try that and see if I pull more inside and reduce the bends… I have one of those louvered end attachments, but it does blow the flaps open, so I don’t think that is the cause.

Most people with hoses going out the window have made boards for the louvered thingy to fit onto; that blocks smoke from coming back in (which isn’t your current issue, but still).

Airflow is very important, and the Glowforge exhaust is designed to work up to a certain effective length. Pushing the air around a bend creates more resistance than a straight pipe. The louvers on the end add a little bit of effective length. The flaps opening shows that some air is flowing, but not necessarily that enough air is flowing.

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Board is coming soon. Probably going to cut the holes tonight. I’m also going to attach two 200mm fans to the board to help pull the smoke out of the room.

However, even with more of the hose pulled back in, I’m still getting air pushed out of the front.

But I know I’m not the only one who has a louvered end piece on their hose. I’ll try removing it, though.

Edit: No change.

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The CFM of the exhaust fan exceeds the intake fan, so every crack in the machine should be pulling air in if exhaust is configured properly.
The face loaded grill only comes into play after lots of work.

Doesn’t make a lot of sense given what we’ve seen. A million to one thought. Had one owner get a hose with the instructions crammed inside. Didn’t see it and didn’t take it out.


I read your post on when you cleaned your grille and thought I was nowhere close to that much cut on my system yet, but thought it was worth looking at while checking if the fan was spinning.

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If the exhaust fan is spinning it creates a hell of a lot of noise during a cut. Vacuum cleaner levels. The intake fan is not very loud.

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True, but I wanted to verify and make sure it wasn’t mounted backwards.

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Wish it was that easy. Nothing inside the hose.

The GF is rated to vent properly with the included 10ft hose and 2 90degree elbow according to Dan earlier this year. The OP’s install appears to be in spec.

In my experience the material itself will always hold some odor. Just pick up a cut piece and small the edges, you’ll definitely notice it. I don’t think it’s possible to truly eliminate 100% of the smell because even after all the smoke has been exhausted the material sitting there will smell.

There have been a couple of posts of seeing smoke come out the front when the head is near the front. The air assist overpowers the negative pressure and little wisps come out. Check to see if this is what you’re experiencing. Also holding a flame to the gaps is a more sensitive test than a napkin.

But OP is seeing visible smoke coming out of the closed lid, unless I’m misunderstanding. I dont think the residual smell of smoke is the issue.

@erin is right; it’s not the smell of the final product that is the issue, but the smell coming out of the machine before I open the lid. More so, the visible smoke coming out the front is also a concern.