Why am I getting smoked out?

Hi friends,

I am having a pretty awful and extremely annoying continuous problem. My glowforge spits the smoke of whatever it’s cutting out of the front.

I absolutely cannot figure out why. I know that the glowforge is supposed to be like a negative pressure box so I’ve built a more robust filtration system that includes multiple fans to help draw the smoke away.
-I’ve checked my lines for kinks
-I’ve attached and reattached the exhaust hose at the back.
-I’ve vacuumed the exhaust port and cleaned the exhaust hose.
-I’ve sprayed the whole inside left with air duster and removed plenty of particles.

Still basically rolls out of the front/top of the machine, every single time I burn something.

WHAT. THE. [Insert expletive]!!!

I am absolutely at a loss and If I could avoid getting smoked out that would be great.

The smoke is generally coming from the front around the door in front of the crumb tray, and the gaps at the top of the door. When I’ve checked the seals all around the machine they appear to be good.

For the love of my smoke alarm, can anyone help?

Since you’ve already checked the rear exhaust system, hose, etc…my first thought would be the air assist on the the laser head…have you cleaned that?

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Where would I find the air assist?

Any chance the exhaust fan was accidentally toggled off. Click the three dots in the interface and make sure that that the Glowforge filter attached is toggled off.

Here is one of many posts about the air assist and how to clean it.


Thank you! I’ll give this a try tomorrow!

It’s a really simple explanation, but maybe not easy to see. Smoke can not come out the front if the exhaust fan is working correctly and the hose or any exhaust flap is not blocking. No need to look elsewhere. The air assist causes poor cuts and flame if not working correctly but will not cause smoke to come out the door if the exhaust is working correctly.

Don’t know what sort of extra fans you have set up but the problem is 100% an exhaust fan, hose, or an exhaust flap.

If you have installed extra fans then they are pushing air slower than the stock fan and smoke is backing up.


Where is this all being vented to?


Mine only spews smoke out of the front if the exhaust fan is dirty or the end of my exhaust, where it vents from, is clogged with grim (I vent through a window, and the screen getting dirty will cause it to back up). Usually, it’s the exhaust fan in the back (or the area where my exhaust fan used to be anyways). If the blades are dirty and can’t freely spin, or there is an excessive build-up of crud back there, the smoke cannot escape and builds up in the bed before seeping out the front.

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To add to what others have said, are you sure all your fans are facing the correct way? And if all else fails and you can’t figure it out, I’d start back at ground zero with just the GF exhaust running; if that works, then you know the issue was your extra fan installation.

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Ditto on the exhaust system. If it’s all working the machine will be under negative pressure when operating.

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This was it actually, or at least the solution was in this realm.

I have my hose venting into a filter box that is essentially a less fancy or pretty version of the Fume Coffin, and I cut all of the sealant/tape around it and popped it open, and the pre-filter for my Vivosun filter was almost completely blocked by soot/residue from the draftboard I have been cutting recently, causing things to back up. Once I pulled the pre-filter off (I’m ordering another one for when the big job I’m working on right now is complete) the problem was mitigated. I’m cutting a full sheet of a different material right now with a little odor but no more of the spewing smoke.

Thank you all for your help and tips!


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