File Formats / Designs (Cricut / Pixelmator User)

Newbie here…just ordered my GF today! Looking forward to all the possibilities. Having a bit of a panic attack though about being able to create/use/import(?) designs. I’ve seen what GF is capable of…but trying to understand how…

I am a very experienced Cricut owner - and self taught ‘designer’ (for purposes of my Cricut work). I either create my designs in Cricut or Pixelmator (not Pro - haven’t done the upgrade yet). Neither of these software applications will allow me to save to SVG. I’ve read that Silhouette Business Edition will allow me to create SVGs (but I wouldn’t be able to utilize any files I’ve created in Cricut Design Space)…thus having to recreate them. I think Pixelmator Pro will allow me to export files to SVG - but haven’t confirmed that yet.

Based on my experience - is there any path you suggest I take to pursue exporting designs to SVG format. I’d hate to relearn all new software if there is something that lends itself well to what I already know. …and…can you please confirm that PNG is needed for etched designs and SVG for cut designs…?

What else do I need to know about designs and saving files? I feel like it’s super complicated… am I overthinking all of this?

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Unfortunately you are going to have learn new software. Design Space was created to only talk directly to a Cricut machine so there is no option to export your work from there. When I need something I did in DS I take a screen snapshot on my iPad and use a tool to convert it. Cumbersome and takes a lot of cleanup sometimes. SIL BE has a trace function as do other software programs, to help you make that conversion. There is a FB group for SIL & GF. And many threads here and on the FB GUG on software options. You need a vector program for cutting and a raster program for doing things like enraging photos. I do most of my work in Affinity Designer, which can do both. But search the forum and the FB GUG and you’ll find many suggestions to try.

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You can make your own choice on what software to use, there are good free and paid alternatives, but it sometimes helps to understand what to look for in your software. The quickest way to do that is to run through a few short tutorials on Designing for the Laser, then you can make a good choice, and focus on learning how to accomplish the tasks in that program.

There’s a list of getting started tutorials here, along with the Glowforge training, that will really speed things up for you.

(Oh and by the way, I came over from the digital cutter world. Once you understand one program, additional ones are very easy to pick up quickly. It’s not going to take you long.)


Welcome! Congrats on your new GF! If you haven’t done so, I would post over on the Facebook “Glowforge User Group” as well. There seems to be a really large group of Cricut to Glowforge users over there and they might be able to give you the path of least resistance when it comes to design software. Don’t forget to come back here to the forum though so we can see what you make with your new machine. :slight_smile:


I just received my GF on Thursday. I also am very experienced in cricut. To get your files out of cricut, take a screen print of them. If you have layers, separate first. After saving the screen print, you will now have an image, but the layers should be clean enough for a trace in Inkscape, and you should not really have to clean up anything. I learned on inkscape. It is free to download. I find it a little finicky, but I like using it.


SVG format is designed to hold both vector and raster information, Inkscape is free and not difficult but primarily for manipulating vectors and rather primitive manipulating raster files. However Gimp is excellent with raster files so I do most such manipulation there. If you are cleaning up a photograph that is the best way to do it rather than have the many problems to clean up in Inkscape.

One more thing, if you are leaning toward Silhouette, I believe you have to purchase the Business Edition upgraded software to work with glowforge. Silhouette comes with the basic software for dxf files, and one can upgrade to the Designer software to use svg files, and then next the Business upgraded software. I don’t use silhouette much, but one of my customers got a GF, and she told she had to upgrade the software to the Business edition. .

I would really like to have a tool that could cut thin copper, and then emboss it, but use PNG or SVG format. The more I read about Silhouette and Cricut the less appealing they are :disappointed:

One can now export svg files out of Silhouette, which is great, but I have not used my silhouette enough to be an expert on it. So what type of tool are you going to use to cut the copper?

Thin soft copper (4 oz per sq ft) should be easy enough for the Silhouette knife but I understand they do not provide a round head embossing tool that would also be needed to make use of it, simple cuts can be done with scissors.

The laser will destroy itself to try and cut any copper

Have you taken a look at the Silhouette Curio by chance? It’s the one that’s marketed as an embosser, not a cutter tho (have not tried it myself yet)

And why I have not jumped to anywhere yet. I already had some steel plates and a jack designed to press-fit bearings and looking for the right rubber slab to press the copper over engraved wood and will need an equal piece of steel.but have held off there too

@cher8754 - Thank you! That idea came to me last night as I was settling in for the night. I kept picturing my Cricut designs as an ‘image/whole’. I really just need to separate them. It’s a bit more work (especially for complex designs) - but I think it’s doable. I’m thinking the same thing would work in Pixelmator…just separate out the layers.

@kittski Thank you. I will also post to the FB GUG for additional help.

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Does the Cricut software allow you to print your designs to a regular printer? If so, install a program that will allow you to print to a PDF file, then you can load the PDF into the :glowforge: workspace.

Well, in a round about way you can get a print/PDF file. There would be a box around the image - is there a way to then ignore the box within the GF software? Also - when you design in Cricut DS… let’s say my design is a Christmas tree with 10 ornaments and a star on the top. Normally, in DS that visually appears on screen (saves/prints) as a single image. But - in GF, if I want it to ‘cut’ the shape of the tree and the 10 ornaments and stars all as separate items (so I could place these items ‘on top’ of the wooden tree)…I believe I would need to separate them out visually - so you see the tree…and the ornaments next to it…then save (or PDF print) the file. Correct?

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