Artwork not recognized, Text uploading as Transparent?

Could not connect all day and now that I finally can, no artwork uploads correctly.

When I upload text, it shows up transparent. When I upload my artwork it says artwork not recognized. I had PNG files. I tried PDF, that didn’t work either (error saying we can’t mask yet). I was using pinewood and selected uncertified material when I was getting the error for artwork not recognized.

I put in basswood, which was on the materials list, and the artwork not recognized went away, but when I upload a file it is transparent. There is nothing there.

Can someone please tell me how to get around this?

I have to print my projects and everything is on hold at this point.

Did you work through all of the tutorials and getting started materials? It might help if you haven’t done those yet…they take you step-by-step through the basics.

Click on each link at the left below:

If you have something specific that you are trying to load, it helps if you want to load it here and let someone take a look at it…it’s hard to tell you what to do without looking a little deeper at the file to find the issue.

If you want to load a file here, just type a reply, then drop the file onto a new line by itself.


Welcome to the forum. Sometimes your artwork will not be recognized if you haven’t selected material or settings. Also, if even a small amount of the file is outside the usable area, you will get a No Artwork message. Regarding your pdf file, the Glowfore does not handle clipping masks and it sound like your file has one. Fianlly, text from a graphics program like Inkscape is not recognized. You need to convert the text to paths by selecting the text and then clicking on object to path…

I think your frustration level will decrease if you work through the tutorials and do some reading in the Tips and Tricks section of the forum.

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Hi Jules, yes I did follow almost all of the tutorials.

It just suddenly started working. Took me my entire work day to get this going. I understand why people say don’t get a cloud-based service now.

Why was my art not uploading? Why was I able to upload clipart from Glowforge but not my own? When I was uploading text, it also uploaded as blank.

I am so bummed about at all of the work I was excited to do today and nothing I uploaded was showing.

And thanks for replying so fast!

We can upload our own artwork, it does have to follow certain rules. If you want a deeper understanding of what works and what doesn’t, you can read a couple of deeper tutorials on the subject:


Thanks Jules. I finally got it to upload my art.

I was engraving a SVG file of Kobe Bryant that I made into a PNG with transparent background. The printer started and was engraving but after 5 minutes I checked and it was engraving but not marking the wood. I just canceled the print.

I thought I had it working again but no go. I will read the PDF you linked.

That might be a settings issue…just check to make sure that the Power didn’t default to 1% or something along those lines. (Happens with unrecognized materials as a safety measure.)

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I think that was the problem. The power was set to 1%. What should I set the power to?

Also, what does the Beta time mean? I’m not sure what I should set it to as well. Thanks.

When you specify the type of material under “Unknown” it will automatically load the correct settings for that material if you choose “Proofgrade Cut” or “Proofgrade Engrave”.

The settings change for each material, and are different for the different models, so if you are not cutting proofgrade materials, you will need to run a few tests to determine what the best settings are for that material.

There’s a tutorial for working with Manual Settings on that first batch that I posted up there…it’s the last one I think. Easy enough to set up Manual Settings, but you need to check your settings before every print that is not Proofgrade, and make sure that you are cutting with the right settings. (Fires can start if you don’t check it first. That’s why the machine defaults to 1% power if you don’t specify settings…it’s to keep you from lighting something up accidentally.)

We all get to test the Beta of the Prime service right now…it has a lot of nice little tools that help with design. Eventually it will be a subscription, so definitely play around with it now to see if you like it.

Got tons of clipart, text, offset functions and eventually it will have some additional functionality that will help line up files around printed work. (Snapmarks.)


I’m sorry you’re frustrated. I know there’s a lot to take in and if it’s any consolation, we all experienced the same growing pains learning our machines. A while ago there were 1,000,000 GF prints processed in just one month, so the good news is the system does work. So hang in there and in a month or so, it’ll all make much more sense.

Your comment about the SVG / PNG file caught my eye. Did you save your PNG as a SVG to load into the GF? I ask because there’s been a lot of misleading info about SVGs floating around and I was just making sure you knew you could just upload the PNG directly.

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Thanks for your reply. I didn’t realize I have so much more to read up on and should go re-edit my posts.

I started with an SVG file from Illustrator and imported it into Procreate for edits. From Procreate, I saved it as a PNG with transparent background and sent it to my computer where I uploaded to GF. It didn’t work but it could have been the power that was set to 1 as well.

I went back to illustrator and opened the file and re-saved it as a SVG. I messed around with the 3D settings in illustrator as well (pretending I know what I’m doing).

I uploaded the SVG and was finally able to print Kobe’s face but more of a light etching instead of deeper engrave. I had .50 thick wood so I messed that up.

Today was so frustrating but I’m so glad that I can communicate with the GF community pretty quickly!

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You’re doing fine and it’ll get easier, I promise! ( I pretend to know what I’m doing too and sometimes it works in my favor. :-P) We’re here for you, so just keep experimenting and practicing and ask for help when ya need it.

FWIW, I use PNGs all the time and they work well so that probably wasn’t the issue. I asked about the file type because SVGs and PDFs can be confusing. They’re just container files that can hose either a raster, a vector or both at the same time, so when people say they used a SVG, it’s hard to tell what it really was. If you’d like, I can take the Kobe PNG image you made and run in on my machine to see what it does. No pressure if you don’t want to though, but I’m happy to try if you think seeing it may help you in any way.


I’m so sorry to hear you hit a snag.

I see that the community has provided some good advice on the next best steps. I’ll keep this thread open a little longer, and see if any of those steps helped. Let us know how it goes!

If you run into any other trouble, please start a new topic, or email us at We’re here to help!

Sure, I don’t mind sending it to you. Where can I email it?

I’ll send you a message.

I’m glad to the issue has been resolved with the help of our amazing community members! I’m going to close this thread. If you run into any other trouble, please start a new topic, or email us at We’re here to help!