Whether you’re venting to the outdoors or using a Compact Filter, when your Glowforge is properly set up, you may have some harmless odor during printing which will rapidly dissipate. You may also smell something when you open the Glowforge lid after a print is complete. This is not harmful.
However, if you notice a strong, unpleasant or irritating odor when printing, or see smoke, shut off your Glowforge immediately. Smoke and fumes could be entering the room in excessive concentrations. Check for the following:
Make sure your Glowforge fan settings are correct
The Compact Filter setting changes the speed of fans in your Glowforge. If this setting isn’t correct, the air will not not flow properly.
Here’s how to change the setting:
Sign in at https://app.glowforge.com
Click the gear icon, and then adjust the setting for “Compact Filter attached”
If you are using a Compact Filter, it should be switched to the right and show teal
If you are venting to the outdoors, it should be switched to the left and show gray
Ensure materials are laser compatible
Materials that are not laser compatible can emit chemicals that are extremely hazardous to you, to your Glowforge, or both. You must check with your materials vendor to ensure that your materials are laser compatible.
See if the problem persists with Proofgrade™ materials
Proofgrade materials produce low levels of smoke, fumes, and other smelly byproducts. Certain materials may be laser compatible, but can produce so much smoke and fumes that they become unpleasant or even hazardous.
Ensure setup adheres to safety and setup guidance
Vacuum your exhaust connection and hose
- Remove hose from unit Squeeze the two ends of the ring clamp together and pull the clamp and the hose away from your Glowforge to remove them.
- Vacuum Exhaust Connections Use a vacuum to remove dust and debris from your Glowforge unit’s exhaust connection as well as from your outdoor exhaust vent.
- Vacuum or Replace Hose Replace your hose, or use a vacuum to remove dust and debris from the hose. The exhaust is a standard 4" exhaust vent, similar to what one would use with a clothes dryer. You can see it here.
Find and fix clogs, leaks, kinks, or excessive bends in the exhaust system
- Ensure that the hose is not clogged
- Make sure there aren’t areas where the hose is flattened or kinked
- Make sure the hose has no more than two 90 degree turns if you vent to the outdoors, and three to your Compact filter
- Ensure that the hose does not coil around or move while the Glowforge is running by securing the excess hose with tape
- While your Glowforge is running, feel for escaping air all along the hose, paying special attention to the connectors
If you find leaks, you can use duct tape to patch them. You can also replace the vent hose with a new replacement
Check for exhaust re-entry
Ensure that exhaust ventilated to the outdoors is not being drawn back into the building through other windows, doors or air inlets.
Check the unit’s seals
Verify that the seals around the lid and door of the Glowforge unit are intact.
Wait for fans to stop before you open the lid
Opening your Glowforge during operation or during the cool down period may release smoke or fumes that have not yet been fully ventilated.
Need help with excessive smoke or fumes?
If you’re still seeing or smelling excessive smoke or fumes when using Proofgrade materials, we’re here to help. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and send us:
- The name of the material you’re using
- A description of where the smoke/fumes are coming from: the door, lid, or hose
- When you smell the fumes: during the print or after it has completed
- Photos of your Glowforge and your exhaust system