Engraving + Cutting on a single file?

Hi everyone,

New user here, only starting out but already in love with the Glowforge’s potential.

So far the only way I know how to cut + engrave is to upload two separate files: a PNG and SVG… and then manually align on Glowforge’s interface.

The interface, however, is rather rudimentary. I spend a long time making sure things fit correctly, etc. Would much rather do this process in more robust software like Adobe Illustrator.

Any way to upload a single file that will cut+engrave automatically, meaning the alignment can be made, say, with Illustrator layers?

In fact… Is it possible to not use the web UI when printing at all or is that a hard requirement?

Thanks in advance!

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More qualified people will chime in so I’ll be brief.
Currently you need to use the web interface. It’s kinda clunky, but very useable once you get the hang of it.
You can’t cut bitmaps. If you want to cut around a bitmap you will need to trace the outline as a vector.
It is helpful to do your order of operations by changing the colors of each step you want in your illustration program prior to exporting as SVG or PDF.



Yes, I have a jpg and I have traced the outline on Illustrator. What I’d want is to upload a single file that already aligns both objects in the web UI automatically, without me having to do that manually! Would PDF work for that, by any chance? I guess I don’t know how to explain to Glowforge that layer A is an outline trace and layer B is the engraving bitmap…

Yes indeed! :smile:

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Yah you can do it SVG by changing color. Change the color of your cut line to something else in your illustration software, even a random color I use red and Magenta a lot, also purple and bright green. Oh, here’s Jules now…


I’m just going to point to tutorials and hit the sack…feel free to give him the shortened version. :wink:

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And this one is good for general interface use:

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No problemo… you’re already doing all of the work, really, since you are bringing the image into Illustrator to trace the boundary.

Just leave the image there. SVG does stand for scalable vector graphics - but that doesn’t mean that it can’t handle raster image formats. It will either link to an external file, or embed the raster code directly into the SVG file.

Definitely keep it embedded.

Here’s how. (and here’s the best way to save SVGs for the Glowforge interface. BONUS!)

This is the window that you are prompted when you “Save As” and select SVG.

Make sure that Image Location is “Embed.”
Make sure type is convert to outline
Decimal places - I use 4, just because… this is the decimal precision of locations and sizes in the SVG - 3 is typically fine in inches… it just makes a slightly larger file to use more decimal places.
Responsive - MAKE SURE THIS IS NOT CHECKED (sorry for yelling)

The file that you Save As with those settings will have the raster image embedded into the SVG; just upload it into the UI and you have your image and vector assets in one file. If your image and vector are aligned in Illustrator, they will be aligned in the UI. Even better, if you set your artboard in Illustrator to 20x12", it will maintain the absolute positioning that the assets are on your artboard. Just pretend that the 20x12" artboard is the bed of your Glowforge.

Hard requirement. An AI plugin is supposed to be in the works, but not sure how that’s going to work. The UI is best used to primarily just be a print preview and settings input - it was designed this way.


This forum never ceases to amaze me… Still processing all the great advice, thanks a TON everyone! Hope to share some of the stuff I’m doing very soon :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the answers @jbmanning5, @Jules, & @mad_macs !

I’m going to close this thread. @orsini if you have any other questions, feel free to post a new topic.

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