How does the machine cut this?

I have a .jpg that has dark outline but grey scale in the middle. Would the Gloforge just cut the outline, or do something with the grey scale?

a drawing to show what I mean…

I am attaching

I think you would be able to tell the software to cut the outline and ignore the fill, or to cut the outline and engrave the fill, or to ignore the outline and engrave the fill, or engrave both the outline and the fill at different speed/power settings.
Mind you, I have never seen or used the software.


This poses a good question: what does it do with *.jpegs; *gifs; *.pngs; which are raster/bitmap formats verses *.ai; *.svg which are vectors. Seems that PDFs are going to work. A line in one is a serious of black dots in another. Not to get to involved in the metafile descriptions. But wondering how the interface will hand the file and make distinctions for cutting, engraving, etc. So from what I have seen in the examples, there is at least a possibility of marking the outline of a bitmap image and cutting it out. What about any internal lines of a bitmapped image. How to designate the difference? I suppose it will happen the way we wish. Definitely the team is responding to all these questions with “it’s in the hopper” or “yes, that how it will work.” I’m optimiistic.

I’m pretty sure @jbv is right but even if the gf software won’t do that you can always reduce an image down to black and white.

By default, if it’s a bitmap, it will engrave it as a variable-depth engrave where the darker the pixel, the more power it will use.

To make it cut around the outside, put the bitmap into Illustrator or Inkscape and vectorize it. Then you can specify what’s cut and what’s fill.


Any chance we can get some WIP images or tests showing variable-depth engravings? I’m curious to see what sort of detail we might be able to accomplish… at this point at least. I presume that as the engineering gets refined before shipping that there will be improvements, but I’d love seeing some of the “in development” stuff as it comes down the line.

From what I’ve seen demo’d up to this point the Glowforge has used just a couple different power levels. Kind of cut or one level of etch. Dan has said several times over the past month that the power supplies providing the variable power had not yet been approved for use. Guessing they are still waiting. I would bet things will change soon and we’ll get the demo that you seek.

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Come to think about it. Might only be one power level with different speeds.

Right - for the moment, if we want multiple depth layers, we do multiple passes at different speeds. Pain in the neck.