DXF import failed on scaling

OK, so I tried out the new DXF file import feature in Premium. It was about a simple a DXF as you can find (a rounded rectangle). It threw an error that it couldn’t find the units, and made it HUGE.

original file:
LED blocker - acrylic block.dxf.zip (7.7 KB)

CAD original from OnShape:

(no, I’m not crazy, those equate to a sane measurement in mm)

Imported into illustrator as a DXF (in inches mode)

which seems correct compared to CAD

The error in the GFUI:

What the GFUI did in that case:

That error message was correct, it was larger than I expected:


Btw: for support: I easily got around the problem by converting to svg inside illustrator which cut just fine as I have for years (since PRU times, since this is almost every project I do starts in CAD). So I am not sitting here stuck, this was more to get a dev to look at the dxf file and figure out why illustrator had no problem, while the GFUI failed…


There is apparently a measurement optional parameter in the file format per @chris1 but seems like if the file doesn’t have it you should ask what the units are?

Thanks for letting us know about this! I’m glad to hear that your normal workflow where you open it in Illustrator first is still working for you.

I’m passing detailed feedback about this to our product team. Did you happen to also try exporting your DXF again using the optional parameter that @chris1 mentioned? If so, did that DXF file scale correctly when you uploaded it to the Glowforge App?

The file actually did contain that value, it was set to English units, if you open the file above in a text editor you can see the values since DXF is a text format

I think I was probably wrong about that parameter anyway, I saw a web site that mentioned $MEASUREMENT. But now I think it might be about display units, and not actually affect the drawing.

DXF seems incredibly complicated, but somewhere at Glowforge are the engineers who wrote the code. So maybe what we really need is documentation for how it determines the sizes of things, and then we can see if our files are messed up.

Some of us customers got really good at checking SVGs for glitches in the early days. Fun times.

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Thanks for confirming, @henryhbk. I’ve updated the team to reflect this.

I’m afraid Ivan’s out of the office today, but I’d like him to check into this further and let you know if there’s anything else we could attempt here after he’s spoken with the team. We’ll follow up as soon as we have more information there.

Thank you again for reporting this and providing us with an example file. Unfortunately we don’t have additional information at this time, but your example DXF and the notes that our team has taken have been shared with our product team.

If you run into trouble again, or have other questions, please post a new topic here on the forum or email us at support@glowforge.com. We’ll be happy to help!