Affinity Designer SVG Sizing Changes When Exporting

Hello everyone!

I use Affinity Designer to create all my designs. Even though it is a bit complex, I think it is super complete and I really like it. I don’t know a lot of people who use this same app to export their designs to the GF but I was hoping someone would have an answer for this.

Every time I export SVG files, the dimensions of my elements change, so I have to manually resize them on the GF or just give up and export them as PDF (which is what I do most of the times). This is usually not a problem, but when I have to Tetris a lot of elements in one sheet, I rather use the Deepnest app, but it only reads SVG, so since they don’t preserve their original size, it is a main problem.

Does anyone know how to preserve the dimensions of the elements when exporting as SVG from Affinity Designer?


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I don’t use ID but I’ve seen numerous posts about this issue. I’d bet if you search the board you’ll find what you need.


Thank you so much! I am looking it up right now

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I think the Affinity Design section of this post might be helpful: Glowforge Interface - Correctly Save a File as an SVG for the GFUI 🤔


I use Affinity and love it. If you create a Glowforge preset sized 20" x 12" and always use that for your design space, then export it as the ‘whole document’, it will always come in at the right size.

These are the settings I used for my preset;

Hope you won’t mind, but I am moving this post to the Everything Else category since it’s not something with which support can help. If you have any other questions, I’ll be happy to try to help with them.
Welcome to the community!


Three ways to make things come out the correct size when importing into the Glowforge UI:

  1. Set the SVG export options to use 96DPI. (If I recall correctly AD defaults to 72DPI, so you’ll have to change it.)
  2. Set the page size of your document to 20" wide and 12" tall. When the Glowforge sees files with this aspect ratio it will ignore it’s usual DPI assumptions.
  3. Just export as PDF instead of SVG. PDF files should always import at the correct size because they always use real world units rather than pixel dimensions.

Any of the three choices should work. I usually use both the second and third.


This article on the Affinity website might help you too (in addition the above advice):


To reaffirm @Xabbess 's post, I’ve been using the same Affinity Designer process since day 1 unpacking my Glowforge Pro.

File > New , then look for a (+) icon at the top of the right palette. Hovering over it indicates it’s for adding a new preset. Be sure the 20 x 12 inch parameters are entered. DPI is entirely irrelevant to how Glowforge reads it.

Make sure to install the Glowforge Designer Color Palette file in post #16 of @marmak3261 's thread:

Create vector artwork. I like placing elements into logical named layers “Perimeter cut” “Content” “Trim” “Engrave Name 1” etc

Might even be handy to create a hide-able layer for setting notes… power/speed settings used & resulting observations.

After doing this, I’ll SAVE this as a native .afdesign file: ie, iPadStandWorkshop.afdesign
Intent here is if a part needs a change or name/logo engraving, it’s done on a new layer. Glowforge doesn’t read native .afdesign files.

When ready to export an SVG for the Glowforge, toggle all the layers needed and hide those not involved (setting notes, guide layers, previous names). In the final exported SVG, Affinity Designer will exclude layers that are hidden. The only thing that needs attention in the export dialog is to Export text as curves.

It should be noted the Glowforge’s working bed/parameters may not coincide with the SVG document’s 20x12 and this is where it might be good to use some clever-monkey techniques to add a native-file layer named “safe zone”. This reference layer can have a thick orange rectangle at a 19x11 size to remind the owner not to create an object so large that the laser module may not be able to reach. Toggle OFF this layer before exporting to SVG.


I do nearly the exact same things. My layers have descriptive titles, too…and I always have a text box titled ‘project notes’ so I can keep relevant info. that will be handy later on. I also have a ‘template’ folder as well, so I can keep original pieces in case I want to start all over if I don’t like all the iterations I’ve done to them.


So proud of you! :slight_smile: it drives me nuts looking at a file with more than a few elements that doesn’t take advantage of layers for organization!


Wow! Thank you, JB. I thought it was just my OCD self.


You replied earlier when I was putting together a new box cover so I snapped this pic. Makes life sooo much easier.


Sure does!


Hi @fabiana.aparicio24 I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been running into some trouble with SVGs changing in the Glowforge app. I saw you’ve been getting some great advice and tips from fellow Glowforge owners in this thread. Can you let me know if they were able to help you get this resolved? If you’re running into any trouble, let me know and I’ll be happy to help with any needed troubleshooting.

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