Taking care of glowforge

HI I have a cnc in my garage where the glowforge will be used as well. Even with a dust collector I have sawdust generally everywhere. Can this damage the glowforge over time? I won’t have masses of sawdust in it obviously, but a fine layer of sawdust usually makes it’s way on to every surface in my workshop. I assume it has stepper motors and belts? So any moving parts can be affected I suppose, and also the optics of the laser and electronics, but not sure how enclosed everything is. Anyhow, any best practices for how to take care of it are appreciated, if I’ve missed some similar post please let me know, thanks.

My pro is set to ship on the 23rd, but I understand that actually can take another six weeks? Has this been the case for others? Such long shipping times?

I don’t have an answer about the sawdust, but delivery is usually in the 2-4 week time frame with it rarely taking the full 6 weeks.

That is a good question about fine particulates being sucked into the GF :glowforge:. I don’t think Glowforge has specifically made a statement on that.

Common sense would say that you would want to do regular internal cleaning, but as long as you have active ventilation (hooking your GF :glowforge: to your exhaust venting) it will minimize the “vacuum” effective inside the Glowforge.


Sound bad just thinking about it.
Air intake is from the bottom as far as I know.
I would use a cover that extends past the glowforge, so debris can be removed (brushed away or vacuumed) from bench before cover is removed, thus preventing any powder suctioning into the machine from the bench.

I have had the same problem occasionally in the back room where the serious tools live (dust everywhere and wife looks). Even with a vacuum for the worse power tools. I mark it up to cost of doing business and worst case → Pizza is delivered for when the looks become extreme.

Thankfully, my glowforge will be in a different work area, plus I already know she will be all ‘focused’ about cleaning it. She would shine my drill bits if I allowed it. (my turn for looks is when she is busy sweeping and dusting everything while I have another hour or two of work to do).


Since the Glowforge is constantly sucking in from the bottom right, I’d be concerned about this without some form of filtration on the incoming. If I was operating in such an environment, I’d probably build a cabinet with an intake fan and filter to minimize the dust that can get to the :glowforge:.


While cutting, the Glowforge has pretty significant negative pressure and will suck in dust from any of the door gaps as well as the intake. It’ll suck up the ambient sawdust as well I imagine, but will probably also expell a lot of it with the exhaust. You’ll probably end up having to clean it and the intake more often than otherwise. If it is a crazy amount internally you could have troubles.

They appear to be running about a week late on the golden tickets from those estimates (or at least frequently enough to make people nervous enough to post here).

From golden ticket to Glowforge, the self reports put it typically at about 4 weeks, but sometimes longer.

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Get one of those made to fit Glowforge sewn covers everyone is chatting about. Would do the trick. Maybe have your name embroidered in it too!

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On the one hand, sure, sucking in dirty air can’t help things. On the other hand, the machine itself vaporizes things and produces a ton of smoke, particles, gunky resins, debris, etc. I expect that the design anticipates dust more than many other types of electronics.


That was my first thought. But got to thinking that the right side contains the electronics. Smoke and particulates do not usually collect on that side because of the exhaust flow. It also may be difficult to clean the cooling fan. You can get to the exhaust fan easily enough but can’t see the other fan. Of course this is just conjecture on my part.


My delivery took three weeks to the day from when I received my golden ticket. But the delivery gap is all over the map. Living east of the Mississippi adds four days versus the Bay Area.

I had the hardwood floors in two rooms refinished last week. The rooms were in the front of the house and the glowforge is in the back. The doorway two rooms away was plastic sheeted off. There was still a very fine layer of sawdust on the :glowforge:. If this was going to be a regular thing I’d make a cover like the ones there are at least two posts about using a heavy duty canvas. That is only my opinion.

Thanks for all these replies. I think the best approach might be multiple things: keeping the shop clean first, then keeping the gf covered when not in use, and learning how to clean it. Can it be cleaned with compressed air like other electronics? is there already a cover made for it? link? thx!!

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You might want to invest in one of those shop air cleaners. (And yeah, you can build one yourself, but it’s probably more of a pain than it’s worth.)

You could probably make a custom cover out of Acrylic or something, using the Glowforge to make it. That way hopefully the sawdust doesn’t make it to the GF. That is while it is not in use, then just make sure to clean/vacuum up around it before you uncover it and use the GF.

If you keep the GF in a garage, you should probably not only give it a custom cover, but a custom cover that can serve as a thermal blanket. Depending on where you live, temperatures can dip quite a bit in the winter time, and the temperature in some garages may fall below the GF minimum “storage” temperature (40 degrees Fahrenheit / 5 Celsius) .

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True, but I guess it’s a choice between what the Temps in a garage will do to it or what fine sawdust could do to it. that is why mine will be inside

Unfortunately, without the filter, I will need to keep mine in the garage, at least temporarily.

I am going to see how it goes venting out the window. If it works okay, may cancel the air filter

Venting out a window tends to work well for most that have windows available.

Hi jeff.hunt,
It’s a tricky question, I have read some posts saying that an additional fan would harm the existing fan. I really don’t know if that is correct, but assuming it’s not then the solution used in semiconductor fabrication might work. The problem would be balancing the exhaust with the in-take. The semiconductor industry uses positive pressure to keep dust outside of the buildings you could do the same with the glow forge. The air is highly filtered before its pumped into the building so if doors are opened the dust is pushed away from the entrance by the escaping air. You could use a cover and also use a filtered fan to keep the inside clean of sawdust when not in use. You may not want to go to that extreme because the machine is made for vaporizing material so some particulates are bound to get caught inside.
Enjoy your Glowforge