Yet another user concerned with smoke

I consider myself a light user, and 1 of the reasons is that I always take in considerations the smoke and smell. after cutting acrylic and different woods I am really bothered by the smell. I get headaches and I’m concerned of the known carcinogenic effects of burned wood. it doesn’t help that you are kind of required to stick around and keep an eye on the laser (which I need to do especially since I’m still experimenting around). and even tho I am using the GF basic in my garage with a steel door to the basement, I do get some smell in there and avoid using my gf if -for example- my kids are having a sleepover in the basement.

-Functionally I believe the blowers are working properly, there is no visible smoke leaking through the gf. and I haven’t used it often enough to have blocked vents. my hose is a 7’ feet flexible hose with 1 90 degrees bent. I’m thinking of getting a hose booster. (100$ or so).
-I’m also wondering, has anyone considered sealing the GF? placing some insulation under the glass door and maybe even the front door? I think that because the fan assist blows the smoke to the front, some of it will inevitably leak thru the front pass…

-if I invest in a GF filter, would you think that it completely eliminates smoke and smell?

1 Like

I’ve only had mine for 2 days, but I don’t get much smell while it is running. I do get some, and plan to use some ventialtion tape (the aluminum kind) to seal where the hose connects to the unit, and then where it connects to my window. After that, we will see if I get an improvement.

I do notice, however, that the pieces themselves smell for a bit after cutting, and when you open the lid you get some odor that way. I was thinking it would be nice if you could customize the amount of time the vent fan runs after the cut to maybe suck out some more residual. Maybe this could be a feature request.

So to answer your question, I do not think the filter will completely eliminate the smell, since some of it comes out of the unit after a cut when you open the lid.

Start by sealing up your hose connections and see if that helps.



Ok, this is all just my experience, so dont take it as bible.

First, if you’re getting smoke smell enough to give you headaches while the glowforge is cutting, you probably have a leak in your exhaust set up. Seal everything. Use good tape (like HVAC tape) and tape every connection. You also want to seal any area where smoke smell might be coming back in from the outside.

Beyond that, in my experience, most of the smoke smell comes from the masking, scraps, the puff of smoke that gets trapped under the material, and residue on the cut pieces. Anything that gets cut I put on plastic tubs. This includes the masking. Don’t peel it off and throw it un the trash can. Also, wipe the edges of the pieces that you’ve cut with some alcohol and that helps the things you make not smell so much. As for the puff of smoke, I move the material and then close the lid really fast. If you’re just petting that puff of smoke into your workspace, you’ll get quite a strong smoke smell.

Those things, for me, took care of almost all the smell issues I was having. After a full day of working, my hands will sometimes smell quite smokey. Washing my hands every couple hours helps with that (and the staining from the wood).

I dont know anything helpful for acrylic. It smells very strongly and very grossly. I don’t know if theres a way for it to not smell. Except to not cut it.

I do not think the filter will get rid of all the smoke smell because so much of the smell is separate issue.


hmm, I’m getting smell during the operation. as soon as the GF gets into high gear, say for a cutting operation, and smoke is visible inside the machine, I get smell. I’m guessing I’l check my connections. although if you put aluminum tape on the GF’s outlet, isn’t a pain in the neck to remove it when you want to clean that screen?

Get the booster. Make sure the whole run is well sealed. Have the booster running before you start cutting and leave it on for a while after the cut is done. Let it really air things out in there before opening the lid. Should help.

Best of luck!


Hrmm, seeing the smoke moving around the machine is normal, but I dont smell any wood smoke during a cut, even when it looks very smokey. In fact, if I put my hand along the edge of the door, I can feel air being pulled into the machine. Can you feel that, too? My exhaust is very short - just luke 2 feet - so that might affect it too.

It is a little annoying to cut the tape to clean that grid thing, but I havent found that it needs to be done all that frequently. Ive taken my hose off to clean it once, and there was nothing there. And I cut very dusty, smokey plywood, but ymmv.

1 Like

You will only need to clean that fan grill after extended use, I had over 2,000 pieces engraved before it was needed.
The exhaust creates negative pressure inside the machine, so any cracks like the lid or front door are pulling air in unless there is a restriction in the exhaust. Concentrate on sealing the duct connection to the machine. That duct is pressurized from the exhaust, so any cracks there are going to leak. With a sealed exhaust there is no smell except when you open the machine, or the residue on the work. A booster is a good idea, just mount it at the end, like right at the window.

1 Like

Maybe they need to add Proofgrade Febreze to the store? :wink:


The lower front door isn’t completely sealed, so when the fan on the gantry is blowing aggressively on the gaps, some air can get through. I was able to reduce it quite a bit with a strip of felt:


Yeah, I tend to avoid doing smelly jobs in the front left for that reason. (Unless of course they’re big jobs where I have to use the full width of the bed.) I don’t have any trouble on the front right.