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


I’ve been having a significant issue with scaling measurements using Adobe Illustrator …
Did some designing early on and didn’t really know about any differences in how the SVG would be interpreted by GFUI - but, clearly the measurements from Illustrator’s on screen measures were not what they were on the printed items…
So I did some experimenting - and found what was, for me, the key problem:
The RESPONSIVE option on EXPORTING SVG scales the objects to 75% (or another non-original value) when imported to GFUI.

Experiment: I used a simple 10mm X 10mm square in AI as the only object - centered on a 200mm X 200mm canvas. No Artboard options were used in save or export…

SAVE AS - NON-RESPONSIVE - measurements are correct. positioning same as original.
SAVE AS - RESPONSIVE - measurements are correct. positioning same as original.
EXPORT - NON-RESPONSIVE - measurements are correct, item aligned Top-Left Corner.
EXPORT - RESPONSIVE - measurements INCORRECT, 75% of original, item aligned Top-Left Corner.

Moral of the story - don’t use RESPONSIVE, and you should be safe…


One more point - When trying to “EXPORT SELECTION…” in Adobe Illustrator CC , I don’t see the option to turn OFF Responsive option… so the item came out at 75% of the size.
Easy to get around by saving the whole file and selectively cutting in GFUI - but annoying :wink:


It depends on your definition of safe. All of the advice here is trying to protect from one issue or another. Responsive is just one piece of the puzzle.

Fonts - Type - Convert to Outline: If set to SVG, the Glowforge server may be unable to render your text in the correct font.

Images - Embed: If set to Link, you may need to upload missing images (or it may just fail).

CSS Properties: - Embedded style sheets will be stripped out if they’re uploaded to this forum.

Decimal Places: Anything less than 3 (for a file in inches) causes a serious loss of precision that can lead to mangled output

Responsive - off: When turned on, produces unit-less files where the size can only be assumed (and assumptions are often wrong).

Save As vs Export: Some versions of Illustrator have bugs in the Export function that produce files of death that won’t render in the GFUI, where Save As works.


If you’re exporting (which is not recommended by Glowforge Support [but I do it all the time]), you need to go into (IIRC) the gear settings and set the Export Settings for SVG, which includes the responsive box off, decimal places, etc.

Responsive is designed for a web interface where it will scale the design, which is what you don’t want.

Decimal places is the precision of the coordinate locations. You can see how it could be be a huge issue saving at 1 decimal place and each coordinate is being rounded up or down.


Hey there! I updated Illustrator this weekend and now my SVGs are not saving properly. They won’t upload in the glow forge app. Here are the settings I’m using:

I would appreciate any help! Thanks so much,



Settings look correct, you might need to just sit tight until the team takes a look at it. :slightly_smiling_face:


I think I may have figured it out. If I create a file from scratch in illustrator then save it as an sag with those settings it works.

But if I try to PLACE an existing svg graphic into my illustrator file, then save the entire thing as an SVG it doesn’t work. I get an error every time.

I would like to know why this is happening.


you can open the SVG in Illustrator and then copy/paste that design into your illustrator file. then you won’t have a linked SVG (which could be a potential issue).


Yep… If that SVG file that you are placing inside your Illustrator file was created in another program, it can indeed mess up your SVG settings. (I’ve done it with Inkscape SVG files in Illustrator.)

That’s probably it.


the decimal places can go all the way up to 7. i’ve got some small and detailed designs, and to keep them from getting even the slightest bit wonky, i crank it all the way to 7 when i save. The files are still small, and the details don’t get distorted at all in the save. Haven’t had any problems with the GF UI accepting them, either.


@Jules - I have a question based on other threads by you, we use the same version of AI CS5 (v. 15.0.2). When I save my files I always save my original AI just for posterity, and then save an SVG. When I save the SVG I do not have an option regarding “responsive”. Also have you had to make any changes to your artboards or create a GFUI standard artboard size for creating files? I haven’t run into any issues thus far with any of my files but I also end up resizing them in the GFUI because I need them to fit my scraps. I would just like to know for real projects rather than tinkering.


Ours is listed as Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilites i think…anyway that shouldn’t be checked when we do a Save As SVG.

And I just work off of a 20" by 12" artboard. It’s easy to set one up and then all new ones open that size automatically. (Until you open someone else’s work that isn’t that size, then you might need to reset it.) And the advantage is you can easily see how much you can fit in the bed of the Glowforge.