Affinity Designer Basics with Glowforge

Hi Everyone,

I just bought a glowforge and am still waiting for it to arrive. I currently use Affinity Designer and have created some shapes and text that I’m looking forward to cutting and etching on the glowforge. However i’m really lost when it comes how to set up my document, designing, and exporting. My questions are

  1. Should i be designing in cmyk or rgb?
  2. What width should my lines be?
  3. Do the lines need to be in a certain color to designate cutting, scoring, etching, etc.
  4. Should my dpi be above or below a certain number?
  5. How should i export my designs for glowforge as, svg, png?

If anyone who is familiar with affinity and uses it in conjunction with glowforge would be able to shed light on these issues i would greatly appreciate it. Thanks again and glad to become a member of the glowforge forums.



For vectors, the color is only used to determine operation order, it has no effect on the output power. Since the operation order is by rgb, I think most of us use rgb space.

The stroke width is similarly ignored by the GFUI. I generally set it to 0.007" or 0.15mm to approximate the kerf I generally see (it varies with material).

Stroke color with no fill comes in as a cut. No stroke with a fill color comes in as an engrave. As far as I know, there is no way to specify “score” before hand. In the UI, you can easily convert from “cut” to “score” or even “engrave” to “score” if it is all vector (raster is engrave only).

Hmm… depends on what dpi you’re talking about. For things with no units specified, I think the GFUI assumes 96 dpi, but for anything where the dot density actually matters (raster images), you’ll want the actual dpi to be higher than that and correctly specified in the SVG. Perhaps an Affinity user will be able to be more specific about the setting you’re looking at. Also, this might be covered in one of the Affinity tutorials (search in tips & tricks).

I use PNG for raster images and SVG for vector. And SVG for content that includes both (but the embedded raster image was more than likely a PNG at some point). PNG is preferable to JPG because it avoids the compression artifacts that can show up in the engrave.


This search might be interesting:

Some particular results that I pulled out:

edit: fixed the third link after figuring out how to use the clipboard properly


Hi Markwal,

Thanks so much for your help, and for replying so quickly. I really do appreciate it. I’m setting up my document as we speak. Thanks to you I don’t have to switch over to Inkscape or Illustrator, as I’m familiar with affinity. Do you mind if I ask you some other questions if they come up?

Thanks very much again

This is another good topic to read:

One thing I’ve done to make it much easier to use Affinity Designer with the Glowforge is to set an export preset (called “Glowforge” of course) that ensures my text will be exported as curves and that the view box is not included. Now, as long as I remember to select Glowforge at the top of the export window, I will get an SVG that works.


Hi Brad,

Thanks very much for pulling that article for me. Also for sharing the tip with me about the exporting. It really helps. I really appreciate how nice you guys have been.