Downloaded file

Hello. I have had my glowforge for several months now. I have been sticking to the basics of learning Inkscape and making simple engravings and cut outs on glowforge.

I decided it’s time to start making actual FUN projects instead of just engraving things. I purchased a file from etsy for a simple recipe box. I successfully downloaded it .

Now my question is…what do I do with it?? I have watched a bunch of tutorials and I’m still totally clueless. I have saved a copy of the download and opened it in Inkscape. I cannot get the trace bitmap to work however, because the lines come out so faint that nothing is solid.

The reviews on this product rave about how easy it is to use, and how people have made it successfully on their second day of glowforge ownership. What am I missing? How do I take a downloaded file and use it?

Any help would be appreciated because at this point I am seriously regretting my venture into the glowforge ownership.

Thanks in advance!


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If it’s made for laser cutting, it should already be a vector file – no need to trace. You should be able to just load it straight into the Glowforge dashboard to cut.

If it’s PDF, that’s all you need to do. If it’s SVG, you need to make sure it comes in at the dimensions the creator designed it to be. Hopefully there will be something in the pattern or description to clue you in to the proper size; otherwise you’ll need to figure it out from the slot sizes, since those will tell you how thick it expects your material to be.

Here’s a thread with some helpful information about slot sizes: Is there such thing as a slot-width conversion program anywhere? - #13 by geek2nurse


The GF is very easy to use and folks are able to print great things right away. Now the reality is, that is only true for a very, very small set of its actual capabilities. Like every tool going beyond the basics requires experience and an amount of effort. Kind of like my wife and cooking. She has gotten better over 30 years at boiling water but still calls the oven on our gas range “that bottom thing”.

Don’t give me any grief about publicly saying that. She freely admits it. Sometimes I think it’s a point of pride. Grilled Salmon on a bed of rice will be what I’m cooking tonight.


When you open up your dashboard and click on create, click on upload and it will load the file you bought. Choose your material and make sure your settings are for the product you’re cutting. Also, look to see what the steps are doing (i.e. cut-are you sure you want to cut that part).

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I also suggest, if that recipe box is designed to be snapped together with tabs and slots, that you try something a bit more simple for your first project. Things made with tabs and slots can sometimes bring grief with measurements being slightly off…which can make you wish you hadn’t tried it. There are plenty of other things that can be cut out that won’t have to be assembled in that way. Best of luck!

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Thank you all for your responses. I have tried to simply upload it to the GF and it comes with the command to “engrave” everything. This is obviously NOT what I want to do. I cannot give seperate commands to the steps, as every single aspect of this job is showing as one step in the GF. I will go back and try again in case there is something I have missed…

what type of file did they give you? who was the etsy seller? did they specify in the listing that it was for laser cutting? What browser did you use for the download?

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