Laser Exhaust System

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Hive13 Project
Laser Exhaust System
Status: Finished
Start Date: 9/08/2011
End Date: 4/03/2012
WARNING: Do not look into laser with remaining eye. Pages to do with the Laser Cutter:



10/27/18 The Exhaust fan has been replaced. Fan Power is controlled through the Big Laser Key Switch.

After the FabLab moved into the Annex, the old Exhaust Fan expired.

A new 220v 2500 CFM blower sets on the floor behind the Lasers. Thank You: Paul Marsh, Greg Arnold, Ryan Hershey, Dave Velzy.

A y-branch has inlets for the blue flex duct from each of the Lasers.

The outlet duct is increased to 10 inch and ports outside through a louvered vent.

The exhaust volume is significantly improved and can handle both lasers operating at the same time.

Please remember to leave the lid closed for 30 seconds after the end of your cut to give the cut chamber a chance to clear.

If you have been cutting wood let the fan run after you are finished cutting to evacuate all smoke.

Your lungs will appreciate it.

Old News

There are two separate issues this project aims to address:

  1. Inadequate venting of the laser fumes.
  2. Fumes getting into Rob's apartment.

Both goals can hopefully be addressed through a combination of better exhaust fans, improved ducting, and possibly the addition of a carbon filter to the exhaust ducting.

Project Manager


  • Chris Davis
  • Dave Myers
  • Jim
  • Dave B.
  • Jon Neal
  • Add yourself here

What needs to be done

This is an overview list of high level steps that need to be done in order to complete this project.

  • Continue evaluating the blowers ability to exhaust the laser.
  • If the exhaust is determined to be insufficient we can try the following:
    • Currently the exhaust reduces to 6", has a rt-angle, then goes out the window. We can change out this 6" reducer and stick with 7" ducting for a rt-angle and exhaust cover.
    • Currently the exhaust system is as follows: Goes up 3' into blower, from blower it runs ~25' along the roof of the office to the rt-angle and out the window. We can reduce the horizontal run distance.
    • Investigate the blower and see if it is kicking into its "High" gear. Not really sure of the best way to test this beyond decoupling the exhaust pipe at the blower and attempting to restrict the output further.

What has been done

  • Ducts
    • Fully determine and measure duct run length.
      • 9/12/2012: 5-6' verticle, 37' horizontal
    • 8" duct will be ~$100 of just straight duct. Lowes (Going off total length of 45')
    • 12" duct will be ~$140 of just straight duct. Lowes (Going off total length of 45')
  • Blowers
    • 9/12/2012: Dave B. has brought in a 1000 CFM and a 2500 CFM blower
  • Filter
    • 9/6/2012: Jim brought in a small container of activated carbon.
    • 9/6/2012: Paul ordered a 5 lb bag of activated carbon.
  • Ducting has been run.
  • 2500 CFM Blower has been installed in the ducting.

Currently on the ToDo List

This is a list of individual steps that need to be performed in the near future.

  • Keep the blower running when cutting acrylic, watch for the smell of acrylic in the hackerspace.

Design & Planning


Dave B. has brought down two blowers:

  1. 1000 CFM - 220 V
  2. 2500 CFM - 110 V

We installed the 2500 CFM blower on the roof of 1A

Carbon Filter

My thought for the carbon filter is to use a 5 gallon bucket as the container, and then build something like the following image:

Carbon filter.png

In the end we did not opt for a carbon filter, however it is still an option if the smell persists.


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