New GF owner here. What may be limiting growth is learning how to take your design and identify what the laser is going to cut vs engrave. Can someone please explain the basics in your favorite design software. How do I take a drawling (either my own or found) and markup what I want to be cut out and what I want to be engraved? For reference, I do make stencils on a Circuit Pro and maybe this is similar to separating the layers of an image. I plan to use Milar between 6mil to 10mil.
First off, bitmaps are always engraved. Vectors can be scored or cut or engraved. Beyond that, you can select a different color in your file for a different action.
A single scanned drawing will be viewed by GF as one element. You need to separate it into different elements to be able to specify different actions and the sequence of those actions.
Yes, we have a series of tutorials that explain the basics:
The Glowforge team recommends working through your first prints by following along with the examples shown here to learn where everything is:
Make a snap and store box with your personal touch
It’s time to customize a print with your very own artwork. Not one for artwork, you say? Don’t worry - with your Glowforge, even simple doodles lo...
What Your Laser Can Do
To create a great design for your Glowforge, it’s useful to understand the three things your laser can do.
Cut: The laser moves slowly along a path, at full power, to cut a...
They have also recently added instructions with video on using the Manual settings here:
Working with Manual Settings
And there are methods for
Enhancing your Photo Engraves and Cutting Out a Shape as well.
(You can click on the topic headers in the left-hand column for even more information.)
That particular page is also handy if you have any problems to Troubleshoot and you can always access it by clicking on the Support button in the app.
Once you have run through the sample prints, some of the customers have put together some handy Tips sheets and a lot of tutorials in the Tips and Tricks section of the forum.
Some good ones to start with:
The Trace Tool in the Glowforge User Interface can be used to scan printed artwork for engraving, and to create cut lines around the artwork, or inside the artwork, by clicking with the mouse.
There are a couple of ways to do things with the Trace Tool.
(I’m going to borrow one of Glowforge’s freebies to demonstrate since my drawing skills are non-existent. I printed this airplane out - pretend it’s hand drawn.)
Procedure To Scan a Physical Drawing and Add Cut Lines:
Black ink d…
The Dashboard: Sign in to
Keyboard Shortcuts and Maneuvering in the Interface:
Copy (Select item)… CTRL/CMD + C
Paste (Select item)… CTRL/CMD + V
Undo … CTRL/CMD + Z
Delete (Select item) … Press the Delete key on the keyboard.
Update on Delete: _After the Autosave Settings Saver migration on 01/08/2018, if you delete a part or item from your file it will stay gone when you close it.
The next time you open the file, it will not be there.
I’m going to demo an alignment process below using my (ancient) version of Adobe Illustrator, but the process is the same for Inkscape or CorelDraw or Affinity Designer. Whichever one you like to use, you’ll do the same things, with the tools in that program. (I’m also going to give you the thought process that goes into creating a design with 2D Design software, to keep from having to write another one up, so if you can slog through it, you’ll pick up some stuff you need to know to make thing…
It’s soooooo easy to create files easily in programs like Illustrator, Inkscape, CorelDraw and Affinity Designer if you understand what the Glowforge interface sees when it looks at your file.
(Think of this as a last batch of Tips and Tricks, then I’ll quit bugging you.)
I’m going to demo in Illustrator again, but the same things will be done in whatever program you choose to use for your designs.
If you have questions about specifics for other kinds of drawing and modeling software, …
For All Programs:
If you want to engrave a bitmap (raster) style image and include it inside a vector SVG file, you need to Embed the image in the file if you want it to stay aligned inside the SVG file. Otherwise you will need to re-load the raster file and use the camera to align it visually.
(That’s fine, but you will completely lose the benefit of more accurate alignment that you get from the design software.)
There are instructions for how to Embed raster images for some of the main 2D…
I am doing this in BTM because I want to document materials and settings clearly.
Although on further searching, I realize that @cynd11 had posted the settings for this thickness of Mylar, I still had to pester her with a PM to get the settings right. She had even gifted me with 7.5 mil and 10 mil Mylar that in my ingratitude never got around to using. Mostly because I didn’t have an application. But today I did and I thank @cynd11 for her help and for trailblazing Mylar back in the pre-release …
Does your Cricut export SVGs? You can use them as is. I have used some Silhouette designs with Pro edition able to save as an SVG.
The vector needs a defined color but no defined fill if you want to cut the outline of the objects.
You can also use MS Word’s native drawing tools to do simple shapes and save them as a PDF. It works great especially if you want to engrave a vector filled engrave but you can also cut them in outline if you remove the fill and define the outline path with a color.
Different colored paths get treated as different operations in the interface. But go through the first three prints. The third one about making a custom giftag will give you the info you want.
I actually added my image to PhotoShop and separated the colors by layers then saved as SVG. Then up uploaded into Cricut Design. Cricut does a pretty good job, but thinking GF could do better.
Thanks. Created new image with separate layers. So each layer was on a separate upload and saved as a svg file. GF still did not allow me to cut, and viewed the upload as a bitmap for some reason.
When you created the new image, do you mean you drew it with a vector program such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw or some software like that. Or was the image brought in from elsewhere?
If you want to post the file here, we can look at it and see what the issue might be.
It’s a process but as a test I pulled images into photoshop, separated the layers then saved each layer as a png. There is also an option to export as svg. The I would open in Inkscape, trace as bitmap so I can save as svg with cut lines defined. It’s a process but it works so far.