Novice GF person here. I am trying to figure out how to make Braille that I can use with models of schools, etc. I have tried to do it in white with the background in black so it is more raised up but the GF isn’t recognizing the black background and it is trying to engrave the Braille letters which defeats the purpose. Anyone have any ideas on how to do this? I used one person’s method of using the difference in path in Inkscape but didn’t work. Thanks for any help you can offer.

I moved this to Everything Else since you are looking for assistance with printing a file and not an issue with your GF itself…

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It might help if you loaded the file here so we can take a look at it. (Zip it first if it is an SVG file, or Discourse will do a number on it.)

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What it sounds like to me is that you haven’t properly subtracted your shapes from each other. Difference should have done it, but it hinges on a few things. Like Jules said, uploading the file is key here, we should get you sorted out in no time.

First guess:

You’re using a braille font, and can’t difference them for one of two primary reasons:

1: You didn’t do “object to path” on your braille text


2: you did part 1 but forgot part 2, which is to ungroup and combine the resulting path objects.
You need to ensure that you have two path objects only when you try subtract. (or in this case, even better, exclusion)

Anyway, this is all based on assumptions. Send the file and we’ll get you going.


You are talking about your “background” and I wanted to be sure that you have placed an actual SVG defined area to BE that background.

If you are changing the background color in the software you are working with, that won’t do anything.

You need to define the full area which will get engraved (a black box), and then remove (through boolean subtraction of SVGs) your Braille from that larger field. This will get you a definition of the area you want the Glowforge to engrave on.


Thank you, I did not ungroup them, that solved that problem, thank you! Now the dots need to be rounded to make them more legible. Right now they are are too rough to be an enjoyable “read” Any suggestions for that?

Thank you for your assistance, ungrouping them solved that problem. Now I am looking for suggestions on how to round the braille dots so they are comfortable to read, make them more dome shaped. Any ideas?

More dome-shaped, you’ll need to make them a gradient so that they have some slope and then 3D engrave the project.

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There was some mention about something similar before. Using the glowforge to make the holes but filling them with tiny ball bearings.


This paper isn’t cheap but might be awesome.


Another on the list of alternative possibilities: You could cut out the braille pips in veneer, then place a thin layer of water/gel under some plastic. Sandwich this layer down with the hole laden veneer and you have some soft bumps.


Could you direct me to some online resources on how to do that? Thank you! I am coming into this without a lot of knowledge on the topic.

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