App keeps crashing while I try to modify the coaster design... what other programs are recommended for making a design?

As stated, the Glowforge app keeps crashing while I try to modify the coaster design… what other programs are recommended for making a design?

Is there a way to do the modifications to the design in Glowforge on an app that doesn’t randomly crash and lose all my progress, or do I have to just go ahead and go make my own design in some other program?

Inkscape and Adobe Illustrator are popular. I switched to doing all design n Illustrator and just loading into the GF app to configure cuts/engraves/scores and run the job,

Thanks for the info!

A few of the more popular options for 2D drawing programs:

Inkscape — Windows, macOS, Linux. Free. Powerful. Lots of useful plugins. Not the most friendly app for beginners, but did I mention free? The Mac version is a bit of a pain, though, as it’s an X11 app so it’s not very Mac-like and you need to install XQuartz. Has some non-standard behavior with stroke width affecting path dimensions.

Adobe Illustrator — Windows, macOS. Expensive (and the latest version is only available under a subscription model). Powerful. People seem to either love it or hate it. It’s one of the more popular program out there, so there’s tons of info out there on using it.

CorelDRAW — Windows only (Mac and Linux versions once existed but were discontinued years ago). Expensive. Perhaps not as popular as Illustrator, but a very capable piece of software.

Affinity Designer — Windows and macOS (and iPad coming at some point in the future). Very inexpensive. Relatively new, so many features are missing or incomplete. It handles all the basics and has good SVG/PDF support.


The first rule of computer proficiency: save early and save often.

If you’re working with a program that doesn’t save… um, well… I guess maybe you could use AutoHotKey to record all your mouse clicks and keystrokes so that they can be played back later…? I’m not certain it does that any more, but I think it used to.

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Doesn’t matter - I got it to make my design, got it all set up in the app, and then when it went to preview the changes, it was all screwed up. So their software is buggy and useless.

EDIT: The Specific bug is that if you import an image, then shrink it, and copy and paste it, the image is blown back up to the original size in the app, but in the printing settings, the scale is if the item was truly copy and pasted.

Since no one else is reporting your issue and many of us have done what it seems like you’re doing, it is possible that it is something unique to your installation.

What operating system are you using?

What browser?

Can you post the image file you’re trying to “import”? Since there’s no import command in the GFUI is that the “app” you’re talking about or are you trying to get the GF coaster into another application?

If you are using the GFUI ( are you trying to “Add Artwork”?

Someone here can likely figure out if it’s a file issue or something with your process.

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WIndows 7, Chrome, and I can post the image, but I’m literally adding artwork, then resizing, and copy-pasting using the keyboard shortcuts.

I don’t have Win7 (all Win10 machines) but if no one else gives it a try I’ll do a run through tomorrow and see what comes of it. I did those at the local MakerFaire I setup the GF at last month but used traced artwork. I’ll do jpg or png artwork this time if needed.

An hour ago I happened to try something similar (though on Windows 10 with Chrome, not 7). I imported a .jpg, moved & scaled it down, Ctrl-C Ctrl-V, and the second copy was in the original location at the original size. I moved and scaled down the copy, changed engrave settings, and it printed properly.
I’ve only been using the app for less than two hours- can you clarify what you mean by “in the printing settings, the scale is if the item was truly copy and pasted.”? I’m not sure I’m looking in the right spot to see if I can reproduce the bug.

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I did exactly what you did, without changing the engrave settings. That might cause a refresh on the printing settings.

Two very separate issues here:

  1. Something in the artwork you are using and the nature of your manipulating of said artwork is causing a problem. Are you just modifying/changing the shapes and sizes of the coasters or are you importing an image and overlaying it? Is it only the coasters that are causing this issue? Does it break after a number of pastes or immediately upon loading the artwork? Not sure how the design files are managed but could there be a corrupted design file provided by Glowforge. Have to eliminate the variables here first and determine if it is the artwork and how you manipulate it that causes the problem or it’s something wrong with the coaster design or your Glowforge.

  2. To get the most use out of your Glowforge or until they have seriously outfitted the catalog with all the designs that you might consider to use, doing your own designs in design software is the most efficient way of getting things done.

  1. I was importing an image and overlaying it. And the coaster cuts are fine, just the images were screwed up from the pastes (I pasted five times.) As each screwup was the scale smaller in the same manner that I had to descale it, I believe that the bug lies in the copy-paste giving me an item in the original size, when it should have been in the post-resizing size, and was in the post resizing size in the Glowforge’s memory.

It’s not the Glowforge, as the preview showed the error, and thus it was done by the software sending it to the Glowforge.

When I designed the same coasters in Inkscape and imported it, I could copy and paste coasters and print them without any issues.

I’ve printed a variety of coasters and the Founder’s ruler thus far without any issue, and it’s doing great.


Since the latest update I’ve also seen a bug associated with Copy/Paste that I’ve notified the Glowforge support team about. (Not this one specifically, but they might be related.)

They know about it and I’m sure they’re working on it. In the meantime, while they are working on it, other folks might temporarily see some strange behavior with the Copy/Paste function.

I’m pretty sure we can avoid the problem by making any copies and rotating them or scaling them if needed in Illustrator or Inkscape before saving them in the SVG file. When you open it up in the GFUI, you can move them without issue, and delete any you don’t need.

Just so everyone who has their machines is aware…there is something going on with the Copy/Paste that wasn’t happening before. They’ll fix it, but we’ll probably need to work around it for a bit.

Bit of a drag, but I think we can deal. :slightly_smiling_face:


I just did it.

Opened the Coaster design
Moved it down to my material
Moved one coaster instance so it fit my material
Used Windows File Explorer to find a PNG file and dragged & dropped it on my GFUI window
Resized the PNG
Moved it to the appropriate coaster
Resized some more
Used Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V to copy & paste the newly resized PNG
Resized & moved it to where I wanted it
Used File Explorer to find a JPG & repeated above
Repeated the Copy/Paste/Resize/Move
Repeated it again with the new smaller object I just resized & moved
Set the operation parameters - setting different engrave options for each

But I think I see what you were saying your problem is. It’s not that it can’t do all of that, but that when I click on one of those images and do a Copy (Ctrl+C) and Paste (Ctrl+V) the pasted size is the same as the one that came in originally, not the one I just resized.

Like the below:

So, now it comes down to is it an error? I can see what they’ve done - they’ve copied the object & retained the original information about the object. But I can also see a reasonable expectation of the user that they want to copy what they’re seeing on the screen - the one they’ve resized and think it should look the same as what they’ve just clicked on to copy. Those folks want it to look like this on the Paste:

Not sure there is a “right” answer although depending on the use case I can lean either way. Sometimes I want a whole bunch of copies of things in the same size I just made one. Other times I want various sizes of them depending on the material I have & how much room I have for things. Although if push comes to shove I’d prefer the former more often I think.

But, contrary to your OP, the app never crashes on me while I do this. So in addition to the above for the Copy/Paste, you have some other issue which is likely file based - if you post the file we can look at it.

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Great! This is all wrapped up then. It’s not a bug that nobody else is reporting, it’s a feature that Glowforge isn’t getting sufficient credit for providing!

No, it’s an ambiguous use case. There are two logical paths to take, the took one and she expected another.

If I want a copy of the original then their way works and I don’t have to do an Add Artwork|Upload|Render step.

If I want a copy of my resized object then their way doesn’t work. I’d want the paste to be the same as the one I resized.

The latter case may be more prevalent but most software doesn’t have the Upload|Render step in the way of grabbing another copy of the native object.

If you can’t see the validity of both options and chose to believe that GF is wrong, go ahead, it’s no skin off my nose. However, the post’s originally reported problem does not occur as stated and the second issue (or problem or feature) won’t be looked at by Support because they want 1 problem per post.

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A strange feature to include with software that makes replicating scale nearly impossible.

There are two ways to get a copy of the original artwork and zero ways to get a copy of the scaled artwork. The epitome of abmiguity.


Just tried to like your comment and got “sorry an error has occurred”. Looks like the GFUI is modelled on Discourse or is all cloud s/w this crap?

Cut and paste should duplicate the thing you see, not revert to an older version. That is totally unexpected and s/w should always do the least surprising thing.

And as you point out you can add the original if you want to revert to the original size and that is totally obvious and intuitive.


Client-side JavaScript options are very dependent on the client environment - browser, version, extensions, even browser config settings. So even though everything “should just work” - in practice there are weird peculiarities and bugs in every combination of OS/Browser/etc., so if possible it’d be helpful to report all those specifics so that GF can duplicate the problem.

Come to think of it, perhaps GF could integrate something like UserSnap so that we could report bugs in context, with screen shots, versions, etc., all captured and fed into a bug tracking system. They have some of the info already, from server logs, but letting people report bugs in the app context is really nice for speeding troubleshooting.

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