Using your laser cutter/engraver inside your home

Using your laser cutter/engraver inside your home

Many of us, including me have a machine inside the home.
I have a bunch of machine but at my home i have my custom K40D at the moment, and with kids in the home and close neighbors i need to think about the smoke and smell from my machine.
In this article i will show some examples and tips & tricks how to make your laser use safer in your home.

First up, almost the most important is to seal up your machine and have a proper working exhaust in the machine.
You can read a more detailed article about sealing your machine and exhaust here

Location location location

Having a room where you use the machine is almost a must.
You can have it in a bigger room where you have other stuff, but i would not recommend kitchen, bedroom or where you have your TV and couch.
I use a smaller room, 6×4 meters with a window and ventilation.

Step 1 – Seal your room

Make sure the room you have the machine in are sealed, no gaps or holes going to other rooms.
If you have ventilation between the rooms, make sure they are covered or closed.
Buy rubber strips and add to the edges of your door so its sealed towards the door frame. Aim for 95% seal, so there is a small opening in a corner or similar for air intake. 2-3cm is enough with a hight of 0.5 to 1cm.

Step 2 – Negative pressure in your room

Removing air (not all, just so you get a lower pressure) from your room will keep the rest of your house safe from fumes or smoke escaping from the laser machine.
You can do this in several ways.
Solution 1: Adding a exhaust fan in the window or wall to suck air out from the room. The gap in the door seal will be the natural intake for new air.
Solution 2: Adding a fan in the door or wall pushing air in to the room from the house, and using a exhaust in the window or wall. Just make sure the intake fan has lower flow than the exhaust.
Both solutions will do the same, but adding both intake and exhaust for the room will make it easier on the exhaust and no need for big fans to do this.
The exhaust from the laser machine can be used for this – or you can add a extra exhaust just to keep the room under negative pressure.

With the negative pressure, any leaks, smell or fumes from the machine will be pushed out as the house has higher pressure than your room has. It will be pulled to the other side of the pressure difference (other side of impeller in the fan).

A word on flow rates

This depends so much of the room you are in.
My room is 6×4 meters and have a window with a ventilation door on the side, and a door in to the room in the other side of the window. Your room might look different.
I use solution 1 with only a exhaust, and it´s inside the machine – the machine is set up with both intake and exhaust fans – see the article linked in the top.
Fans used for exhaust is 187m3/h or roughly 110CFM – but it has pretty good static pressure, and my door is sealed with rubber strips you can see a picture of above.
I do only cut acrylic in my machine, if you do a lot of wood cutting or engraving i would suggest at least 3-500m3/h or even more.

What you never should do

– Never overpressure the room by pushing air in and not taking anything out.
This will cause any smell spreading to the rest of the house.

– Never use open air filters and dumping the air inside your house, ever.
If you use any kind of filters, make sure the air can pass through it – and then out.
Here is a example of filter you should never ever use with your laser machine. It´s straight up dangerous if you use it to dump the air inside your room.
Always make sure the filter has two holes – inlet and outlet so the left over air after filtration can be dumped outside. Because these filters will not remove 100% of the dangerous fumes and particles – it will only lower the smell and some of the visible smoke.
Make sure you connect it in this order: Laser machine -> filter -> fan -> window
Having the fan at the window is the only solution – never put the filter after the fan, this will lower the efficiency by half or more.

Share this post

Comments (12)

  • Dave Reply

    What kind of filter would you recommend for a house with close neighbours? I have an in line fan and cut mdf.

    2019-11-13 at 03:53
    • HP Persson Reply

      Charcoal filter of some type, i use a sheet made for kitchen fans i have cut down in size and using 2 layers of, stops alot of the acrylic smell for me. My neighbour has his bedroom 5 meters from my exhaust and never complained.
      For more advanced solutions, check out “wet scrubbers” on google or Youtube.

      2019-11-13 at 17:59
  • Marco S. Reply

    Hello HP,
    for several weeks I try to reach you by email. Unfortunately without success.
    Will my order be delivered,  when can I expect delivery?

    2019-11-13 at 16:57
    • HP Persson Reply

      Hi Marco! Sorry for the slow reply on emails – if you have sent a email to helpdesk@hawklaser.com – wait, do not sent more. All emails are grouped by the ticketing system and replies are made to oldest first. Many emails will move all grouped email down and treated as new.
      We are getting closer to zeroing out the email queue.
      Deliveries are rolling out with some delay for early birds who got the absolute first V2 packed – they were re-packed with the latest version and caused some delay.
      You will get more details about your order when replied to, i do not have any info about specific orders at hand right now when replying to this.
      You can choose to cancel the order or get some % off if you havent recevied it yet.

      2019-11-13 at 17:58
      • HP Persson Reply

        Correction, we decided to open up a email just for customers of the kits.
        If you have questions about delivery, installation, configuration or similar – email kits@hawklaser.com
        But please – send one email and wait for reply, it helps us alot not dealing with duplicate, trips or quadruple emails! Thanks

        2019-11-13 at 18:21
  • Karl Söderbom Reply

    Why is that kind of filter dangerous? I saw someone build a fume extractor coffin with one of those inside the box.

    It’s practically the same order: Laser machine -> filter box (Carbon cylinder filter inside) -> fan

    Carbon cylinder filter is placed directly before the fan but it’s inside the box. The box has a lid but is sealed tight when shut.

    2019-11-14 at 17:27
    • HP Persson Reply

      I need to clarify this in the article, it´s the method of dumping the air inside the room that is dangerous, not the filter itself. Thanks for the heads up!
      If it´s done as you describe it´s a solution – but probably easier just to buy a filter with inlet and outlet right away.

      2019-11-14 at 19:00
      • Karl Söderbom Reply

        Jag förstod nästan att det var det du menade, men jag var tvungen dubbelkolla.
        Hur ser detta filter med ingång och utgång ut? Har du en länk, kanske till och med till en svensk försäljare?
        Annars är det bara säga vad jag skall leta efter.
        Hur monterar du dina köksfilter, vad monterar du dom i?

        Kul att se att du är tillbaks igen, många har frågat efter dig.

        2019-11-25 at 18:06
        • HP Persson Reply

          Har nog inte sett den typen av filter i Sverige, bara de som dumpar luften genom filtret. Det fungerar ju också om man har filtret utanför fönstret.
          Jag kör med en 4″ rörskarv i plast som jag klippt kolfilter från Kjell & Co. och satt in före fläkten, klipper man dem lite större sitter de fast av sig själva. Tar bort de mesta av min doft från plexi/pmma så inte grannarna gnäller.
          Ska ta lite bilder på min setup vad det lider framöver.

          Det finns också runda kolfilter att köpa till t.ex. spisar och gasugnar i varierande size, dessa går också fint att sätta in i flödesriktningen, man får modifiera lite bara.

          Har varit här hela tiden, men nu när vi minskat antalet produkter i e-butiken och fokuserat mer på specialprylar, fler som hjälper till på support så finns mer tid att vara lite synlig också 🙂

          2019-11-25 at 19:19
  • David Wallis Reply

    Hi Haken,

    Can you confirm that the Gantry Expansion is been produced and shipped? Roughly how much longer can people expect to wait? Would you be able to do an update on your site to put peoples minds at rest as the Email method does not seem to be working.

    2019-11-26 at 13:44

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *