View Full Version : Laser in a house

Pete Simmons
12-28-2004, 7:06 PM
Say you set up an out the roof vent system with a remote mounted low noise fan ( maybe even mount it in the attic in a sound absorbing enclosure) and using a remote air compressor for the air assist supply, how much noise will a small ( Epilog Mini ) make? If set up in a spare room in the house that is now a computer room is the noise profile low enough to NOT disturb the rest of the house? Any other problems with an in the house room set up?

James Stokes
12-28-2004, 8:24 PM
An epilog mini is fairly quite you should not have any problem with sound.
My laser is noisey for a laser but with the door shut to my shop I can not hear it.

Keith Outten
12-29-2004, 5:21 AM

Most laser engravers have two 4.5" computer style fans which are reasonably quiet however when you start the dust collector the air from the room is pulled through the unit and adds a small wind howl sound. Overall the noise isn't unpleasent and it shouldn't disturb anyone if the door to the room is closed as James suggested.

Roy Brewer
12-30-2004, 12:50 AM
>>any other problems?<<

Odor? Even the best of exhaust systems will allow some distasteful odors into the building. Wood only? Not too much problem since most of us like the smell of wood anyway, but cutting acrylic and several other materials have a sharp, penetrating smell that will bring "What the heck is that..." questions from a close living room.

Rubber stamps? Forget it!

Keith Outten
12-30-2004, 5:19 AM
Welcome Mr. Brewer,

I recognised your name and we are fortunate to have you join us, your experience in the business will definately be appreciated here.

Roy's mention of the oders involved when engraving/cutting acrylic and rubber makes me smile. I've heard many say that after making just one rubber stamp that they would never make another. The oder is absolutely pungent and will definately let any close neighbors know that you own an engraver :)

When I cut Acrylic and even rubber I don't notice any oder inside my workshop office at all. When the job is complete and you lift the lid of the engraver the oder can be very strong, I like to allow my dust collector to run for a couple of minutes after the job is completed to allow a little more of the oder to be evacuated, it helps.

Roy Brewer
12-30-2004, 10:14 PM

Thanks for the welcome; I'll try to make you proud of me!

All looking for un biased opinions should go to my good friend Mike McKenzie ...
My opinions tend to be biased!

Mike Mackenzie
01-03-2005, 1:48 PM

Thanks for the kind words these forums are new for me and I really don't know how I find the time to do it but its a great way to "spread the word" with the amount of time we have spent in this industry. Biased or UN biased information is a great tool.

And I hope we can help.

I hope you and the family had a great holiday

Roy Brewer
01-05-2005, 12:29 AM

Thanks kindly; indeed our family and our business finished our best year ever---I pray your's was the same.

Even if we live to be old, there may not be more time; doing what we do is just too much fun!

Randall Johnson
10-04-2005, 12:15 PM

I am in the process of purchasing a laser system that will be ran from my house. I will be venting the system to the outside, and do not need all the odor reduction/HEPA filtration. Can anyone help me with the extraction system? I am interested in finding the most quiet one possible. I don't know anything about the different brands and would like some feedback from those of you who could give me input from your own experience.

Thanks for the help.

Pete Simmons
10-04-2005, 12:33 PM
Do a search for this type of fan

6" Elicent Centrifugal Inline Duct Exhaust Fan AXC150B

Very quiet, works fine. Some will tell you it does not have enough CFM. So goto the 8 inch.

Aaron Koehl
10-04-2005, 2:01 PM
Roy, Welcome!

Jerry Allen
10-04-2005, 4:13 PM
I use the following exhaust fan:
Harbor Freight (600cfm, item#31810 ~$100 or less)
My laser is noiser than the exhaust fan.
Also, you can place the fan outside.

Joe Pelonio
10-04-2005, 6:15 PM

The laser itself is not as loud as an old dot matrix printer. The exhaust fan is not bad either as long as you have good venting without metal contacting wood or other metal that can vibrate through the house. The compressor could be a problem, they are noisy. You should use a diaphragm pump like an airbrush
pump or the ones they sell at Epilog, they are a lot quieter and you don't have to worry about water damage from condensation. As for fumes, as another member said, if you get a big job cutting acrylic the smell will be all over the
place just from opening the door to change material. Same with wood but that's nice, like having the fireplace going. In my shop I have a decent air purifier running in the laser room and still may have customers mention the smell.
Most important is the proximity of the laser vent outside to the neighbors.
The smell of acrylic can cause people to call the fire department, and at a house you could end up with home business /zoning issues as a result. I'm in a business park and had to deal with a fireman standing at the laser while I ran it and another one in contact by radio at a neighboring Vet's window to
see if he could smell it.

Aaron Koehl
10-04-2005, 9:06 PM
The exhaust can be significant.. After cutting a few rubber stamps (probably the worst, especially considering they are supposed to be 'low-odor'), the entire outdoors around the property smells like the mosquito truck went by..

Maybe my nose is more sensitive to it, I'm pretty sure Keith can't smell a thing. ;)

Pat Kearney
10-05-2005, 5:58 PM
I have just installed an Epilog Helix in my house and the smell outside is bareley noticeable when I'm engraving wood or plastic. I used 4" plastic PVC pipe to vent it out through the wall to the outside and up above my roof top. It's important to get it up high and above the roof top so any wind can carry the smell away and hopefully not back down to the ground. I learned this from my previous career as a Service Manger for a company which sold and installed oil and propane heating systems.

Another important thing I learned while in that position which can be applied to this conversation is called "negative air pressure". Negative air pressure is an effect created when systems in a house, for example bathroom exhaust fans, clothes dryers, kitchen range vent hoods, air exchangers, etc, vent air from inside the home to the outside creating a vaccum in the home. This creates a serious situation in the home for a couple of reasons. First we need air to breathe and we need to ensure it is replaced with the proper quantities. Usually this is not too serious as the amount being sucked out is not great and is replaced quite quickly through sources such as incoming vents, leaks around windows, doors, etc. However when combining these normally occuring air vent systems with a 600+ CFM dust collector setup as we are using it to vent to the outside, a potentially far more dangerous situation is being created. Taking an excesively large amount of air from inside your home leaves a huge vaccum and the air is not being replaced quickly enough. When this happens air is pulled back in through other sources for example the chimneys of furnaces and water heater systems creating potentially dangerous levels of carbon monoxide:eek: . So for those of you using fuels which when burnt create Carbon Monoxde (wood, natural gas, propane, etc.) please be very aware of this fact and account for it by opening a window or even better, installing a proper intake venting

As for the noise levels, I have followed the instructions given on this site in a previous thread to construct a muffler. Using the muffler I would guess it has cut the noise level by 40-50%. This is a great improvement but it was still kind of loud, so I cut a hole in the wall adjacent to my laser engraver room and placed the blower and muffler in this storage room which is not used often - works great!!