Help with engraving?

Hey all - I’m hoping that someone might have some insight for me. I’m still very much in the process of teaching myself about laser cutting, and I’ve had some great successes over the past year. Where I still have some trouble is preparing files for engraves. I have an SVG file (attached) that I want to engrave on a door placard (GF cherry ply).

I’ve tried engraving as is, converting to greyscale, and using every engraving setting, but it still won’t engrave with any kind of detail. The leaves for example show no definition. I’m sure I’m just missing something important, but I’d love some help if there are some preparations you think I should try. Thanks!

1 Like

Your Glowforge is seeing all your vector fills as solid.

Rasterize the graphic and save it as a PNG or JPEG.


It helps to convert it to grayscale, in my opinion, so you can easier see the range of tonality.

This might work out for ya? Converted to grayscale, and then edited the levels a bit, and sharpened a little bit extra.


Thanks very much all! @jbmanning5 - I used your tweaks. Still had to play with the engrave speed to get enough depth, but it turned out pretty good.


And the material can have a big affect on the etching results–some work better than others with pending grey scales & # colors used.

Since I do mostly leather, 2 color images work best–but you may get better results on the wood by reducing to 4 or 5 colors–basically shifts the gradients… Can sometimes be a pain, but sometimes fun to play with the settings to find what etches best (I use Photoshop for most of the formating for images I etch, including greyscale/reduction in colors work).

Very nice!


This video gave me a good start for editing images for engraving.


I didn’t realize you were doing a 3D engrave or i would have edited a bit differently. Glad it seemed to work though!

Thank you!

Thanks @jbmanning5 - I wasn’t planning a 3D engrave, but the contrast on the image was such that I had to go deep in order to get the lighter sections to show up. The picture doesn’t do it justice though, the texture is very cool. I’m sure I’ll get better at figuring out the tips and tricks as I keep playing.

I spent most of this past year working on 3D builds from 2D parts - like a mechanical playing card case and a magnetized sun glass case. So, I’m great with living hinges and modeling in sketchup, now it’s time to get familiar with the other fun stuff. Thanks for the help!

This topic was automatically closed 32 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.