Glowforge Interface - Correctly Save a File as an SVG for the GFUI 🤔

For All Programs:

  1. If you want to engrave a bitmap (raster) style image and include it inside a vector SVG file, you need to Embed the image in the file if you want it to stay aligned inside the SVG file. Otherwise you will need to re-load the raster file and use the camera to align it visually.

(That’s fine, but you will completely lose the benefit of more accurate alignment that you get from the design software.)

There are instructions for how to Embed raster images for some of the main 2D vector programs in the Matrix. See the 2D Software Matrix. Scroll down to the bottom section.

  1. If you are going for an engrave of a bitmap larger than half the bed height, try to keep your raster (bitmap) images at a reasonable size. I like to use **300 ppi or less for large engraves, the GFUI can handle up to 600 ppi. Large surface area images with high pixel resolution can result in an indeterminate error message when they get hung up in the buffer in the Glowforge User Interface (GFUI). If you see this happen a lot, lower the LPI you are using.

  2. Creating an artboard or canvas size for your design of 20" x 12" will give you a good idea of how much you can fit into your layout, and it’s a good idea to just use a standard size. There is also a workaround that corrects for resizing issues that works for that artboard size. Remember that the current cuttable area is only 10.97" by 19.47" though, and the engravable area is somewhat smaller depending on the speed used. This is subject to change further on as the software is finalized.

Adobe Illustrator:

  1. Embed any raster images.
  2. Less than 300 ppi resolution on full bed raster images.
  3. Use Save As instead of Export with SVG files in Illustrator (recommended)

AI_settings for SVG

  1. If you do export, make sure Responsive is not checked. (It will screw up the sizing.)

AI settings new to save as SVG drea

  1. Inkscape automatically embeds raster images.
  2. Save the file as a Plain SVG type.
  3. Make sure you have installed the latest (.92 or later) version of Inkscape. Sizing issues are common in earlier versions.
  4. Go to Edit > Preferences > Tools tab and check Geometric Bounding Box. That keeps the line widths out of your measurements.




  1. Embed raster files.
  2. There is a known issue with winding order impacting the pickup of certain “island fills” in CorelDraw SVGs. Surrounded “empty” areas might not show up in the GFUI. (Objects can be rasterized to avoid the issue.)
  3. Text can be auto-converted to curves when exporting the SVG from CorelDraw.

Save SVG corel draw winding rule issue

Affinity Designer:

  1. Text can be automatically converted to curves.
  • If the page size is 20" x 12", AND “Set viewBox” option is checked (AD has it checked by default), the GFUI loads at the proper size regardless of the dpi resolution set in the document (72,96, 300, etc)

  • If “Set viewBox” is unchecked, the page size will have no bearing on scale during GFUI import, BUT the document must be set at 96 dpi for it to scale properly.

(Thanks to @mpipes for the clarification of the sizing issues in AD.) :slightly_smiling_face:

31 AM


AD settings for SVG tim1724

This one is the one I have set up, and it correctly sizes exports:

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As always, @Jules your instructional posts are concise, clear and well illustrated. @dan really should consider hiring you as a remote technical documentation person, and perhaps is already. Thank you for all that you do to help the rest of us use this amazing tool and for your positive attitude. :smiley:

I have Illustrator CS3 and Inkscape. I’m more familiar with Illustrator, but I’m wondering if you find Inkscape or Illustrator easier for use with :glowforge:. If Illustrator, then I may have to subscribe to the cloud-based Adobe suite.


Hear, hear!


My wife showed me a video from this cafe where I used to live in Roppongi, Tokyo and I thought of you @Jules.

Harry’s Hedgehog Cafe


I use Illustrator CS5, and I’ve been using it for years, so that’s the one that I find easiest to use. I haven’t bothered to upgrade to the subscription service…most of what has been added is already available in CS5, it’s just without the pretty gray background. (Why keep paying for what you already have, functionally speaking?)

It’s really just whatever you are used to using though…Inkscape is fine with enough familiarity. There are a couple of things that it does better than AI, and a couple of things that are harder to use. It all balances out.

(And that’s my uncle Frank in the top right photo.) :wink:


I sure wish there was a way (or that I was aware of it) to set the art board size in Inkscape preferences so that it was saved as default.


Thank you @Jules I really appreciate all you are doing.


You can. Here’s a link describing how to do this:

Basically you just open a blank document, change whatever settings you want (art board size, mm or in, zoom level, etc.) and then save that file as default.svg here: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\inkscape\templates. Obviously you’ll need to replace “%username%” with your actual username on your computer.

Edit: Sorry, left off the name of the file. That bit’s important. :wink:


Great! Thank you! :sunglasses:


Continuing on the theme of making the artboard the right size for :glowforge: , does anyone know if there is a way to make the drawings in Fusion 360 exactly 20x12?

This could be a step saver for F360 users as the :glowforge: accepts PDF as well as SVG



Thanks for the info!

Have you tried using a multi page pdf file with an image that would first be engraved and a vector that would then cut out around the image?

Here is an example of a two page pdf with the image which I plan to 3D engrave and the Oregon boundary vector to cut around the image.

I have been working on a bunch of these and it would be nice to see if anyone has tested multi page pdf’s for first engraving then cutting.


For Affinity Designer, I found that you need to unset viewbox on export to get things to come out at the correct size:


Thank you for compiling this @Jules ! I was fighting with a design since yesterday where my logo, very small in the design, kept saving out in a strange distorted way. Turns out that I had my decimals set to 1 instead of 3, which made all the difference once corrected. I don’t fully understand what the SVG settings MEAN, but it definitely helped to check the forum and see what had been working for you guys.

Side note, I’m hoping that larger and more complicated SVG engravings (say, 18"x6") will improve over time. For my current project I’m able to break it into smaller batches out of necessity (always stalled at the preparing stage), but would have been much preferred to run the full grouping at once.


You have to break it into two files but then it works. I have not done topo’s but I have done two page PDF’s, well two one page by the time your printing.


That is a bummer if the GlowForge can’t handle a multi page pdf file! I was hoping to just load a single pdf, then fire off the GlowForge to do its work!

Maybe @dan can add this to the hopper!

While I agree it should be in the hopper for down the road, it is not that hard to split a PDF while we wait. I use Corel to do it.

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For me, they are separate to begin with then I am putting them together for ease of use!!!

Maybe I will just use the process @jules outlined where the image and vector are embedded together in the svg.


I’ve tried that and things got really messed up in the UI, for me. The images that I wanted to cut/engrave did not even show on the bed. I went back to setting view box back on and everything is golden. Can’t help but wonder if there were other settings at play at the same time that caused problems. Either way, whatever works is the key.

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Sorry, but that is not possible at this time. Drawing sizes in Fusion correspond to official drawing standards (like ISO standards, etc). You can’t currently make a custom size drawing.


Thank you so much for posting this!!

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