Any Ideas on how to get this printed?

Hey all!

Running into the same issue i seem to have with all my designs (too much raster)

Really hope GF begins to allow longer engrave times.

I have a larger print im looking to engrave to the top of a wooden box.

(Bellow are my working files)

As you can see from the vector version I’m thinking it may be best to split the design into 5 parts, one for each quarter of the box and then the center medallion as its own.

The only issue i am running into with that strategy is it seems like AI essentially does not want you to be able to do this.

Does anyone know of a good way to split the vector version into clean parts?
Does anyone know of a way to “flatten” the vector s so that lower, (none visible portions) are trimmed to only what is visible?

Any and all pointers are greatly appreciated.

For ref.
This is the raster version:

and here is the Vector version:


Both files are raster images with a little bit of vector text and a cutting path around the perimeter. Did you maybe upload the same file twice by mistake?

Anyway, the way to break this up is to draw vector paths that go through the artwork. You could either do rectangular quadrants or to avoid most risk of visible differences you can trace around major elements of the artwork. Duplicate the raster so you have as many copies as you do vector paths for the major parts, then make those paths into clipping paths to hide the sections of the raster copies.

Now, because the GF app does not handle clipping paths, you need to make each of those sections into bitmaps within the Illustrator file. When each section is its own bitmap image, the GF app will give each bitmap image its own operation that you can turn on or off as needed to get it processed.


You are 100% correct, I updated the post,

I had thought of something similar, but got stuck at the point where:

I will need to read up on how to go from the clipping mask of a raster to a bitmap.

It’s good to know my train of thought was not way off though.

Thank you Mpipes!

Once you’ve got your quadrants masked out to your liking, all you have to do is select the mask/content group and go to the Object Menu and select Rasterize. From there you’ll have some colour space and resolution options. I can’t suggest what would work best as I don’t have my 'Forge yet, but that’s the process.

Failing that, you can always make your masked quadrants and go to the File menu and choose Export>Export As and export them out as a raster format (ie. SVG, PNG, JPG)

I opened up your Vector version in Inkscape, and it was weird. There were a bunch of over lapping shapes and floating lines.

Using your Raster version, I Traced the Bitmap in Inkscape and made this. Does this load for you?

Edit: if you right click, you can save the image. It is an SVG.


@tobiahjadam Do you mind if I use this one to show how to break that up without having to deal with split lines? I got it to load at that size, but I’d like to just write it up once, as a tutorial. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I commissioned someone to create that 4 years ago for another project. there was no talk of copy rights so i don’t believe there would be any issues. Additionally, I have altered it a fair amount myself since then too.

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Fantastic! I’ll write it up and it should be done by this evening…I’ve got a few other things to work around this afternoon. (It’s pretty easy, I just need to do a few screen caps and run through it front to back again.)

Okay, could you read through the steps on the tutorial below, maybe give it a try and see if it works for you?


I have often wondered: If you split an image in the way GF suggest does it leave visible join lines?

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Don’t know, since it’s a three hour print to test it, and I haven’t done one.
Would depend on how much solid engrave area had to be crossed I guess.

Maybe someone else knows.

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I will definitely give this a go tonight.


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I am not able to test the idea but if the design was broken up by area, instead of quadrants then the "Join line " would be at the edge of the area and not down the middle of all the areas. There would still be an accuracy of registration issue, but you would have that anyway and again it would not look quite as bad.

In that design, each area would be concentric circles. :slight_smile: If you just changed the color by concentric circle in something like Gimp then would :glowforge: be able to run each color separately and I hope the registration issues would disappear as well?

Thanks for the answer @jules. @tobiahjadam, if you’re still experiencing trouble, let us know.