Glowforge Laser Cutter Set Up

I wanted to be ready for when the Glowforge delivered to our Midcoast Maker Space here in the beautiful state of Maine, so I purchased a few items before it came. Most important for me is to be safe. Venting the toxic fumes must be priority for whatever space you intend to set up a laser cutter. I have no idea what sort of space you will set up in, but I hope this will help you figure out what you may need to set up yours safely and efficiently. If you have safety questions, read your manual.

  • Carbon Monoxide Detector – keep it around 5 feet from the floor to detect any bad stuff in your air. I feel better having it in the room so I don’t wonder. It begins to smell very smoky in the Glowforge room. Even the wood scraps I have cut days ago fill the room with a burnt wood smell. It’s hard to tell if it’s coming from the laser cutter, or the room just smells odd. The CO Alarm gives me peace of mind.
  • Window Vent – I am venting out of a window and found a very well made window vent on Amazon. The sides slide so it adjusts easily to fit most windows. There is a little door on the vent I taped open. When I’m all done for the day, I cover my Glowforge with a thick blanket, open the window, remove the vent, and set it on top of my covered Glowforge. There is nothing to disconnect and reconnect, the hose easily allows it. Next day, I just open the window, put in the vent, it’s good to go. It’s best to remove your exhaust vent from the outside moisture and weather after each use, and I found this system to work easily for my needs.
  • Vent Fan – the Glowforge has exhaust fans, but I wanted more, so I got a 4 inch inline vent fan that just connects between the long Glowforge hose, and the window vent I am using. The little fan inside gives the entire venting system a huge advantage, and I’m really happy that I added that in there. Now the fumes and smoke blast out while engraving and cutting.
  • Easy Turn Clamps – I ordered a bunch of these when I purchased the vent fan. Made it super easy to connect and adjust the whole thing without tools.
  • Vinyl Door Sweep – the space we’re setting up was built in 1850. They had not planned their windows for laser cutters very well. I noticed there was an inner space created when the window is open which forced some of my exhaust back into the room. I remedied the situation by screwing a vinyl door sweep draft guard thing to the bottom of the top pane, so the rubber squeegee glides along the smooth glass of the bottom pane sealing up that long open space at the top of the window. I had to cut the door sweep to size using tin snips, drill and screw it into place. Simple fix, but huge difference.

So there you go, the list of the things needed to set up our Glowforge.

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