Dxf compatibility

Guys ive had this machine for a year now, and i still have to use 3rd party support to convert my DXF to SVG. And honestly its really annoying because the scale is always off, sometimes the fillets become chamfers on the conversion. And i waste so much material cutting and rescaling

GLOWFORGE, seriously…how hard is it to make your cloud software recognize DXFs? I mean, the Chinese laser i have can do it, its just not a reliable machine. I love the Glowforge, but seriously, some of us just want a simple feature and thats to recognize DXF’s. Is there not some kind of software engineer you guys have that can make this happen? 90% of my work is DXFs. & i know im not only speaking for myself.


I’m sorry about the trouble when going from DXFs to printing with your Glowforge. I’ll pass your suggestion along to our team with a note that it came from a customer request.

May I know a bit more about the workflow you’re currently using? I’d be happy to see if I can offer advice which might make it a bit easier or faster. Are your DXF files being generated in AutoCAD or a different CAD package? Which software are you using to convert from DXF to SVG?

Why don’t you just save as PDF out of your DXF program? That is what most of the CAD users do who use the GF on a regular basis. There is no need to use a SVG file type if you can get the result you want from a PDF.


Hi @mike_le09,

I have some really great news!

But first a bit of background: I am a mechanical designer coming from board drafting through 2d CADD, and finally 3D since 1999. When the Glowforge was initially offered, I was happy to hear that DXF was going to be a supported format. Then, when it was released, there was no DXF. OK, that’s coming right? After all DXF is the go to format for lasers.

So I started using Inkscape, but why should I do work in SolidWorks, export to DXF, open in Inlscape, and then save as plain SVG to open in the Glowforge interface? Then someone I used to work with said, “hey why bother with all that?” Just PDF your output from CAD, and open in the App.

I have not wished for DXF support since. Just publish your linework as PDF from a 1:1 scale view, use colours to break things into different operations and have fun!!! Scaling is perfect.

BTW, I get that you are upset, and it can feel good to vent, but the people at Glowforge are all pretty nice, and probably would appreciate polite, constructive feedback. :slightly_smiling_face:

Edit: Ha ha @ben1 beat me while I was typing.


I never buy or download dxf designs because they are absolutely wretched to convert to svg.


Hi @evansd2

Us CAD guys make our own :grin: But yes, the DXF format while very common can have tons of variations in the adoption of the standard(s) which cause errors.

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Indeed. DXF is pretty gnarly. Probably the reason Glowforge doesn’t convert it is the same reason so many programs fail to convert properly. Which version of DXF? What features do you support? Is a circle a circle? Two arcs? A bunch of line segments? There’s no scale in the file so how do you get the user to specify it correctly? I had to dig into this just once and I still have scars.


When Autodesk created DXF it may have been straightforward, but as you say it is pretty gnarly now. I also wrote once or twice with the same question as @mike_le09, because it was promised in the original sales campaign. I was told at that time that the work on implementing DXF import would not be going anywhere and I see why now.

I am aware to a lesser extent than you about all the issues, and have seen plenty of error logs, which usually start off with something like "Header is not… " and so forth. That pretty much means “Yeah,just forget it, it’s not going to open”.


It’s been a while since we’ve heard from you, so I’m going to close this thread.

Please reach back out at support@glowforge.com or start a new thread in Problems and Support if you are still having trouble.