Circles- Score vs Engrave. Why does it want to fill in the whole circle when I change settings to engrave?

Why does it want to fill in the whole circle when I change settings to engrave? So whether I bring in a file from an outside source or use the circle maker within the glowforge app I can’t seem to switch the line to be engraved without filling the whole circle. What is the issue? It didn’t used to be this way. New software upgrade glitch?

I have tried to break the circle and bringing it in sections but it still wants to fill the area instead of engraving the line.

Any help?


Because it’s showing you what “engrave” will do to the circle. Engraving fills the shape. If you just want the outline of the circle, then you need to set it to score. :slight_smile:


Do you want the outline of the circle engraved, or just scored? To engrave the line, you will need to enlarge the stroke in your graphics program. I don’t understand when you say you tried breaking the circle. Maybe you could share your file or a photo of what you are trying to accompish and someone could help you.

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Problems and Support is for opening support tickets with Glowforge staff. This is not a problem with the machine or interface, so I’ve moved it to a more appropriate section.

If you truly want to engrave a circle, convert it to a bitmap.

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So the first thing to understand is there are two types of drawings the Glowforge understands: Vector and bitmapped. Take these two circles for example, the top one is a bitmap and the bottom is a vector.


They look pretty much identical to each other (except I nipped a bit off the top in the first one, but ignore that). The difference is that the top one (the bitmap) is made out of bits, or dots. These small blocks of color form the line of our circle and the Glowforge software can only ever engrave these types of bitmap drawings.

The bottom image is an svg file, which is a vector. The vector is built out of math and is formed of nodes and pathways between those nodes (almost like a set of directions - go here, then go here, then go here…). The vector has a few advantages over a bitmap, the main one is that it can be scaled up or down without losing clarity. The vector also offers you more options on the Glowforge software:

Using the vector path, the Glowforge can follow the line exactly and score or cut. For our purposes, the score is the same as an engrave, except that instead of going back and forth like an old dot matrix printer and zapping the individual dots, the laser head follows the line exactly and only burns that part.

The last thing you can also do with a vector is engrave, however as you have discovered, Glowforge will engrave the entire object and not the outline.

Hope this helps you with your issue.


To add to what everyone said here, there’s a great post:


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