Glowforge Interface - Vector Files Made Easy 🤔


Hope this works better. (44.7 KB)


This is really odd. Is this the way that you intended the files to look, because this is what I get when I open them in Illustrator…even the ones that were zipped:


Okay, that’s weird. The 2 pairs of snapmarks are clearly two different colors, but the GFUI treats them as one object. I’ve never seen that happen.

Only clue is it does generate an “unexpected error” message when loaded into the GFUI, so maybe it’s a glitch of some sort in the SVG file?


Yeah, i got something totally different when I loaded the first file - Panel 2. It came over as fills for engraving, which is how it displays in my version of Illustrator.

How are you saving the SVG file? Are you following the instructions here?:

It might be something you need to report under Problems and Support @laird. You’re using a Mac? (It’s not supposed to be doing this.)


In Illustrator (and MacOS Preview, and Safari, etc.) they are strokes with no fill:

Sometimes in GFUI they loaded in as engraves, which are filled, but that’s not a problem - I can switch them to scores or cuts as needed.


I used the zipped version – the teensy ones uploaded as SVGs showed as fills, but they were corrupted.


Oh, maybe that’s it…let me try that.


when i open these two SVG files (from the zip file) in Illustrator (cc2019), this is what i get:

strokes on the design one color (a cmyk close to black) and the mangled snapmarks a different cmyk that’s close to black.


i swear, i see so many issues with SVG files. i almost NEVER use them. i use PDF or just copy/paste straight from Illustrator. i’ve had one problem with a PDF in the 12 months i’ve had the GF. and i had one copy/paste problem, but that was a super complex file that i simplified and the problems went away.

i know GF recommends SVG, but i personally recommend PDFs.


Yeah, reopening the zipped files resulted in similar displays to those shown by @shop and @geek2nurse…The snapmarks need to be scored, not engraved.

Does this just happen with Snapmarks files @laird? (I think you’re going to need to report it. I believe you can just open a ticket in Problems and Support now, they’ve started answering Snapmark related issues there.)


Always super informative.


I’ll give that a shot, thanks!


Is there a cheat sheet with the first 10 colors to be processed in order for engrave/score/cut operations? I have never had more than 5 colors in a file, but hey, someday I might have snapmarks and need to have more! :smile:


Chuckle! Actually there is…


believe it goes by hex values, so there should be 16,777,216 colors in order.

#000000 is first, true black.
#FFFFFF is last, pure white.

In order they are #000000, #000001, #000002… but you wont be able to distinguish between those with your eye :slight_smile:

This is how subtle shades of similar colors can bite you. Pure red is #FF0000, but visually so is #FF0001, and the GF UI will notice.

Anyway, more than you wanted to know I bet.


@evansd2 Ahh, I figured that would be - coders love hex math…

and yes, more than I wanted to know. Thanks @jules for the link! Searching ‘color order’ returns quite a few hits…



That being said, the palette that is in that post has an issue or two. There are two bright greens, and 2 blues that are very similar. I’ve been considering making a new version for myself with a little better color separation.

I’ve been able to get by with “select same…” and this palette, so it’s low priority.


Easier than that if you are just running a dozen or so colors…darker ones print first, lighter ones last. I save orange and yellow for the outside outlines, do all the interiors in black-blue-green.

(It’s easy to remember, but I don’t need it often.)


In inkscape, select the object (text) then select “object to path” from the menu, this will convert the text to points and vectors. I call it stroking the text, (old term described below).

I generally, create the art, save in original (un-stroked or “oject to pathed”) to enable easy text editing later. Next select all text, use “ojject to path” to convert (stroke the text) and save with a label in name to identify as stroked.

Load the stroked file into GFUI and assign engrave settings for the “stroked text”

Background: the term I use: stroked comes from my old CAD/CAM days at Auto-trol a pioneer of CAD systems in the 70’s

Text was stored in the cad file with various meta data to identify font to be used and other text parameters. Problem was plotter software saw the acsii vales for text but not the Pretty font. The user had to select the text, and “ascii stroke” each instance, creating points and vectors to represent the target font style. CAD i. 1978… some things still need to be left to the designer to use their experience to accomplish.
We called this “The procedural interface”


Sorry for typos and spelling errors, stuck in hospital bed, looking forward to release.

I have projects to do!

Forge on