At a loss. How do you cut on the Glowforge


I have tried several time to upload PDF and it does not work on GF… Any advice?

Maybe something is wrong with the specific pdf? Can you attach it here? We might be able to figure out what’s up.

Can you expand on what doesn’t work about it?

Also, what program are you using?

Here are two files svg and pdf, which looks like a sh…t when i upload to GF…
They were exported from VCarve Pro
Have no idea how to engrave only between lines not full…
Also one file if I want to cut there is missing part of one line…LOGO.pdf (18.2 KB)

Also can not find suitable tutorial for inkscape… As I want to do some file were I could choose in GF what to do with separate items, to engrave, cut or score…
Now if choose cut then cuts everything, if I choose engrave, engraves everything… and so on…
Driving me crazy…

Sounds to me like you need to start from the beginning. Try reading through the links in this post:

As for inkscape, there are lots of tutorials out there, I like Tavmjong Bah’s series:

Next up, your specific pdf. I’ll help you with this file real quick and post it in a minute.


OK so I started to write a tutorial for how to fix this and realized that it’s a multistep process to fix the file the way you had it. So instead of writing it up step by step, I will give you a very loose guide to the skills you need, all of which are in those tutorials I linked.

You’ll need to understand the following concepts:

  • Groups and how to manipulate them

  • Joining of multiple paths into one path

  • Node manipulation of paths to join (and split) nodes.

  • Breaking compound paths apart then rejoining them for various uses.

  • Path booleans (specifically exclude in this case)

  • Fill and stroke manipulation

Basically those are the six steps I did to fix this, it was easy to do, but there are a lot of skills and concepts to learn in order to make it easy.

So, here’s the final result, you should be able to engrave this:


Your file is actually a really good way to learn the basics of path manipulation in Inkscape, preparing it to be engraved is something that requires a good understanding of 90% of the path editing skills that you’ll ever need. You were basically trying to skip rope before you learned to crawl, so to speak :slight_smile:

I can answer some questions if you like, but really until you go through those tutorials I’m probably not going to be a huge help. Inkscape is powerful and not that complicated once you get the basic concepts down. Enjoy!


Thank you very much for your great help… Actually I am working with VCarve Pro program and it very easy… But inkscape… - sucks… seems I have no choice and will need to learn it :slight_smile:

There are plenty of other choices out there. Some of the bigger names are Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, and Affinity Designer.

Inkscape for mac isn’t great, I’ll give you that. On PC with a bit of practice, it’s very capable.

Most programs you have not learned would fit that description. If they are easy to start they are usually clumsy once you are experienced or limited in what you can do.

Alternatively it they are extremely powerful and do lots of complicated things then each of those things needs at least one widget for each of those things, and learning all the widgets and ways to use them , but once you have learned them, then all that power is now yours.(unless they stick you up for more money to even work with what you have already done, much less create new.


I do the majority of my design work in V-carve pro then export as svg file. I then use inkscape to change colors so that I can define what I want to engrave, score or cut in the glowforge UI. I don’t know how to design in inkscape but this method has worked very well for me.

All that can actually be done in the GFUI. only if several things are the same color would you need that. (or different things that you want the same.)

V-carve pro can’t assign colors to things, only layers which are not seen by the GFUI. I use inkscape to create the different colors so that things will come into the GFUI as separate items. I didn’t know you could do this in the GFUI - how is this done?

You cannot separate things into different layers, but if you have a vector you can assign it to engrave score or cut, images of course will always engrave. but you can also drag the layers up or down so you get the cutting order you wish

I have found this way also, works pretty well… only few things need to ckarify in inkscape, how to fill the gap betveen 2 lines… for example if I have circle outside and smaller inside, and need to fill the gap between two circles…

But to vectors cannot be the same color which they are when they come from V-carve pro (they come in as one item when brought into GFUI) . That’s why I have to use inkscape to change the colors.

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That’s the correct workflow. The GFUI won’t let you say this set of black lines I want to cut and these other black lines I want to score. Your use of Inkscape to assign colors to the things you want different operations for is the way to handle it.

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Select both circles then go Path → exclusion. I use this a lot especially with vectors that were created from text. It will still look like two lines not filled in but when you import it into the GFUI and select engrave it should look like you want it to. W

When I input a design into the GFUI and select engrave I carefully look what it says it will engrave. Pay particular attention to things like your circle within a circle or areas inside letters (like the letter O or P, etc) to make sure they look right. If they don’t then go back to the original svg file in inkscape and do the path exclusion on those areas and reload into the GFUI.

Thanks I will try.