Gear design is doing multiple passes

I am trying to print the attached design and my glowforge seems to be doing multiple passes for some reason. The source image was an SVG, and I am using inkscape to prepare the image and really am only scaling it to the size I want, setting no fill, and then setting a color for the stroke.


No file attached, but I suspect based on experience you may have multiple paths on top of each other…

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So the reason is you have about 13 layers on top of each other. I deleted everything but Layer0 and set the stroke to 1 PT (so I can see it :slight_smile: )

See what you think of this.


Nautilus (20.5 KB)

I haven’t tried it, but it should print better now.

BTW, check your scale. Since it looks like you created in Inkscape it’s probably larger than you started with since I edited in AI and didn’t compensate for the 96 DPI.


In inkscape I am not seeing the layers for some reason. Opening the file in vscode I definitely see the code for the layers though. Is this just something inkscape doesn’t support or does anyone know how I would have fixed this in inkscape?

In Inkscape on the tool bar you will “layer” click on it and at the bottom click on “layers” and a box will appear. This should show all the layers from here you can hide, see and lock the layers in your file…

Actually, when @hansepe was talking about layers, I assume he was not referring to the Layers function of Inkscape. You in fact only have one Layer in terms of a canvas that contains objects that you can view/hide, lock/unlock. What you have are 13 copies of the object that were grouped together in one. So when you first click on the object, it says just one object. But if you ungroup it, then it becomes 13 objects stacked on top of each other such that you can’t see them. Often the result of scans, these stacked objects are not always evident. That is why it is good practice to take any SVG you get from another source or that you can to vector and do some un-grouping to ensure you don’t have multiple lines.

The question of “Layers” has been discussed extensively in the forum because people user the term in reference to different aspects of the whole design and printing process. Some people refer to the operations that appear on the side of the operations space as layers. I tend to call them operations and reserve the term layer strictly for the “levels” or stackable canvases that can hold discrete objects in a design program.

When an object is stacked on top of another object, I don’t see that as a layer, as long as it is in the same “layer” from the Inkscape point of view of object placement, I see that as a stacked duplicate so as not to confuse it with the whole layer thing.


So what is the proper process to fix this? In inkscape I can see the different parts of the object once I go to object and select ungroup? Do I just go to path and select combine or is it more complicated than that?

You can do many different things.

If it’s really 13 identical copies, I’d select one and copy it, then select all and delete everything.

Now you have a blank svg.

Paste in place and your single copy appears.

If you have 13 path objects each with different “chunks” it’s probably more like select all and union.

I’d have to look at your actual file contents to be sure what method I’d choose.

You might wonder why I’d do the copy/paste thing. Good question. Path booleans like Union have the potential to alter your original path in ways you don’t expect or want, shifting nodes around or sometimes altering the path by a tiny hair of distance. I find it’s best to modify paths with booleans as little as possible if accuracy is paramount. [e.g. inlays, butt joints… gears…]


Most of the time union is best to have just one set of lines but with a ,lot of interior stuff I use "break apart and then Union the inside and outside seperatly

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How do I union separately? Just only select the parts I want to union?

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Yes and then you can have the inside stuff higher in the list of objects and the outside lower and select bot and hit difference. That will make it a single object which is fine if you are cutting everything out or leave them different colors and engrave the inside and cut the outside. :upside_down_face:

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Yes, @evansd2’s response is what I’d do.

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