Changing the cut width of a path

Does anyone know of an easy way to change the cut width of a path? The attached SVG file shows a letter “S”. If you look closely you’ll see the S is actually a closed path, not a single curved line. What I want to do is increase the thickness of the letter without changing it’s overall size (like increasing the stroke width). The would be analogous to cutting a single curved line on a CNC router, and simply using a larger bit. The bit width determines the line cut width.

I’m hoping there is some easy way to take a curved vector in illustrator and give it a specific line width that the glowforge will recognize.

Thanks, and Happy New Year!



I don’t use AI but, Inkscape has a path outset feature. I’m pretty sure AI’s variant is called “offset.” maybe that will do what you want.


Note that there is not going to be a way to increase the width of the laser in a way that will be useful. You can defocus but, that will also decrease cutting power. There isn’t really a laser analog of using a wider milling bit.


In illustrator it’s called expanding a stroke. Set your line thickness to what you want, then expand the stroke.

Search the forum for “illustrator expand” for many more threads


Set the stroke width to whatever you want by typing the size in the box in the stroke palette. AI defaults to point size and you can change this but it’s not necessary if you include ‘mm’ or ‘in’ with the number. After you set the stroke size select the object and “object/path/outline stroke”


If I understand what you’re asking the answer is no.

Use the scissors tool to cut the path and delete half of it. Then you’ll have a single path you can cut.

The Glowforge doesn’t care what stroke width the path is, it just recognizes a path and will cut it.


What you have there, with two lines, is exactly how you’d change the width of a cut. The width of the laser beam will be the same, but you’ll remove everything between those two lines since it falls out of the sheet of material. To make the “cut” “wider”, you can offset the path to move the true cut lines further apart.

You can change the width of the laser beam by changing the “focus height” box in the cut settings, but an out of focus laser beam doesn’t actually cut anything well. It’s super useful for making thicker lines for decorative SCORING however.


aha! Thats what I’m looking for. Thanks!


Thank you!


Yes, I’m aware of that. I didn’t word my question very well.


Sorry, I didn’t phrase my question very well. evansd2 had the answer I was looking for.


I dont know about others but I would increase the stroke width to what you want. Then do a stroke to path that will turn the two sides of the path to two new paths and then do a boolean union that will make juat one wider path (if you lower the path width you can see it better but it will still cut the new path).
That is what I would do in Inkscape. How you would do that in IllustratorI have no idea.

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If I had a nickel for every time…


That’s exactly what I said, knowing they were using illustrator.

Same idea.


I had not seen your reply…

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It’s all good, I just wanted to be sure anyone reading the thread in the future knew that these were equivalent ideas between inkscape and illustrator. It may have been obvious, but in case it wasn’t I wanted to explicitly make the connection.


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