Converting DXF to SCG dimensions into Glowforge

Hello everyone! So i have a quick question. The biggest struggle for me with the glowforge has 100% been learning to actually draw on programs such as Gimp and Inkscape. In the past i have posted that i come from a cad background where its very black and white. 0,0 starting point, enting WxH, insert slots or holes and boom. I do have a CAD based software here at home which i am very comfortable with so my question is this:

If i were to draw up say a base to hold a name plate for example that is 4" in Length, 2" in width and has a .250" slot in the center of it and convert that into a dxf will it transfer over in those dimensions into the glowforge? or will it take it and skew it to some random dims? Thank you all!

The Glowforge does not support DXF. If you could save it as SVG or PDF, then the dimensions would be correct.

Is that supposed to be “SVG” dimensions in the title?

Inkscape will correctly translate dimensions from a a DXF and output correctly for the Glowforge. As long as your export file doesn’t has something to mess it up and you set the import features correctly.

Different programs seem to have different levels of success or require certain tweaks to ensure accurate dimension translation for DXFs.

What is your CAD software?


Hello @marmak3261, i am using a software that i use at work to program the waterjets called Flowpath.

Thank you!! @eflyguy

If you would like to make a sample DXF and post it here in a zipped file, I’ll go through the import steps and see if there is anything specific needed for the output you give.

Include a 1" square in the design. Just make some random shapes of specified dimensions. We can see it works fine.

One thing with Inkscape and the Glowforge is to have an artboard/document size that is 20"x12". That is brought into the user interface always at the same spot on the bed and it does help getting dimensions regularized.

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Have you considered giving Fusion360 a go? It’s an Autodesk product = CAD/CAM, free for hobbyists.

I have heard about it but to be honest it sounded a bit intimidating but at this point what do i have to lose? :slight_smile: Thanks for the suggestion i will surely check it out!!

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Honestly, making something like you’re talking about in inkscape is trivial, its just a matter of knowing a few tricks. Here’s how I’d do it:

  1. Make a rectangle. You can either define the size in the upper right as you make it, or what I do is change it after I draw it (just my weird workflow, the methods are the same more or less)

  1. Now with the rectangle selected, I can set the width and height manually. 4" wide…

  1. And 2" tall…

  1. Great. Now we need a slot, which is just another rectangle. I simply cut and paste a new copy (or draw a new one, whatever you like. I do the same process to make it .25" tall and (you didn’t specify) 3" wide.

  1. Now that’s the building blocks, I need to align them. Use the align and distribute tool, under the “object” menu.

  1. Select both rectangles and click the vertical center and then the horizontal center buttons.

OK done! You could stop here, but let’s go the extra mile:

  1. (optional) For best results you want to cut from the inside out. To do that you need them to be separate steps, which requires different colors. Select the slot rectangle, change its color, and you’re good to go.

That’s it!

Let’s see how long this takes if I am not writing it up, I’ll redo it and time myself… 25 seconds! Piece of cake.

For more information about basics (and more) of Inkscape, their tutorials are really good. Run through these and you’ll be an Inkscape master in no time.


Thank you so much for this!!!

No worries. Inkscape’s a powerful tool, but so are the other big players in 2d vector stuff like affinity, illustrator and corel. Sometimes it comes down to what “feels” best to you to use. The biggest point in inkscape’s favor is price, and there are some things that each program does a little better or worse than others… but overall, I’m happy with it. I do almost all of my design with it.

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