A number of issues right off the rip

received my glowforge pro today. woohoo! thank you for making this beautiful machine. was very easy to set up and was printing the founders ruler in no time. however, i have yet to be able to use any of my own designs. i like to use Rhino for my cad work and figured this would not be an issue as it can export as .ai .dwg .dxf. unfortunately, it won’t accept any of these files. i’ve tried with multiple illustrator files, that i can in fact open in ai no problem, but when i try to open in the gf app it says that an unexpected error occurs, both when i drag them in and browse to them. also, when i tried to engrave a .jpg, after ‘preparing the design’ for an extended period of time, it comes up with the unexpected error as well. i hope this is just an early stage hiccup that we’ll have fixed soon, because im not really interested in the catalogue. i want to design my own stuff.


Actually the software is still beta, so there are going to be issues until the features are polished. The company made the decision to ship these out because the hardware is done. They chose not to extend our wait any longer since updates are easily pushed to the machine.

I believe there are translators available, which means for right now there will be that extra step for you to get your stuff in the machine. the ability to accept other file formats is in the ‘Hopper’ long time now.

We would like to see some of your work…

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You might find some helpful solutions here:


GFUI does not support .ai yet. You will want to convert your vectors to .SVG for printing.


At this early stage the GFUI takes svg or PDF. I’m not a Rino user so I don’t have any suggestions for workflow other than Inkscape can convert dxf to svg quite well.


Isn’t all the information on currently supported file types listed in the accept now or later e-mail?


The Matrix has a ton of great info – I’d suggest starting with this one:

Rhino is a great program and I have no doubt you’ll be 'forging soon!

You might also want to check out this troubleshooting page:

My one concrete suggestion is to avoid JPG files at all cost – the compression artifacts will show up in just about anything you print. PNG is the preferred bitmap format.


i assumed that was the case and i appreciate it


yes. i’m aware i just wanted to throw something at it. thanks


also, i found that converting to pdf did let me upload it. im cutting a new ruler with my company logo, where it actually starts at zero


i wish i could throw some emoji’s in there, so you guys wouldn’t think i sound too serious, but they don’t work for me on here, for some reason. :smirk:


oh i see. can you tell i don’t ‘forum’ much :grin:


Neither did I. :grin: But since this place is oriented around our common interests, the skill, talent and experience gathered here give us an available superpower. :+1:


There is a special way to save your AI files in SVG format so that the Glowforge interface will interpret them correctly:

Here’s the instructions:


I feel your pain, coming to this with only the information you might have skimmed from the Glowforge site and not having waded through the voluminous and varied listings of the state of the Glowforge software on the forum.

The request for shipping information routine would have lead you to a place that contained a long list of specifications as to their state of readiness. It’s a bit of a reach to go through the whole thing and find all the specific features that affect your workflow.

I am curious to unpack your experience to see how your expectations of the software were created by the things you read or your own experience with lasers, other tech, and designing things.Glowforge marketing and the main site and FAQs don’t tell the full story.

I think this is a an important issue that needs attention. So many new users are posting about problems that have been discussed and dealt with in many ways on the forum. New users are not getting the information they need to get the most out of their Glowforge.

Unfulfilled expectations become issues that can obscure the real possibilities of the Glowforge, including its ease of use.

Knowing its present specifications and capabilities is not an easy thing, evidently.

The Glowforge is capable of cutting and engraving different materials to a high degree of precision. It should work every time, and for me does.But I don’t press that Print button unless I have a design I know will work.

But, and that’s the big thing, to get it to do what you want it to do requires not just a fair bit of computer literacy, but then understanding what does work (SVGs that fulfill certain requirements, mostly standard requirements, bitmaps, with certain caveats, PDFs that are formed in a certain way with certain requirements) and what doesn’t (native AI files, DXF, CDR) can clash with what you know about technology. We assume the Glowforge should work in a certain way. Makes sense. But it isn’t there yet. But you can work around it.

In addition to figuring out how to craft a design file that the Glowforge can process in its present state (really not that hard, once you know it needs SVGs for vectors or well-formed PDFs and size limitations on bitmaps, there is still the issue of error messages that you can’t interpret. Calibration routines that can’t seem to be tied to anything in your control that last a long time.

However, once you have established a good wifi connection, have figured out some of the calibration errors and how to avoid them, and know how to design a good file, then you get to understand the whole process with alignment by the camera and what to expect and how to manage accuracy that can’t just be based on what you see in a lid camera issue.

I’d recommend the Learn by Doing tutorial in the support tab of the app. Making a gift tag from scratch.

It may be a little like going back to first grade if you design in Rhino, but it does help establish some semantic references to the processes going on so you can then have better references for asking questions.

Good luck. The tips and tricks sections are super and lots of them. Don’t worry about posting a new topic if the Glowforge doesn’t do what you expect it to do. Just put it out here. You’ll get lots of help.




I knew there would be a big learning curve. Yesterday was just me venting on the fact that I couldn’t produce what I wanted on day one , and that was unrealistic. I just need to do some reading and get more hands-on experience. It will come in time. And if in the meanwhile I need to use a middleman to export to the correct format, then so be it


More info on the error message would be helpful for newbies

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It would be helpful to all of us!
I’ll wager that since we agreed to accept the machines with the software in beta, that support is tired of hearing us complain about what we agreed to accept. :roll_eyes:


Thank you. Should be recommended reading for all new owners.

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