How to cut an object from a picture

I am trying to upload a picture of a simple object to cut out and it will only engrave. It says" Bitmaps will only engrave". Every video I watch shows that you pick this trace button. Mine does not have that. It has a drop down screen that says use camera. Then it will only engrave. Is this just a Mac problem? I have been working on this all weekend long and nobody will help me. So incredibly frustrated

The trace button works for tracing pictures already on the Glowforge bed - like a line drawing, not a digital uploaded pictures. The reason you are only getting an engrave option is because bitmaps engrave and vectors cut/score. In a graphics program, you need to put a vector outline around your picture. If you have the premium feature of the Glowforge interface, you can use the outline tool. If you don’ have Glowforge premium, you will need to use your graphics program to get the outline by tracing the bitmap and creating an offset line.


I’m so sorry to hear that you are running into trouble, but I’d be happy to assist!

The “Create Outline” function is feature associated with our Glowforge Premium service, and is not included with Glowforge Print. You can find out more information about Glowforge Premium here

Only SVG and PDF files can be used for cutting and engraving. JPG and PNG files can only be used to engrave. The SVG or PDF file needs to contain lines called “strokes”, which are turned into cuts.

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