The box for the cutter

A project log for Laser cutter fume filter

Lasercutters fumes smells like hell and are toxic. This project describes a DIY fume extractor and filters.

Jack PearseJack Pearse 02/23/2016 at 13:170 Comments

To be able to extract the fumes, the whole cutter needs a casing. Right now I built a box, where I put the cutter in. Later I can refurbish the cutter and mount it directly into the new box. I was not sure if the box belongs to the fume extractor or the laser cutter project page. I decided that the box is part of the fume extractor, which makes ist easier to explain the mounting of the hub and the pipes.

The new box has 4 table legs so that one can operate the machine while standing. I like it working with machines while standing instead of sitting. I used plywood again (I like plywood) to build the casing. I used the same technique like in the studio furniture project. I used 15mm plywood and joined the plates together using torx screws. It's a quick and simple construction which is very stable and airtight (Use a little bit of silicone where the wooden parts are joined with each other). I used foam sealing strips to provide damping to the lid if the box. Another nice property of these sealing strips is that ist keeps the laser light in the box but keeps a litte airflow between the lid an the foam. The wood is not perfectly flat so the foam compensates small changes in geometry.

A Webcam inside the box makes it possible to observe the process while cutting.

At the back side of the box I milled a small pocket where the power and USB connectors will be put in place. Ot the left side I will cut a hole with 100mm diameter. To this hole a 100mm hub will be attached for holding a pipe blower and the exhaust pipe.

I found a grow shop (thank's to all potheads for making these filter systems cheap!) who sold me a pipe blower, a pipe and a char coal filter for only 45€ (=49,54$) . That's the nicest price I have seen on the market so far.

For followers of the 12V solar battery philosophy I found this engine compartment blower for cars. Again the car and boat industry provides nice tools for makers: engine compartment blower

You can use any pipe blower for this project. Just make sure that the diameter fits your pipe and char coal filter. An old broken vacuum cleaner from Dyson (the engine is wrecked) will be used as casing. Fortunately this vacuum cleaner has a built in HEPA filter, which will act as a secondary filter for filtering the fine particulates.

Normally an industry grade filter is using three filters. For this project I will just use a charcoal filter and the HEPA filter from the vacuum cleaner.. I will test the setup as soon the parts arrive. Maybe a gas washing bottle will be a part of the setup, too. Let's see how this thing grows.