The laser engraving did produce a bit of smoke. So I had to exhaust it away from my workshop.

I found a 2.2 cubic meters per minute centrifugal fan that would be very suitable for exhausting the smoke away. I was not enclosing the whole movable gantry cnc machine but would be using this fan as a means of removing smoke by attaching its suction to my laser module shoe. I decided that the fan be placed high up so that its discharge end would then be able to blow directly away from my house. It would also be able to be attached to the vertical slats on the wall by wood screws. The high position was also suitable for attaching to a flexible ducting, one end of which would be attached to the movable gantry cnc machine. As the flexible ducting would be suspended above the moving part, it would not be messed up when the cnc machine moved horizontally in its limited boundary.

Once the fan was attached to the wall above the cnc machine, I was able to plan the layout for the suction ducting. I had available some 3″ diameter pvc piping, salvaged from previously rainwater gutters. In order to connect them as 90 degree bends, I created plywood boxes with fitting holes which could act as elbows. I created 2 of these so that the pipe could change direction twice. These would be the fixed hard ducting.

Because I was not enclosing the whole movable gantry machine with a fixed barrier box, I had to attach the suction of the fan to the movable gantry cnc machine itself. This part had to be a flexible ducting because the machine would be moving.

I will not be covering the construction of the flexible ducting part here as this would be covered in the coming blog.