2 inch by 2 inch object = 7+ hour print

Hi all,

Ive made a design that has a spiral on it, the spiral has a lot of arms but its relatively small. in size at a couple inches tall. It says its going to take 7 hours to print and I can’t figure out why. I made the item in inkscape used a cutout of an object and filled it in with the spiral tool, then used a “cookie cutter” difference to remove the arms where they left the object. i suspect its because the spiral has about a zillion vectors but i’m not sure how to overcome that.

Thank you for all of the suggestions!
BitMap worked nicely for time, but I preferred the engrave when on vectors, I don’t know enough yet how to work with BitMap to get the look I was going for. Will definitely try this again with some tests.
The Simplify is a great option too and has worked with other designs but this one it took too much out of the design.
The combine! that worked perfectly! It didn’t change a thing about the image but greatly reduced the time.
Thank you all!

A zillion vectors can definitely cause a problem. If you are planning to engrave it, (not cut), it will be a whole lot faster to turn it into a raster file. (In Inkscape select the parts to be engraved, then Edit > Create Bitmap Copy. Then delete the original vector files underneath.)

If you have a cut line with it, lock that first before you make the bitmap copy, and it will stay where it’s needed.


Thanks a million! I’ll give it a shot!

You could try the Path, Simplify option to remove a lot of the vectors.

Sometimes it works really well, sometimes it just demolishes your drawing.

I’ve done scores and engraves based on SVGs of woodcuts - which have a lot of points and not seen it show up as a very slow print though. Slow to process yes, but not slow to print.

Is this an engrave? Do you have the LPI turned up really high and the speed really low?

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Raster might solve it, but it’s a workaround.

Vector vs raster doesn’t make a difference in engrave time if the vector file is composed of a single path. The machine will follow the exact same path - front to back, across the entire design.

Your design is likely composed of a large number of individual paths, as opposed to a single combined one. Simply select-all, and use the apps function to combine them. In Inkscape, it is called “combine paths”.

I’ve used vector files that push the limits of what the UI will accept before crashing (errors out with failed to load.) They engrave just fine. Sized to the full bed, they only took 2-3 hrs (been a long time)…


I am very impressed that it went to a 7-hour print without erroring out! I have had it get to 5 hours but it was engraving many pieces. Just making a raster solves the issue without ever knowing what the problem was but I fear that the pit still lies there for someone else to fall into when it is a bit less extreme.

It was the case that two overlapping engraves would just be ignored but that caused problems in many cases, and I have deliberately had them since then for good reason, and had them work. If, as often happens, your design was many on top of each other that 7-hour cut if actually tried might have had your Glowforge try to cut to the center of the earth.

By making the raster you have avoided that pit, but someone else with only 4 copies on top of each other of intricate designs might not recognize that the hour-long engrave that should have been 15 min was a problem and start themselves a fire. :grimacing:

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