Filled Shape is Open Error-- ugh!

There have been other threads about the Filled Shape Is Open error, but I haven’t seen my issue addressed. I had a file with both engraving and cutting, and printed it just fine once, and then went to print it again-- literally within 1/2 hour-- and then got that error. Played around a bit more with the file and was able to print successfully. It just happened with another file as well-- similar type of set up. I’m trying to – using cut and paste in the Glowforge interface-- print multiples of the same set of shapes from a single sag file (and move them all around to maximize the uncut area of my basswood sheet)… So for this second file, before spending 10 minutes duplicating and moving the components around, I tested to see if after uploading the single set would print and not produce that error-- and, it would-- no error. (I’ve found that replicating on the GFUI is easier than in the file itself-- otherwise takes forever to upload the file to the GFUI.) So, I spent time again duplicating and moving the components around to Tetris them all in-- and went to print and get the Filled Shape is Open Error again. I can’t understand why the exact same file would be fine when first uploaded, but then not fine when replicated. ???

I think what happens is that when you copy/paste shapes in the GFUI it sometimes fails to paste the complete shape and you end up with a partial shape. I’m not sure whether it’s a bug in Glowforge’s javascript code or a problem in the browser.

As a result I tend to try do as much work in an external illustration program (Illustrator, Inkscape, Affinity Designer, etc.) and only do the bare minimum in the Glowforge interface.

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Hmmm, interesting, and frustrating! As a workaround, to not waste more time with this error, I screenshot my GFUI pic of my bed with partially cut out wood and put is as a layer in Illustrator so I can actually configure in there. Do you find though that uploading takes considerably longer (and sometimes gives errors) when trying to do multiples of a complex shape? Hoping GF staff can chime in and let us know if they’re aware of this, or if it is indeed a browser issue.

I’ve never had any trouble with that.

But I imagine that any shape complicated enough to cause trouble when uploading multiples is probably more likely to give the web UI problems.

I had considerable trouble with it-- they were pretty detailed illustrations of leaves I was cutting out-- all vectors-- and the files weren’t giant is size but a bunch of leaves all laid out to cut on a 6x12 inch just was too much-- would try to upload for several minutes and end up giving an error. I’ve shifted my workflow to do multiple file uploads of single leaves instead and it’s worked better.

I’ve been in open shape hell the last few days as well. I modified a file I got on the internet that apparently was full of them (ugh), and I haven’t been able to 100% fix it. All of the individual elements in the app will print sometimes, but not all together. I’ve been having to piecemeal it – very annoying.

+1 for wishing we could run the file evaluation offline somehow. (Time estimation + file errors like this)


Sometimes you can speed up the load on complex vectors if you draw a different colored stroke rectangle around them before saving. That treats the whole thing as a group and makes it easier to select and copy without missing anything. Then just set that color rectangle to Ignore in the interface.


Nice tip!

If these are files that you are getting off the internet, or if you’re auto-tracing bitmap images, I’d take a closer look at those files while within design software to make absolute sure the paths are closed. Most vector drawing programs will display artwork that looks like it’s closed but unless the nodes are placed within the program’s tolerance/threshold to automatically close the shape, it won’t close them and that has to be done manually. It’s easy to miss.


These are files I’ve created from scratch-- first illustrated on iPad Pro then brought into Illustrator. What seems so strange is that one set will print fine, but it’s when I duplicate that I get the area.

Yes it is a weird issue. If the art is complex, or let’s say its physical dimensions are small which causes nodes from different elements to be very very close to each other, I’d wonder if that’s tripping up the GFUI.

Since the shapes are filled, is it safe to assume you’re wanting to engrave them? If that’s the case, you might be able to rasterize them before loading into the GFUI and it will appear exactly how you want it every time.

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Quickest way in Illustrator is to go to window > document info. Do the little menu drop down and deselect selection only. That will show you the stats for open paths, closed paths, etc.

Thanks for that tip! From there I then found a free plug in that will locate and highlight Open Paths-- works great so far! I was surprised by the two paths that were open-- I could close them easily, and hopefully will be able to resolve this path issue on the GFUI.

Perhaps more accurate in the error reporting/identification in that sometimes it seems to identify that there are open paths and sometimes it doesn’t.

That error is fairly new, I believe: before, it would allow you to engrave anything with open paths but user beware. To do that, it has to try and figure out how to close the path, since vector engraves are determined by the objects paths/boundaries. This led to a lot of stray lines and other things you didn’t want in the engrave, because it was trying to close the paths. Always, always, always better to identify them and close them yourself so you know what you’re getting.


That’s helpful further explanation of what was happening in terms of what GF was reading/interpreting. Interestingly, the open paths I was able to identify were my most simple cut lines-- not even the engrave part-- small thought to be complete circles (the cut circles for wooden earrings) and not all of the vector lines being engraved. And, since I cut and paste those circles from file to file-- to keep the earring hook hole size consistent-- then now I get what was happening on other files, too.

Thanks for the help everybody!

@amandamedmonds Have been been able to resolve the issue?

If you want to share the files with us we’d be happy to take a look.

If you’d prefer not to post them online, you can email them directly to us:

I can attest to this. It doens’t necessarily have to be actual open nodes, ones very close/on top of each other my also trip it up.

It’s been a little while since I’ve seen any replies on this thread so I’m going to close it. If you still need help with this please either start a new thread or email