Help cutting out an object after is has been engraved

we are trying to figure out how to cut an object out of the wood after we have engraved it. I have searched for days now… maybe I just don’t use the correct words to search by, but man oh man, I just have to ask if someone can help us figure this out please?

Thanks in advance.


Is it something you traced using the GUI (Glowforge user interface) or is it your own file that you uploaded? You can engrave using either vector or rastor (also called bitmaps) images, but to cut something it has to be a vector file. If these terms sound like Greek to you, you should head over the the tutorial section and go through some of the learning files. These are a good place to start!

Good video ---->Video Tutorial: How to Make Christmas Ornaments


Put a vector (stroked, not filled) outline around your engraved object in the design file. The vector outline will be seen as a cut object by the GFUI. :slight_smile:


It is a file that I have for cutting on vinyl. It iui s an svg file.

Thanks for the direction to the tutorials. I will check them out.


A SVG is a “container” file format that can have both rastor and vector parts in the same file. When you open the SVG, can you edit the image and move parts of it around, change the colors etc? Or is it more like a photo and you can’t move pieces of it around? (That you be a rastor/bitmap.)

Are you saying you engraved it already or just want to know how to engrave and cut?

If you already engraved, I could give specific advice but it would depend on exactly what you’re trying to cut. Post a pic if you already engraved, or maybe the file I’d you haven’t… Otherwise what everyone else said. You’re particularly after tracing if it is a raster objject.

I had that same problem when I did my first engrave. I followed this tutorial to create a rectangle to cut around it:

Then, with my engrave project open in the GFUI, I clicked on the + Add Artwork to add the rectangular shape plain svg file to the project, positioned it over the engraved area on the material in the GF and adjusted the size as needed. Next, I set the engrave to Ignore and hit Print. Viola!

Nice part is now that is part of the project and next time you open it, it’ll be there. Just remember to reset the engrave settings.

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True, but as @polarpresence mentioned it was a file designed for a vinyl cutter, it is almost certainly all vectors. :wink:

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It can be moved around all over the field you have to work on, I just don’t know what key to push or do to make it cut the image out. Or if I even have the right software i need to do it in.

Thanks for your help!


These are the three different file formats I have it saved to.

Thanks… Lisa

(Attachment page1.bmp is missing)

dog tag with text 4 inch.pdf (8.93 KB)

the PDF version comes through with the black dog-tag shape and black text. The svg version has the black dog-tag shape and a grey shape for the interior of the tag. You will want to add a new shape (or two) in a different color where you want the laser to cut. It is fairly straightforward to do in vector-editing programs like Illustrator, inkscape, corel, etc. Do you have access to any of those? if not, what vector software do you currently use?

In illustrator, starting with the SVG version that you posted, I made a duplicate of the black layer, then turned off the grey layer and one of the black layers. Using the Direct Selection tool, I clicked one of the nodes in the inner cutout and then hit delete twice, so that I was left with a mostly solid black oval and the hanging hole. I set the fill to None and the stroke to red. Then I turned the other two layers back on.

Feel free to use this as a starting point:


from there, I might make the hanging hole a unique color so that I could set it to cut before the outline. I might ditch the grey layer altogether and just add new text, or set it to score, or punch the text out of it if I wanted the letters to stand proud.


You have given me great information…now if I could only learn how to use inkscape well…sigh…

Thank you for your very good directions…

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