Feature Request: designating vectors as scores rather than cuts in design space

Messed up a section of draftboard because I forgot to change the default cut operation that results from a color defined stoke/path in the SVG to convert to score in the GFUI operations/step bar as my design requires. Trying to multitask between design work, printing backlogs and 3D printer work tonight along with trying to catch up on the forum. Mistakes will be made.

I need to be saved from myself here. I probably should make a big warning text over the whole design to remind myself that scores are indicated. It will be ignored and stripped and won’t hurt anything. Usually I put vectors to be scored in magenta or orange. They show up last and then I can usually remember.but then they will come after the cuts and parts may have dropped.

What would the magic incantation look like that replicates a feature already available in the Glowforge provided designs but not available in my own designs?

I know we have talked about this on many occasions in different spaces. Did not quite see a definitive feature request on the forum as a separate topic. I believe I have already done a request of this almost a year ago after I got my PRU. Doesn’t hurt to put it out for the community to remember and find for later reference.


Yes it would be nice if grey lines were treated as a special case and default to scores.


This would be great. I have a different laser cutter and each material in its database has 16 colors that it can use to automatically assign cut parameters. For example, all black will be raster engraved with certain settings, all red will be vector cut with certain settings, everything that’s blue will use whatever settings, etc. It’s not perfect*, but it does work.

I get the impression that this is how most other laser cutters work. I also get the impression Glowforge decided that they didn’t want to emulate this functionality for some reason. I guess that’s their prerogative, but I wish they would make an attempt to explain how this desicion was made.

At the very least, they could allow users to save their jobs to a .GF file (or whatever). Expecting users to sift through their files and manually apply stroke, cut, engrave, ignore, and cut order settings to every single design element every single time they switch designs is almost beyond belief. (I know I don’t have to ask for this, but: please, someone tell me I’m wrong.)

To pour salt in the wound, they don’t even have the decency to try to tell us why their software behaves this way or offer specific reasons why we should expect it to change. These actions, replicated time and time-again across many aspects of their product, fertilizes ground already sown with an unhealthy amount of indignation toward them.

*a problem with the approach other laser cutters take is that sometimes a design element’s color will not match the predefigned operation - for instance, if there are thin black lines it might try to raster engrave them, and that won’t really work. This is annoying, but easily avoided.


I submitted this as a feature request in April after getting my PRU. Was puzzled as to why the Founder’s ruler had predefined scores while I was unable to do so.


Yes if we use our own designs rather than the catalogue or our own material settings rather than PG we are second class citizens. We don’t have the same control over own machine as Glowforge has.

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You have to manually edit the SVG file as of now to set things as cut, engrave, or score. It’s doable, but there isn’t a user friendly way of doing it that I know of currently.


Really? Do they annotate the SVGs in the catalogue? Do you know how they are designated in the SVG?

I do. You build a class in the SVG file and apply that class to the elements within which you want to make into cut/engrave/score. I looked briefly if you could manage that type of data in illustrator, but I didn’t see an apparent method of doing so. Again I spent like 30 secs looking so I might have missed it.


You have any documentation or example file of this?

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I’ve made my own for fun. I’ll have to see if I can find it.


Been thinking about a post-processor app to use specific colors or attributes to add the correct classes to paths, but have too much on my plate ATM. :frowning:

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To state the obvious then: The settings for an SVG could be stored in the SVG directly. And also read out of an SVG. And those stored values could be shown to the user to be modified if desired.


They are, and they do in the GFUI.


I just did a quick test, and this is manageable in the latest version of Illustrator using Graphic Styles. If you apply a Graphic Style to your vector, you can specify if is a “.cut” or “.engrave.vector”, and this gets exported as a class in the SVG that will work in the GFUI. I just did this quickly with a test file, so I didn’t figure out all of the details, but it seems to work. Since I am just learning Illustrator, I don’t know if older versions can support this or not.


Aye, I was able to get that far, but having it define the other necessary data in the svg file for it to work with the GFUI is where it gets tricky. They have a lot going on in the backend that would probably need to be added via some post-processor, which also includes the order in which the steps are placed (cut 1, engrave 1, cut 2, score 1, engrave 2, etc ), among a number of other important pieces that need to be injected

So either a plugin will need to be written or some sort of post processor that also accounts for job ordering


Possibly. I didn’t dig into it in detail and try to specify order. But, even being able to mark vectors for engrave or cut in Illustrator seems like a huge benefit.


The problem with any attempt to do this is that :glowforge: HQ can change things at any time. What may work one day might not the next. Then it becomes a game of cat and mouse, and that’s frustrating and nobody wins.

Maybe someday things will be stable enough that :glowforge: can let the community write the plug-ins and post-processors so they don’t have to…


This is true of any software, so I’ll take whatever I can at the moment to make my life easier.

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I’d love to see an example. I’d like to write a post-processor for my own files, e.g., to change blue lines into scores. (I’d probably just write a dumb unfriendly Perl script to do it at first, but perhaps I might write a proper macOS GUI at some point. No promises.)

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I wasnt able to reproduce this using those classes. The GFUI recognizes whether something is a cut or engrave, but that is based on the stroke or fill for each. ‘cut’ or ‘engrave’ or ‘engrave.vector’ as class names applied to elements did nothing for me by themselves.

were you able to get something to auto-load as a score?

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