Cut layer in Illustrator

So I have an Illustrator file that I created using Illustrator’s trace. It’s a circle with some designs inside. I ungrouped it so I could have the outer circle itself be my cut. But no matter what I can think of, that layer will not appear as a separate layer in the GFUI. I tried making it its own sublayer, making it its own layer, I tried bringing the layer to the front… I don’t know what to do!

I tried saving just that layer as its own file, and I can load that as a cut, but then my real imagine can’t be added as the SVG that it is… Converts it to a bitmap for some reason.

I reviewed the “Working w/ layers” tutorial, but it doesn’t seem to contain that info.

Any help on this one?


  • Tom

I don’t have a GF yet, but I believe it needs to be a different color.


Yep. Start by reading this tutorial.


Did you make sure to change the color of it?


Indeed all correct. :slight_smile:
Thanks! I feel better now!


We have a similar issue, we are complete novices w/ Illustrator. trying to figure out how to make a cutting file to use to trim pre-sewn fabric pieces with a 1/8 to 1/4 outer perimeter from the stitch line. We make items that need to be cut out to finish them and for years we’ve been doing it by hand and we have the calluses because of it. There has to be an easier way to do this… enter the GlowForge

Another part of my problem will be lining up the sewn pieces and lining up the outer cutting file. I suggested to my wife to change the sewing file to add a cross or star in the center so I can line the two up easier. Any suggestions on how todo any of this appreciated. Thanks, Aidan

In Illustrator, where you created the pattern, you would select the seam line and use Offset Path with the correct distance that you wanted. If it’s not a closed path, you’ll get an offset on either side of the line that will have to be trimmed, so it’s not quite as simple as that, but you can create an offset for a pattern with just a few clicks.

But by trying to do this on a pre-sewed piece of fabric, your desired usage for the machine is actually a “Print and Cut” style application, so it’s not something the machine was designed to do natively. If you need the trimming to be really accurate this isn’t going to be the best way to do it. Seams just have too much variance in them once you have sewed them. You will spend more time creating the files than you save by trimming yourself with a good hand held rotary cutter.

You can definitely use the laser to do the initial cut out of the pattern pieces, that will be easy and perfectly accurate. But once you’ve sewed it, I think you’ll want to trim it up by hand. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I think this will save us a lot of time not to mention my hands. My hands ache from all the trimming I do. When we first saw the glowforge I thought oh what stuff I could make & my wife was totally thinking of cutting out her product. I’d be cutting felt/ fleece that was sewn by an embroidery machine so unless theres a mistake all pieces are going to be exactly the same. It’s computer driven :heart_eyes: set it & forget it.

Curious see our line of cat toys at

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Those are waaayyy too cute to give to a cat to destroy. That yeti is adorable. :smile:

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Awwwwww, very cute!

If your trim sizes are very repeatable, I think it should be possible to do the trimming on the laser as well. You could create a jig that would hold the pieces, and load a cut file. It would take some significant experimentation and testing but it sounds like it might be worth it.

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In case anybody else is cutting fabric, multiple layers even I am experimenting. We use a wool blend felt and it cut thru 2 layers with interfacing at 400 speed and 85 power. I tested on yellow and the edge of the cut is kinda pink which is better than black or brown so things are looking good.


@Jules The Yeti and all the pellet toys are very durable similar to a beany baby but more stuffed and last for years we’ve been told. We don’t have a cat, it’d be crazy if we did with 50-80#'s of catnip in our house.


Guy I knew had a Maine Coon. One day he came home and found the cat on his back stoned out of his little ******* mind and the catnip “bush” that HAD been growing nearly completely gone and the pot laying on the ground. Said it was hours before the cat even twitched let alone actually moving.


OK so cut lines and laying over an already sewn item will be super hard to align correctly (thinking the camera adds distortion). I am wondering if it is possible for the software to have a setting that would allow the GF to cut along a sewn edge & set it the 1/8, 1/4 either inside or outside edge. WOW that’d be so amazing I’d need to set up a conveyor belt to crank them all out at one time!!!

Difficulty of alignment and repeatability of the operation does depend on the size of the design and the target size of the material. Trying to fill the bed with multiple designs would be challenge. Doing one at a time might work ok, but then would be pretty slow. Are all your cutouts the same shape? How big are they? If you have one shape, like a star, that you have to cut out over and over, a jig setup could help. I’ve been thinking about this in terms of quilt patterns.

That would be a cool feature: offset.

Would have to be able to do 1 to 1 registration a little more precise first with the trace feature, but an offset say of a trace on the bed would be great for applique work.


our stuff is small and all different, maybe a jig is exactly what I need to align each project correctly. Hadn’t thought of that thanks.