Glowforge Performance Filter Cartridge Lifespan

Glowforge Basic/Plus/Pro

The useful lifespan of an air Filter cartridge depends on numerous factors. How often you print, the material you use, and whether you mostly cut or engrave can all affect cartridge life. (As can following the user manual's instructions.) Light users may only need to change filters once a year, while more frequent users might require monthly replacements. Acrylic typically fills the filter very slowly. Hardwoods aren't very taxing but plywood might be, depending on the glue.

To estimate average lifespan, we tested Proofgrade materials with a standard Glowforge test print in a Glowforge Pro using a Glowforge Performance Filter. The test print simulates an average print; it’s 11 minutes long and is a mix of cutting and engraving that reflects typical usage.
If used only for cutting, cartridge life may be roughly half as long. If used only for engraving, it may be more than twice as long.

Note that we have only tested, and can only recommend, Proofgrade materials. Materials from other sources may work just as well, but some materials may clog the cartridge almost immediately. For example, MDF products (including Proofgrade Draftboard) will dramatically lower your filter cartridge life.


 Test prints before cartridge change

 Medium Proofgrade Hardwood (Maple, Cherry, etc.) (1/8")

 Medium Proofgrade Acrylic (1/8")  842
 Thick Proofgrade Acrylic (1/4")  842
 Medium Proofgrade Plywood (1/8")  210
 Thick Proofgrade Plywood (1/4")  1,614
 Medium Proofgrade Leather  1,404


To determine if your Glowforge Performance Filter cartridge is ready to be replaced, please follow the steps outlined in Check the Filter Cartridge.

The Glowforge shop has replacement cartridges for order. Once you receive it, installation instructions are here: Change the Filter Cartridge.

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