I need Glowfriend help! I cant get a file to print

Hi all, I am trying to make a 20 X 24 sign in 2 parts with my pro. Since I was able to print a long sign with many parts, both cuts and engraves I thought this would work.

But now this will not work. I have tried uploading the files as png, jpegs, and SVG with the image placed. I have printed larger files so I don’t think size is a problem. I have sent a message to support, but have not heard back yet.

SO I thought maybe someone here might see what I am missing.turner bottom turner bottom

There are people that are going to be better for answering this. What I have noticed is that I get issues from either too large of files OR from too complex of files.

One bit of advice I have from my days in tech support is when reporting a problem, it can be helpful to “say what did happen, not what didn’t happen”. All we’ve got to go on here is “this will not work”. What steps are you taking and what are you experiencing?

From what I can tell, the SVG files you’ve attached are completely blank. I don’t know if they were altered by the forum or if the originals were blank, too, but that would suggest the problem is not with the Glowforge or its software, but something going wrong with the export from Illustrator.

When I say blank, I mean this is what’s in them:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<!-- Generator: Adobe Illustrator 21.1.0, SVG Export Plug-In . SVG Version: 6.00 Build 0)  -->
<svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" version="1.1" id="Layer_1" x="0px" y="0px" viewBox="0 0 1404 792" style="enable-background:new 0 0 1404 792;" xml:space="preserve">


here is one of the jpegs.

The steps were to up load half of the image into the print area as a raster only jpg file and then a PNG file. When that did not work I placed the image in Illustrator and saved as an embedded SVG. When I dragged the image down to a smaller size inside GF it did print the smaller size. Even though it came from the save file.

You’re still saying did not work. Did you get an error message? Did it get as far as scanning? Did the Glowforge start playing the Macarena?

It sounds like the file is just too big and you’ll have to print it in pieces. There are some instructions floating around on how to do that. Unfortunately there’s a size limitation of the system at the moment. They’re working on it and presumably the sidebar will tell us when it’s ready.

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Man. Now I’m going to have to open a new thread and make a feature request.


I should be more careful not to talk about features that haven’t been released to the general public.


Well, it already plays “Shave and a haircut – two bits”. I don’t think the Macarena is too much to ask.


You mean the built in speaker? Honestly, it would need a lot of wattage to overcome the fan noise.


Yes it gives an error message each time. I have split the image in half and in four parts. I have changed the dpi from 300 to 200 to 100. And I have printed other files that are larger than this.

And, nope no music on my machine yet.


I still have not heard from support. Not sure how to fix this one.

Caution, My Opinion based on my experience: One thing I notice right away is how many greys you have. If you think about every single pixel in that shaded grey transition as a point that has to be processed by the server…you are probably over the allowable size (for now). Can you take out all the shaded grey areas and see if it goes through?
Another thing I do to test whether it’s my network, Glowforge server, a bad file, or oversized: take the entire design, shrink it down really tiny (like an inch) and see if it will give you a time estimate.

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Thanks @hansena, I have been able to print it at a smaller size. As to the size that is what is strange to me, I have printed files that are larger.

If I’m not mistaken, it’s pixel density. when you shrink an image, you’re reducing the amount of dots/pulses that the server needs to program into making your “thing”. you can make big things that are simple black and white, but when you have something that has a lot of shading it either needs to be simple or small to get under the file size limit. Am I making any sense?:crazy_face:

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That makes since. Thanks. Now I am wondering how to fix the image so I can complete the job. Maybe posterizing it in Photoshop.

turner bottom
I made the image black and white, simpler, and smaller still the error message. I need to print this. What am I missing? @Rita

I believe you are half right here. Unfortunately, it is not the source image’s complexity that is the problem. I don’t think the smooth gradients are either.

It’s the pixel density of the output to the Laser that is the limiting factor at the moment. That increases by the square inches of the engraving, the engraving speed, and the LPI setting of the engraving. It doesn’t matter if it’s black or gradients or checkerboards.

Nancie, What I think you’re running into is trying to engrave the entire 12x20 half of your sign in one pass. That’s going to be too much engraving for one pass.

Here’s a description of what you’ll probably need to do to get your engraving to work at the moment:

The other thing you may already know is that you can’t engrave edge-to-edge on the 12 x 20 area. The grey hashed border areas in the preview window show your maximum engraving size.

Good luck!!!


Thanks for the feedback. I have split the image into fourths with no luck, but I will check the LPI settings. I usually make my SVG 19 X1,1 but I was trying something different.

I soooo wanted the LPI thing to work…nope.