How to engrave multiple images at once... how engraves work and faster times

Just made another video to answer the question that gets asked a lot of how to engrave multiple images at once to save time instead of one at a time. Hope it helps:

This is more of a detailed walk through to get the understanding of what’s happening for newer members.


Thanks for taking the time to make and share this!

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No problem! I am glad that it helped someone out.

LOL! I just asked about this! Damn. Mindreader much??

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He probably watched you through your webcam typing that up.

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If this computer had a webcam! Then he’d be super special because he read what I typed backwards from the reflection off my glasses!

In any case - not sure if it’s going to save time - anywhere but in doing all the damned settings separately… but great knowledge!

Must know the future too since I posted this awhile before you posted too. Lol

Thanks so much for your video Josh… You touched on something in your video that I am struggling with a bit… I have a design that has two very small raster images with lots of white space between them. Basically one is on the left side of the material and the other is on the right side. They are exactly in line horizontally. The glowforge wants to do them together and has the laser pass back and forth across the ravine of white space between them making for a very long engrave. How can I force it to do them individually?


I rewatched your video and I think I figured it out. You can disregard this question!


Does anyone have any idea of how to do this if you don’t own AI? I am engraving a set of coasters and I can’t figure out how to group them so they all engrave at once. I have Inkscape.

I tried making all the parts to be engraved into a “compound shape” in Inkscape. That didn’t do it. Still searching…

Have you tried selecting all your images in Inkscape and exporting them to a single PNG file? Then import the PNG file back into your design and see if that does it (I don’t know if it will, just guessing).

I just tried “Make a Bitmap Copy” in Inkscape. That added 4 hours to the GF work time.

Ouch. Well, I’ve wondered about this too. Sometimes I get stuff to engrave all at once, other times not. I haven’t figured out why that is yet, but I don’t do it often enough to investigate more.

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If I can figure this out, I’ll let you know. I’m trying to start selling these coasters but man, it was nearly 5 hours to engrave and cut 2 sets yesterday. And some of the designs engraved together and some GF decided to do on their own. I don’t know how to change it.

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The only thing that has cut the time down SLIGHTLY is making sure that all the shapes were filled with the same colour, no stroke. It’s still 4 hours. I can’t tell if it’s going to engrave everything at once or do what it did before.

I’ll make the multiples in a raster program (I use and then copy/paste that back into Inkscape. I’ve never paid attention to the times so I’m not sure it’ll make a difference, but give it a shot!

A full bed engrave takes ~3hrs with PG SD Graphic settings, or ~2hrs with PG Draft Photo (PG wood, Pro).

You can shorten that by ensuring any “whitespace” in the image is truly white (0xFFFFFF), and also by only having images that are as tall as each “row” of the design.

Only upload one row of mixed cut/score/bitmap, then copy/paste inside the GF UI to make multiple rows.

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I tried rasterizing the engraved bits and it increased the time by a LOT. But thanks for trying to help. I appreciate it.

Ok so I’m engraving/cutting on acrylic. It’s eight 4"x4" coasters with designs engraved on them. Each coaster is a different design…they are going to be stacked vertically and lit from below (on a base). They are meant to be viewed as a whole on the base but still look good individually.

The quickest I could get the time down to is 4 hours. The issue for me is, the GF is engraving two or three of the coasters individually, but the rest it is treating as a group and engraving the full width of the file/bed. I can’t figure out how to make the GF treat all the designs to be engraved as one item so that it doesn’t engrave the coasters individually. I know that is slowing the time down considerably.

These are svgs. There is NO fill in the cut shapes. Shapes to be engraved are filled with black with no strokes. I have tried converting the designs to rasters and dropping them in the cut lines…it increased the time significantly. I also tried grouping them as a compound shape in Inkscape. This also increased the time significantly.

It may be that 4 hours is how long it will take…I just wish there was some way to tell if it’s going to engrave them all at once, or separate them out. They were all grouped in the GF app, not showing as separate steps so I’m kind of at a loss as to why it is engraving some of them individually.