Smoking Pro Is this what we are doing Glowforge. I’m very disappointed

So my previous post was closed with no solution. Here is my post.

There is smoke coming from all directions of the machine. i am using proofgrade draft board and proofgrade acrylic. I have done a thorough inspection and cleaning and I still have the same results. I have checked the settings, checked and changed the vent hose. cleaned the exhaust and air assist fan, checked all of the seals and nothing has changed. I have only used the machine about 5-7 hours total. Any suggestions?

I received a very generic email from the person who closed the post as follows:

Hello Melissa,

I’m so sorry to hear you are getting smoke coming out of your Glowforge.

When your Glowforge and Glowforge Air 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.

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

Thank you,

My original message that I sent to support is as follows:
When I use the machine there is a lot smoke coming from the lid on all four sides as well as the front near the bottom of the machine. I am using proofgrade materials. I have tried the draft board and acrylic and gotten the same results.
I have checked the following:

The settings are correct and I have the option selected for the compact filter:

All seals are properly in place. This includes the pass through slot.

The hose is free from leaks and is properly hooked up and in appropriate position to the machine and compact filter.

The filter is not full. I have tried it on new, in the middle and full modes.

I have cleaned the exhaust and air assist fans.

Please help ASAP! I can not afford to not have my machine. It is beyond vital to my household now. I have barely used it and I do not understand why this is happening. I really need the Glowforge. Is there any way that I can get a proper working replacement in the next few days? I have customers waiting in their orders and I will need to cancel them soon if this issue is not resolved quickly. I have only used it about a total of 5 hours period. I have only used proofgrade materials. Please help!

Is this what we are doing Glowforge. I’m very disappointed.

How have you determined this?
The machine is designed to be open to suck air in, the only time the air does not suck in is if there is not enough air being pulled through. If you have an exterior vent then the fan inside the machine is enough to pull the smoke out. If you have a filter the filter fan is enough to suck the air out if the filter is not blocked. What you’re describing is a blocked filter.

Disconnect it, switch it off in the GFUI, and send a hose out the window - you’ll see how it looks when your filter is not clogged.


From everything you’ve described, it sounds like your filter is full and needs to be replaced.

Either that, or the fan in the filter is no longer working - which should be obvious by lack of noise from the fan running. I’m assuming you would have noticed that.

You can fill a filter in just a few hours cutting draftboard. That’s why the docs and specs warn against it.


draftboard and acrylic are the two things that fill up filters faster than anything else! especially together! those are the two most popular items in my makerspace, and the only time I’ve had smoke come out of the machine is when my filter is full or when the exhaust port on the back of the machine is blocked up by crud (only visible with a flashlight). Hope you can get it back up and running soon!


I’m so sorry to hear that you’re continuing to run into trouble properly ventilating your Glowforge. I see that you reached out to us directly via email, and we’ve sent over some additional instructions regarding obtaining some images of your exhaust configuration. Just in case, I’d like to post these instructions here, so that we can obtain the correct photos at your earliest convenience.

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:

  8. Any area where you see smoke escaping from your Glowforge while printing

Additionally, I’d like to take a look at a photo of the filter cartridge inside of your Glowforge Air Filter.

Would you mind sending over a photo of the top of the filter cartridge?

  1. Turn off and unplug your Air 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 Air Filter
    There are four latches holding the top of the Air 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 Air Filter and send it in to us.

You can send these images directly via email if you would prefer, or you can post them to this thread. We’ll do our best to get you back up and printing as soon as possible.

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It’s a misunderstanding those are two that I just tried to cut. I’ve only used my machine for about 5 hours total.

Thank you for your help

Done that too. I’ve only used the unit about a total of 5 hours.

Thank you for your help :slightly_smiling_face:

If you need the machine now I would vent out a window. Imo if there isn’t less smoke after that maybe you have a faulty fan on the Gf. Just an idea. Good luck hope you find a solution soon.

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I appreciate you updating us all with some additional details. We’ve provided instructions regarding inquiring some photos of your exhaust configuration directly via email, and on this post.

Did you receive our direct email response? Please let us know, and we’ll follow up with the next best steps.

I see you already emailed us about this and we’re working on it there, so I’m going to close this topic.