How do I import an image into Inkscape and cut around it

I want to import a clipart image into Inkscape and send it to the Glowforge to cut out the shape. When I imported the image and saved it as an SVG, it was over 11 MB and the Glowforge wouldn’t accept it.

How can I set this up in Inkscape so that the Glowforge will accept it? I don’t want to engrave it, just cut around it.

Only vectors will cut. The SVG file type can hold vectors and rasters, so if you used a jpg (raster) clipart image, and just saved it as an SVG without converting it first, you don’t have a vector. At 11mb, I can only assume that the SVG had raster data in it. The file looks like 12kb when I vectorize it.

I don’t know your experience level with all of this, so I would suggest looking through the matrix of design tutorials here: Community Glowforge Tutorials: Table of Contents

here is the vector I auto-traced from the JPG you posted: I would probably alter or delete the scrollwork in the base if it is going to be cut small, or make it an engrave. very close cutlines.



Thanks, I will check it out

I just tried to upload it into the Glowforge browser and I get an error message saying that I can’t upload an image of this type…

@jbv’s sewing machine “outline” SVG file upload to my GF just fine. :sunglasses:

So now I have to figure out why my GF browser won’t accept it. It keeps telling me that it can’t accept a file of this type.error

what OS/browser are your using, and how did you go about downloading the file?
What kind of file does it show up as on your computer?

I’m using Chrome on a Windows 10 computer. I saved the file as an SVG as it suggested.

Apparently, the issue is with Chrome because it loaded just fine using Firefox.

huh… well that’s strange, but I’m glad it is working for you now. Works fine in chrome on my mac. @lightner what OS/Browser combo did you use?

Windows 10, Firefox… How do you autotrace an image to use in the Glowforge? There are many shapes that I want to cut out for wall decorations.

I think I figured out the problem using Chrome… the browser cache had gotten corrupted. I deleted the cache and now it loads ok…


I use Adobe Illustrator, but Inkscape has an autotrace function as well, I think it’s called Trace Bitmap. I don’t know inkscape, but there are tutorials in the matrix I linked above, or tons on youtube. It should be fairly straightforward to get started.

here’s the shortest one that came up that will get you to the right spot, there are better ones out there that go into more detail on specific use cases.


@jbv: Win7 Chrome. After 6+ months Firefox stopped working one day, after an update (a few months ago) and I switched to Chrome. I’ll switch back the next time it happens under Chrome! :sunglasses:

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How do you autotrace an image in Illustrator? There’s a need for me to create an outline of a clip art image to use for a cutout. I like what you did with the image I posted.

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This might help:


Once it’s up in the GFUI, you can also change the setting from “Engrave” to “Cut”, and the cloud software will do a sorta kinda edge detection trace. The results may not be as good as a real program, but it’s always a potential last resort.

click on a raster image, click the Image Trace button that appears in the top tool bar. Set the options, hit ok, and then hit the Expand button that appears next to where the Image Trace button was.
I made a very short video a while ago that goes through it really quickly:

but it goes pretty fast, the tutorial that @jules posted above will walk you through the whole procedure, step by step.

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Thanks for the help, everyone! The tutorial matrix @jbv linked to is an extremely helpful resource to get started with designing for the Glowforge. I’m glad you were able to get that file uploaded using Firefox. If you want to keep using Chrome, I’d suggest clearing your browser cache and ensuring all available updates are installed before trying again.

I’m going to move this to Everything Else to let the discussion continue, but if you run into any other trouble, please start a new topic in Problems and Support to let us know.

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