How do I upload a file that will create a cut?


I’ve uploaded a few .svg files to use as cut templates and when I upload them them, they then show up only as an etch options. The only way I’ve been able to get a cut option is if I print it out and use the trace option to trace the printed sheet of paper via the Glowforge unit.

Can someone advise on how I get my .svg files to let me Cut? Am I doing sometine wrong with file type maybe? I even downloaded a shapes template from the forum and it isn’t giving me a cut option

Newbie here and appreciate any help :slight_smile:


Make sure you arent using the “add artwork” button in the interface. Drag and drop them into the list of files on the home screen


I use the upload art button on all my files… :slight_smile: I"ll give this a go now! thank you! -

edit… just tried and it still does the same thing, when it shows the image it shows it as engrave again and won’t let me convert to cut. there are clear edges on the design as a circle around the artwork.


Can you upload a sample SVG you’re having trouble with?

Does the artwork use strokes, fills, or both?


Yep… attached are two examples, and I’m not sure on the stroke/ fills question (sorry just learning all these terms as I go and fumble my way through inkskape :slight_smile:

washingtonstatecoaster transparent



@lindseyralston you might benefit by reading this tutorial before getting started - it describes the different kinds of files and tells what you need to do to make the Glowforge User Interface see them easily.


Fabulous! thanks! I’ll give it a read now. :wink:


Regarding the SVG that you uploaded with the black circle - from a design standpoint, what you have is a vector circle with a black fill and no stroke assigned. Think of “stroke” as you just drew something out and it’s a line drawing… and then “fill” would be if you went back and colored it in. The outline you initially drew would be the stroke and the colored-in area is the fill.

Page 8 of the document @Jules linked to talks about how the Glowforge interprets vector shapes by if they have a stroke or fill assigned to them.

For a cut or score, you’ll want to assign just a stroke to the circle and no fill.

I don’t use Inkscape but here is a screenshot of Inkscapes stroke/fill menu, I believe. (fingers crossed it’s right :slight_smile:)

Also, here is a copy of the circle that you uploaded. This has just a black stroke and no fill, so the inside of the circle is transparent. You can download that by right-clicking and save as, or clicking the thumbnail to expand it and then using the download button from the larger “lightbox” version that pops up. You should be able to load this into Inkscape and see the difference between the circles.

circle copy


It seems as though I encountered this same problem when I placed my drawing too close to the edge in the cross hatched area. I could be mistaken though.


It doesnt matter if a vector has a stroke or a fill or both. In the GFUI is an option to “Convert to Cut” or “Convert to Score”

I just loaded the circle file and you need to click on the engrave options to see the “Convert to Cut”.

Nothing wrong with your file. :slight_smile:


When I click convert to cut it says “cannot convert bitmaps to cut” it’s not a bitmap thought, its an .svg file.

The good news I guess is that I’m getting lots of practice tracing :wink:


A bitmap is a raster image, and is made up of pixels. There is no cutline path for the laser to follow when it cuts.

If you want to cut something out that is a bitmap, you can perform an Auto-Trace on the file in a program like Illustrator, Inkscape or CorelDraw and save that as an SVG file. The stroke colors of the outline is what the laser will follow to cut it out. Or you can use the Trace function in the Glowforge interface to do the same thing.

But if you leave it as pixels, yes, the only option is engraving. :slightly_smiling_face:

(Oh and an SVG file can contain a bitmap image.)

If you are new to Inkscape - there are a lot of beginner tutorials in the Matrix.

Go to the link for the 2D Vector Programs.


The circle.svg file is not a bitmap. It contains an ellipse element. Perhaps the GFUI can’t process those.


I think @jbmanning5 has it right. The GFUI handles fills as engraves and strokes as cuts. If you don’t have a stroke, it will not know to cut it.

I will also second checking out the tutorials.They are fantastic!


This ↑.


Thanks All… I guess I am a bit out of my skillset at this point… I was able to take files into inkscape and making sure they were .svg on export (from other vector file types.) at this point I am a bit stuck as I frankly don’t know how to make vector images or change them… I’ll need to educate myself on Illustrator and/or inkscape to learn some software knowledge. I’ll read tutorials I can find here and try to fumble my way through it.

In the meantime, the trace option for images (i.e. printing out and scanning in via the Glowforge) is a decent workaround for those of us that are not design software savvy for creating cut lines… :slight_smile:


I haven’t examined your file, but from what I can gather from the others that have responded, I’m guessing your circle is all fill and no stroke. You’d want the opposite… You want a stroke, and have no use for a fill since you’re just cutting the circle. I don’t know Inkscape at all, but in AI it’s as simple as selecting the object and in the upper-left there are stroke and fill colors.


The Matrix for the 2D Vector software is set up in a logical learning order…if you start at the top of the list for the Reference tutorials and work your way down, you’re going to pick the software up a lot faster than if you try to scatter-shoot the learning.

It’s not going to take long, but it is some reading and video viewing. Good luck!


Thank you and I really appreciate all the feedback!


Be sure to post any specific questions about the tutorials or post your projects when you get them done. (Everybody loves seeing new projects!) :grinning: