15 min to prepare your print

Does your file have lots and lots of nodes in the paths?
If it’s mostly vector, and it’s 4 meg, then it probably does.

This will slow down GF’s processing of it on their servers and may contribute to the slowness.

I often run a basic “Simplify paths” in Illustrator before finishing any complicated design, which may help with this problem.

This is my file! Inkscape is my program. It will not load even after it says preparing your file for 25 min.
If I were to simplify the file won’t I loose alot of detail? I can do one at a time, but it still takes 6 min to process the file and it takes only 11:35 to run the file


3 Coaster SW test.svg

Ah yes! I can definitely see there’s a lot of detail there.

You’re engraving this onto a coaster, yea?
If you’re engraving, you might be better off rasterizing the image. Then GF won’t bother trying to figure out cut paths and such for the complicated vectors.

I just tried uploading your original image, and it did work for me… took a minute or two.
Then I tried rasterizing it, and it was much much faster.
I also tried what I suggested with simplifyng, and actually got some bad results … so I might have messed something up.

But for this example, rasterizing is the clear solution.
3 Coaster SW rasterized.svg.zip (975.7 KB)

I’m confused by the “Blue Light”. My button blinks white unless the machine throws an error or I reinitialize setup.

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That seems to work. If it’s possible, I need the coasters to be 3.75" and I can’t seem to be able to ungroup them.


I’m happy to help you do it if you get stuck, but you should try it yourself.

I would start with your original art, reduce it down to just 1 coaster.
Size it however you like.
Rasterize the inner part.
Then upload to GFUI.
Then copy/paste it however many times you need to.

Good luck!

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Ok, when I try to trace the image, it gets very blurry! How were you able to keep the image sharp?

I am stuck! I have tried everything and I simply can’t figure it out. I am not even close. After a I do a bit map trace and make six copies, I still get a 16 meg file, no matter what I do.

Not sure you’re going down quite the right path.

I believe in Inkscape you should select the part of the file you want to engrave, then do:
Edit > Make Bitmap Copy

You’ll probably then want to actually delete the original vector within the SVG.

As for making 6 copies, I wouldn’t do that until you’re in the GFUI (app.glowforge.com)

Thanks for getting back to me! 2 Questions! 1) Is there a firmware update to speed up the download process for my machine?
2) When I opened my file and pressed the ready button, I get a message saying prepairing your file and that is when it will either keep spinning forever or spin for about 6-10 min and then say error and refresh your browser. That’s the hang up for my machine! It won’t run long enough to get the blue button so I can print the file.


I have refreshed my browser several times, cleared my cash, reset the router and nothing seems to work, unless I just want to print the gift of good measure or something very simple.


Firmware updates are automatic for all machines. It checks on every boot if there is one, DLs, installs, and restarts. Nothing for users to do.

Ok then! I’ll ask another question
If I create 1 of the coasters in Inkscape and then make the copies in the GFUI app, will that speed up the preparing your print and get me to the blue light faster?
Here is where a simple phone call would be very useful, don’t you think?

That one I don’t know as the things I’ve done are one offs. In theory, maybe? But maybe not as it isn’t a clone of the original and you can resize and rotate it independently of the original thereby needing its own path calculation.

3~4 years late to the dead horse party on that one.

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Just uploading the design once will save on the upload time, which is why I suggested this.
But not necessarily the time from hitting print to your button lighting up.

If you’ve rasterized / made-a-bitmap-of the complicated part, I wouldn’t expect the processing time between hitting print, and your button lighting up, to be very long.

If it is, something else might be going wrong, maybe with your Wifi/cache/etc, that you may need to contact GF to get help with.

I went ahead and made you a version of the file with 1 coaster, that I would try with:
1 Coaster SW.svg.zip (361.6 KB)

Good luck!

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Thank you for the help! I tried working on the file last night for over 3 hours and just couldn’t seem to figure it out.
I know I have to learn how to use the software, but you get to the point of just saying the heck with it. I went on a few forums and didn’t get any help either.
When I did a trace bitmap, it came out all blurry, so I tried the simplify idea and just lost too much detail, I just gave up on it.
I appreciate your help.
If I continue to have problems, I’ll contact support again.


I’m not sure what you mean here… “trace bitmap” usually refers to when you already have a bitmap, and you want to turn it into a vector, you can trace it and get vector shapes, that you might use to cut.

But what you needed was the opposite. You already had a vector, but to make uploading and processing easier, you want it to be a bitmap. That’s where I suggested you use:
Edit > Make Bitmap Copy
in Inkscape.

Learning to use design software can be really challenging. There are good online resources, videos, etc, but it can be hard, and take some time.

I’d recommend lots of the tutorials here:

But specifically lots of thing things linked here:

are great to get some basic knowledge of Inkscape (or the like) for use while lasering.

Lastly @polarbrainfreeze recently started a course on Udemy to specifically teach laser cutting, and the design that goes with it:

So that’s a good option!

Good luck!

I’ll go through those articles! I just made a bitmap copy, but it now looks blurry. I’ll try it again, after I go through the articles you suggested.


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There are settings in Inkscape to how big to make the image that the default is quite low. Before I found it I would scale the image ten times bigger before making the bitmap and then scale it back down after bringing it back in. The result is a bigger raster by far but less “blurry”.

Lately however, I have been doing my raster to vector in Gimp that produces a superior line with nodes where they need to be and not getting confused by the jaggies that the pixels create, and Inkscape gets confused by.

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