Venting 5 Glowforge Machines

Hey everyone! I am currently building a detached garage with workshop that I will be working out of. Right now I have 5 Glowforge machines and vent them through a window. Since we’re building, I’m trying to figure out the best way to vent all of these out. Do they all need their own separate exhaust system? Can they all run into eachother somehow before venting outside? Does anyone have any suggestions or photos of how they vent multiple units? I want to be able to show my builders exactly what I need.

Thank you!

This isn’t a definitive post, just my thoughts, but I don’t want to preface every statement with, in my opinion, I believe, etc. so this sentence serves to do that. :slight_smile:

There are definitely a few ways to approach it.

Treating everything as individual machines with their own dedicated exhaust fans (or the built-in), along with their own exhaust outlets. This is probably the most straight-forward.

Combining the exhaust tubing into either 1 or 2 outlets. I haven’t ran 5 machines like this but I have ran 2. If your fans are ahead of the junction point, you need to either have blast gates installed so you can close off machines not in use or keep the fans running, or you’ll get back flow into those machines which means smoke coming through unused machines.

Setting it up like the above but with a fan after the junction point. This would be my preferred method, but you’ll need to go with a more industrial exhaust blower. The exhaust requirements for the GF are fairly low, so you should be able to run the 5 machines with one decent sized exhaust fan. But you might talk to an HVAC guy to see what you would need to meet the requirements of 200 CFm per machine.

For that method, I would look at something like a 1.5 or 2 HP penn fan. From there, I would build out the collection point/junction for the machines. I would recommend using smooth, rigid piping as much as you can to keep flow rates up/reduce static pressure. If needed, you could change to a semi-rigid or flexible tubing to make the connection to the machines.

You would only need to worry about 1 fan going this route and it would keep the entire system under negative pressure.

You will need to consider your electrical requirements. The fan would need to be on a dedicated circuit, which could be either a 220v or 110v. Those fans can be wired either way. And then probably 3 dedicated circuits for the Glowforge’s. I wouldn’t put more than 2 on a single circuit.

You could actually build a containment box outside (as long as it has airflow) to keep the fan entirely outside and keep things super quiet. But I’d recommend putting an indicator light somewhere so you know when it’s on or not.


my take would be. vent each one. you aren’t mentioning the likely distances from the units to the vent ports.

combining them all you’ll probably end up not closing something you meant to close. or having something closed off that needed to be open if you are connecting several together. since you clearly are running them largely at the same time, I would consider pairing a couple with a larger fan and blast gates. has a great amount of dust collection stuff that adapts well to this purpose.


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