At a loss. How do you cut on the Glowforge


How do you setup the GF to cut? Keeps saying that a bitmap can only be engraved and I cannot import any other type of graphic to the GF. Lack of info is frustrating.


Only vector images can be cut. svg or pdf, I believe, are your only two choices for vector graphics at the moment.
Illustrator is a popular application for vector designing. Inkscape is another popular one and it’s free.


Did you read through (or better yet, complete) the three first projects that were displayed when you first opened the GF app after setting it up? Some good info in there!


I created .SVG file in Illustrator but it still tells me that a bitmap can only engrave.


Here’s a really useful write-up from the user-contributed Tip & Tricks…


An SVG can contain bitmaps as well as vectors, so that looks like what you have created. To cut or score you need vectors, not bitmap pictures.


Thanks for all the advice. I have a lot more testing and learning. Can run CAD and 3D printers but having some issues with SVG. Need to go back to training in Illustrator. Thanks everyone.


If you’re more comfortable with CAD, it is possible to make vector files for GF using that. I just export my drawings as PDF’s.


okay. Something to think about. I would usually just save a .dxf file. Will try that. Thanks.


.dxf support is reportedly in the works. For now pdf exports are OK but keep an eye out when you’re moving things around in the UI, as unlike svg uploads, objects are not “blocks” and individual lines can be selected and moved.

Also note that GFUI does not see “layers” be it AutoCAD, Illustrator or Photoshop. Operations are determined 100% by the color of the object in question, but as long as your AutoCAD layers are all different colors the functionality works the same.


Yep. I created a file with the paths to cut and set them up with the colors suggested but when I try and upload them to the interface, the program crashes. So I will open a support ticket for that.

Happy to hear that the .dxf will be supported one day. That will make the workflow a lot more efficient.

Thanks again. You have all been a big help. First time using a laser cutter and we are so far very thrilled with the results. And you guys here on the forum are awesome. Thanks again.


Thanks for the doc. I did a forum search for some material and didn’t see this. This is a big help (a nice refresher).


I’ve crashed the UI a few times with complex PDF uploads with lots of lines.

One thing I just thought of that might be worth a try is exporting our CAD files as .dxf and opening them in Inkscape (free) and exporting from there to SVG. This might fix the “blocks” and crashing issue.


Ok. Will give this a try. Thanks.


That’s the starter tutorial. Give these others a try as well, they explain a lot of tricks that make it a lot easier to design for the machine:


Well with all this info, I am no longer at a loss. We just cut our first piece!!! :grinning:

So now we can start moving to the next step.

Again, I want to thank all of you for your help. I am on a lot of forums and user groups and let me say, you guys not only answered my questions but also gave me some sound advice. And you were quick!!! I was expecting to get some help by Monday the earliest (which at this point could have been okay!) Wow. You people rock!!!


We’re pretty sure @Jules among many others doesn’t sleep :laughing:


I’m a vampire.


A blood suckling hedgehog vampire??? :open_mouth: