Glowforge won’t cut only engrave

I bought some svgs that I’m trying to cut out from Etsy and no matter what I do the glowforge will only engrave the design?

Bitmap files can only be engraved. SVG files are container files (they can contain bitmaps as well as vectors). I suspect that the files that you bought are bitmaps and not vectors.

The person who sold it swears it’s an svg and other glowforge users are using it fine

It is undoubtedly an svg file, but you need the svg file to contain a vector file component in order to cut/score.

I know this is repetative, but this is just my own translation; as @wilsonpf said, when an SVG is referred to as container file, it just means it’s sort of like a folder, which can contain different things. The SVG you bought contains a bitmap…which will certainly work in a Glowforge, but it will only engrave. The SVG you bought needs to contain a vector file which is the only kind that will allow you to cut.


What have you tried? Can you post screenshots of what you’re doing and what you’re getting instead of what you expected? Have you successfully cut other files?

While “it’s a bitmap” is a likely explanation, I think it’s jumping the gun a bit. It should be a pretty easy question to answer, though, since it will literally tell you that in the interface:


Is that what you’re experiencing, or is it something else?


Can you maybe direct us to where you bought the file? Maybe seeing it will give us a clue.

I’m so sorry to hear about the trouble you’ve been experiencing with cutting the design file you purchased. I’d like to take a look at the file to see what could be causing the snag. Would it be possible to send over a screenshot of your Workspace inside of the Glowforge app once the file has been uploaded?

We’ll review the image, and send over the next best steps.

Hello @sunnie_17, its been a few days since we hear from you. If you are still having trouble with the file, could you please follow the steps my colleague Marc provided above?

If you are no longer having trouble, please let us know and we will close this thread. Thank you!

It’s been some time since we’ve seen activity on this thread, so I’m going to close it. If additional questions arise, don’t hesitate to start a new thread, or email us at