GFUI times out on large prints

Hello, I am having an issue with my GF where when I try to print a large design (anything over 6in by 6in) the GF will time out after 10 minutes of “Preparing the Design”. If scale it down to something smaller than 6in by 6in it prints fine. Is there a setting that I can change to allow the UI more time to Prepare the design? Thanks.

What setting are you trying to engrave with?

It’ll time out if the job will take more than 3 and about 1/2 hours. So you can reduce the size (as you’ve found) or reduce the detail by reducing the LPI setting for your engrave operations. For many (most) engraves 270 is as high as you need to go for a good engrave. On aluminum (like your ipad or macbook) higher ones will make for a noticeably better engrave but on acrylic you’re better off with out of focus settings than higher LPIs. On wood too high an LPI results in burning/charring of the engrave so try setting it at 270 or below.

That will reduce the waveform commands needed to process the file which will mean more of it will fit in the machine’s buffer which means you can size it up (physically) higher than the same design engraved at higher LPI settings.


Thank you for letting us know about this. There’s a problem with our software in handling very large engraves and it looks like that what’s happening here. Your message will help us improve our software for everyone.

When we say your engrave is large - we really mean that it will take a long time to print. When your Glowforge prints an engrave, the head moves back and forth, line by line, like a inkjet printer. If the design is physically large or if you set your print to have a high LPI, the print will take longer, because the head needs to move further to finish the print. I don’t have exact numbers on size or print time for you, but I hope that helps a little.

Alternatively, you can divide your image into pieces and print them one at a time, as shown below.

Split your image into pieces

  • Save your design as a PNG file
  • Go to and upload your file
  • Click on the “SPLIT IMAGE” tab and enter the number of rows and columns you want to split your image into
  • Choose PNG
  • Click the blue “SPLIT IMAGE” button. The software will split your image into the number of rows and columns you specify and automatically download a zipped file of the pieces.

Create a single file with all the pieces

  • Locate the file on your computer (where your downloads go) and unzip it
    • Mac: Double click on the file to open it
    • Windows: Double click on the file to open it, then click “Extract All”
  • Open a new file in Inkscape (used for this example, although other software will work too)
  • Choose File > Import and select all the images from the zip file
  • Line up the images up so they are seamless. In Inkscape, when you drag the images near each other, they will snap together. (If they don’t, go to View > Show/Hide > Snap Controls Bar and adjust the settings.)
  • Select File > Save As and save the file as a Plain SVG file

Upload and Print

  • Sign in to, click “Upload” and choose the file you saved.
  • Each piece of artwork will import as a step in the app. Click on a step and choose “Ignore.” Ignore all the steps but one, and then press “Print.”
  • When that print finishes, leave your material in place
  • Set the step you printed to “Ignore” and print another step
  • Continue ignoring and printing until you’ve finished

Please let us know if these suggestions help resolve your issue.

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I am unable to try any of your suggestions because I am now unable to get my GF to home itself. The UI just says Calibrating. When I reset the power the unit attempts to move but only moves about and inch then stops and stays there. During this the button on the GF flashes Blue once and attempts to move and again stops. It never gets to the home 0,0 position. If I turn the GF off and move the X and Y to a new position it does the same thing when I power the GF back up.

Blue being maybe a cool white?

Hunting around in increments like that is often a sign that either: the vision system isn’t seeing well (have you wiped off the camera lens on the lid? It can get grimy after a while.).

Or, it’s unable to find what it’s looking for (it’s looking for the head and then the bug/logo on top of the head). You could try removing any partially used material from the bed (it’s possible that it’s confusing a hole in the material for the head) and also cleaning off the top of the head where the GF logo is.


Thanks so much. It was just like you said, the camera lens was covered and couldn’t read anything.

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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