3D Engraving files

What file type is needed to 3D engrave? I use the SVG and jpg for all other jobs. But I am seeing I need a heightmap file for the 3D carving feature. What is the best way to create this. What file type then goes in to the glowforge? Any ideas?

JPG works fine, just have the depth of the engrave match the darkness of the image.


Welcome to the forum.

There are lots of helpful threads on this topic if you utilize the search function. Here is one to get you started: 3d Engraving help


Thanks. Im slowly figuring this out. Now I just have one more silly question. I have a new Pro and have seen the 3D Engrave option drop down a couple times but now I cant get it to show up again. Anyone know why? What am I doing wrong. Ive tried all types of files and settings. Tried Proofgrade material and unknown. And no idea why I saw it once or so then now cant find it in the drop down list. Again thanks to everyone.

Although I seldom use that setting, seems to me that it only shows up if you’re using 1/4" material instead of only 1/8". And, of course using a bitmap/raster rather than a vector image. Could be wrong.

It only shows up on acrylic, hardwood and draftboard (does not depend on thickness) - it’s not available on plywood because of the variation in density between the outer veneer and the core.

You can manually select (“Vary Power”) it for any material but results will not be consistent.


Welcome! As @eflyguy mentioned, pick one of those from the dropdown then adjust the settings to match what you are engraving on. You can pick anything to start with then change it and still keep the 3D option.

I made a bunch of door/office markers using either poplar or maple hardwood. I just checked and I don’t have the settings. After cleaning with alcohol and a toothbrush, they were totally “clean”, no charring at all. It took some experimenting to get it just right but the final result was really beautiful.

The back story is really amusing, it made national news at the time. Total scam, don’t know if the guy behind it was ever found but his wife and home were taken by the gub’mnt.

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