Cutting out

After I engraved a photo on maple how do I set it up to cut the around it


Generally, if you are working in Inkscape or Illustrator, you would create the cut lines first, and include the photo that you want to engrave embedded in the SVG file, then send both to be engraved and cut in the Glowforge interface at the same time. That will align them perfectly.

You can do a Trace function if you have done a scan of the image in the bed of the machine, using the Glowforge interface, and create cutlines that way, but that part has to happen before you have engraved the image, and it will follow the contours of the image.

You can add a vector rectangle to the opened image in the interface now for cutting, but it will probably not align perfectly yet.

Have you already run the engrave?


Yes I have but have not moved it.

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You can try to align a vector rectangle around the engraving by eye, but I’ll warn you now, it’s going to be a little bit off. The lid camera image is not as accurate as it will be once these are completely tweaked. (Not yet anyway.)

If it’s important to get it completely aligned, you need to create the rectangle or cutlines on the same file to start with. Or create the cutlines around the scan of the image using the Trace before the engrave.

What happens is that there is a relationship created between all of the parts of the project, the cuts and the engraves, at the beginning of the project, and the machine picks one of the parts and aligns everything else in relation to that initial part.

Trying to add another part doesn’t give the machine anything to use to relate the two parts, and the camera is not completely accurate due to a little bit of fisheye effect.

Give it a try, but don’t be surprised if it’s a little bit off. If you redo it and create the cutlines first with the image, they will align perfectly.


If I redo it how do I add the cut lines

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The easiest way is to use a program like Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape (free) to just draw an open (unfilled) rectangle around the photo. Are you familiar with either one?


In Inkscape, you could insert your image (embed, not link) and then draw the shape you want around it. It could be just a simple rectangle, a circle, or a closed shape made with the bezier curve/straight line tool. Check out the tutorials for more detailed info.