Venting outside?

Can you vent outside a sliding glass door simply by placing the hose outside without securing it to something? My thought is to lay the hose outside, close the sliding door to where it is only open enough to fit the hose. Place a fan inside to try and avoid any exhaust coming back in. I live in an apartment and I am very limited on options of where I can vent. And I am trying to avoid the dreaded GF air filter. Please help!


I’m in a townhome and I use the patio door.

What we did is get a board and cut it to size to fit next to the patio door, and then cut a hole in it. The vent hose connects to the board using this:
I slide it in next to the patio door whenever I am using the Glowforge.

You can also get an inline fan (many people use AC Infinity or Vivosun, from Amazon). What I have is 6" inline fan, with 6" to 4" adapters and connect a regular 4" vent hose.

If you use an inline fan, you tell the Glowforge that you have the air filter attached so it does not use the internal fan, and the machine runs much quieter also.


When you vent outside is it a strong smell that bothers neighbors or if isnt that bad since it is all going outside and spreading out with all the other air?

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No one has complained so far (knock on wood). :smiley:


I did this for about the first year, not a sliding door either, just regular French doors. If the wind was just right, I might get a whiff of the smell indoors, otherwise it worked just fine.


I have sliding windows that I did virtually the same thing using leftover hard foam from re-doing the roof. As it is a window and not a door. I just taped it with the aluminum roofers’ tape and that is it. I run the Vivosun 24/7 to keep the air headed outside. Someone noticed the smoke once in the past 6 years, nobody has mentioned the smell though I cut almost all wood. Basically any turbulent air will disperse it quickly, and only if you cut a lot of leather or acrylic would anyone notice anything.


Your neighbors will smell it if their windows/sliders are open, for the same reason you would smell it if your windows/sliders are open. But they probably won’t be able to tell where the bad smell is coming from. So you’ll probably get away with it if you don’t go nuts cutting stinky stuff like Acrylic.

There are filters you can get to reduce the smell. Glowforge sells one, of course, but you can “roll your own”. Just do some searching on Amazon. These filters are popular with “indoor grow” pot farmers so the smell of their stinky weed gets filtered out of the exhaust air from their greenhouse and people don’t know they’re growing pot.

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Keep in mind however that air has to move out of the Glowforge at ~250 CFM minimum. I have a 190 cfm blowing outside and that works if not much is done (like engraving) but cut something smokey and it fails badly. A filter that does very well at first, will see the CFM drop increasingly as it fills up. I think that the official filter is a bit weak and fills up too fast, as much as the amount of air when empty is not strong enough IMHO.

I have a Blu-Dri that I purchased but sent the air out the window instead of hooking it up. That has a starting CFM of 550 so will be pretty full when only half the air will pass through but the intake is 12" so something has to take it down to 4".


True. But if you’re venting to free-air, you don’t need quite as good a filter as one rated for indoor discharge, I think… So it might not plug up as quick. Depends on what you’re cutting, too, I suspect. Stuff that chars and carbonizes generates more dust than stuff that melts and combusts.

That being said, it has been a while since I’ve taken a look inside my external fan. I taped it up to kill a few minor leaks so it’s a real pain to take apart. Seems to work fine still, just cut some thick draft board yesterday. But I have never inspected/cleaned it since I put it together a couple of years ago… bad me. :slight_smile:


The HEPA filter is not needed if pumping outside, so that is the biggest expense. If you are cutting mainly leather or acrylic and then sending it outside, then pumping through a foot of activated charcoal should be enough.


Whether the neighbors can smell it or not depends on a lot of different factors. Where their windows are, if you are in an apartment - whether your neighbors are to the sides or above or below you, etc. the space in between, the wind, the material you are using, etc.
I have not explored any options that would direct the air in a specific direction, but I’ve considered looking into that (to point up and maybe prevent it from bothering the neighbors on each side of me).


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