How can I utilize as much of the board as possible

I’m trying to make a image on draft board as big as possible but it ends up going over the gray shaded areas which then makes my machine say no artwork how can I get the image to use as much space on the board as possible. Also need help creating a border for the image to cut as well.

The maximum area that can be cut or engraved varies. Cuts can be made for images approximately 10.9" x 19.5". Engraved areas are restricted to a smaller area depending on the speed of the desired operation. (The printhead needs room to accelerate and decelerate). A good place to start is with a 12 x 20 artboard in your graphics program.

To make a border around your file, the border needs to be aadded at the time the file is made. Many users, however, have a file that includes simple shapes in their Glowforge design library so they can quickly add a circle, square or line as needed without going back to their graphics program. One such file is here: Cut Shapes Template

Just to put this is more direct english, since it sounds like you’re just getting started:

The slower your engrave speed, the wider your engravable area will be. That is, slower speeds will give you larger area to work with.

The higher your LPI, the more passes it has to make, and the longer the job will take.

Of course, slow high-LPI engrave plus full bed = LONG jobs, well over 3 hours.

If maximum size is your goal, just be prepared to compromise on LPI and/or sit and watch it for a very long time.

As for cutting out the border, again, it sounds like you’re just beginning, so I would suggest reading some of the getting started materials, you probably have about 100 questions you don’t even know to ask yet, this will really help you get going:

I know that reading a forum for hours isn’t as exciting as lasering some stuff, but it will absolutely pay off. Get a drink and a snack, kick back and study up! Enjoy :slight_smile:


Thank you for the help @dklgood and @evansd2!

@dklgood is right, the maximum printable area is 11 x 19.5”, and it’s reduced somewhat when the laser operates at high speed, as it can take space for the laser to decelerate.

As far as creating a border to cut out your design, here’s a quick tutorial on how to create a shape to cut:

If you’d like a little more depth, we have a longer tutorial that walks you through creating a design so you can see how to create a file with cuts in it: It includes step by step instructions and illustrations, including how to use Inkscape, a free design program, to create shapes for cutting. Please try out the tutorial and let us know if it doesn’t work to get you cutting!

It’s been a little while since I’ve seen any replies on this thread so I’m going to close it. If you still need help with this please either start a new thread or email