Suggestions for what to do with broken filter?

I’ve had my compact filter since February, and by July, I had gone through about 4 of the regular cartridges. In August, I bought one of the new cartridges that was supposed to be compatible with my compact filter. Two weeks later, after not much cutting at all, it appeared to be full. The next day, it just completely stopped working - it wouldn’t turn on (we tried to change the fuse and we tried using a different power cord).

So anyway I emailed GF and they told me that if I paid $500, they would send me a refurbished one of the new model (and I would send mine to them). In the meantime, because I had orders to fill, I basically re-arranged my whole apartment and made it so that the GF is by a window. The set up is not ideal, but its better than dealing with this filter mess. So anyway my question is: what should I do with this essentially useless piece of equipment that cost me $995? Is there another way to fix it and then I could try to sell it? Should I just throw it in the garbage or should I just donate it back to Glowforge? It just seems like such a waste, but I really just don’t know what else to do with it. I strongly encourage people to NOT buy the filter and to find another way- I have so many regrets!

I see this in a couple of different ways.

I need the filter
If I needed the filter and cash was an issue, I would take Glowforge up on their offer to exchange it for $500.

If Money was not as big of an issue, I would probably buy a new one. I would take the old one apart and see if i could fix it. Having spare equipment is always useful.

No longer need a filter
If i no longer needed a filter, like i have changed my setup to be near a window and that works. I would probably take the thing apart and see if I could fix it.

Taking it apart, NOT SUPPORTED
The purpose of taking it apart has a lot more to do with the fact that I like to tinker and build things. When you start the process of taking it apart, be very careful not to damage any of the seals. This needs to be done very carefully and if you are not trained or confident, don’t even try this one.

Now the above is how I would handle it. For your scenario specifically it sounds like a filter is a need and not really a want. This means you need decide to purchase a new filter, take the exchange or figure out how to route the exhaust from where you had the Glowforge to a window.


@yaramekawi I see that we have emailed you about returning your Air Filter. I’m going to go ahead and move this discussion to keep it open for you. Should you have any other questions about your Air Filter, please let us know.

That is super helpful! Just hypothetically speaking, if you WERE to take it apart (because you have nothing to lose at this point), where would you start?

Start at the power into the unit and follow the wires until you locate the point at which power is no longer supplied… or send it to me and I’ll fix it. :slight_smile:


I would start by removing the filter. No need to have the filter in for taking the thing apart.

Next, I would flip the thing upside down. There appears to be 4 screws that would allow you to get access to the insides. This is where the fun probably starts.

Not having ever taken mine apart, I am not sure what the insides of that thing looks like. But I would imagine that there are a couple of big fans that resemble large PC case fans. I would try and look up the voltage and amperage needs of those fan(s) and hook them up to an external power supply to see if they work. If they work, the problem is someplace else.

I would imagine there is a circuit board someplace inside that thing, I might try and see if there was any scorching where something may have been damaged due to a surge. I may or may not try tracking this down depending on how much effort I though tit would take.

If the fans worked and I the circuitry didn’t, I would head over to my box of Raspberry Pi, Arduino and other electronics parts and see if I could get this thing working again with the electronics on hand.

If the fans aren’t spinning up, I would see if I could purchase replacement fans someplace online.


Hmmm…except for potentially some speed control circuitry (which could well be handled just by the twisting pot knob) I’m not sure what would require any kind of intelligence in the box. There’s no feedback loop beyond the beeping when airflow is reduced - lots of simple circuits would provide that intel and for all intents & purposes probably not needed, just let it run full blast all the time until it doesn’t filter anymore.

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The OP’s OG compact filter doesn’t even beep!

What success I have had in fixing strange devices involved opening it up, plugging it in and following the power from where it enters to where it stops. This requires a volt meter and some basic understanding of how to use it. if you do not know what you are doing. skip this step.

Failing that, moving parts seems to fail, and the only moving parts are the fans and the knob that adjusts them. so, do the fans still spin. they might be junked up like the fan in the GF gets. fixing that would mean figuring out the part number and ordering a replacement. Likely not that hard. Probably just a few screws and a pair of wires for each.

The fans are below and downwind of the filter cartridge, they stay pretty pristine.

unless some terrible leakage has happened.

That would be an impressive leakage, the filter cartridge is like a tank!

Right - exactly!

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well, something went wrong. thus this thread. leakage being one of many things that could kill the motors. if they are fried, that is something to fix, no matter why or how they fried.

Thank you I will look into that!

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