Image layer support?

Layers are good to think about. I’m not too used to them in Inkscape so I was just thinking of different images to represent the stack or manually breaking them apart. Having the whole object made up in layers and then a plugin to do cut layout. Makes sense.

In the feature hopper! I know that layer support is near and dear to @Tony’s heart.

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Excellent–thanks, Dan! And thanks to the Glowforge dev team!

I don’t have much experience with the free 3D modeling tools described in the forum. Will they automatically create 1/4" (or whatever material thickness) slices for a cutting layout?

If they don’t, perhaps GF could import the files and do that as a cloud pre-process for cutting.

Hey all!

As Dan mentioned, I definitely use layers liberally myself and have a similar flow.

Right now, we’re aiming to make the Glowforge print experience as close to a standard print metaphor as possible. So when you print on a piece of paper, you’d have the same workflow you describe-- set what you want to be visible and hit print. Once you do that, you get a “print” dialog box (sometimes with a preview and a few settings you can fiddle with).

In laser-land, things aren’t QUITE that simple because A) Illustrator doesn’t give you any ability to express laser intent (cut vs. engrave, light engrave vs. deep engrave, etc) and B) because our “paper” isn’t always 8.5x11, so positioning is important).

So the Glowforge flow is similar but a tiny bit more effort-ful than a standard print… But NOT MUCH. You create your design in Illustrator (or another design app). Hit “Print…” and you end up in what we call the Preview Screen-- it shows you the bed of your Glowforge and your design layered on top of it. You can drag your design around (to avoid knots in wood or minimize material waste) and you can set your settings for cut vs. engrave. The you hit the final “Print” button to send it to the glowforge, just how you’d hit the “Print” button in the dialog box in your normal design app. This print is saved in your Projects screen, so you can always do a quick re-print down the road without going starting from square one.

In short, you workflow can work just fine (and will probably be how I’d do it as well).


I’m going to ask this to go a step further…How does the glowforge determine the order of the cuts (shapes on a single layer)? I ask because I want the shapes within the main piece to be cut first, so there isn’t any shifting.

I generally make those lines a different color and then order them the way I want them to cut in the GF interface. There is a way to do it by setting specific colors as well. There’s a tutorial by @marmak3261 on Ordering Cuts by Color in the Designing for the Laser Matrix. :slightly_smiling_face:


@Jules answer is your best bet… Curious if it would change based on position of the layer on the bed. That is if the order changes if you were to rotate the object or move it elsewhere on the bed… Color differences on the lines is still the best way to ensure order…

Actually, no. It’s all based on color. At least for the default order. You can change the order manually simply by dragging. But it was always open up in its default order, based solely on color.

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But I’m curious if it was all one color (same color lines) - say a bunch of random bubble circles some inside of others. and you tell it to cut. It "“decides/calculates” which circles to do based on position maybe for the order. then what if you grab the entire design and rotate it ,or move to other corner of the tray… Would with whatever algorithm it uses to traverse a pattern change if the orientation of the same pattern is different… May need to test that…

OH! I think you are referring to how the machine decides which part of the mini-job to complete first?

For example, if your first step is to cut 6 stars, are you trying to figure out why it will choose to start on star #3 first? Or are you trying to figure out why it typically won’t complete an entire star (if the lines are not all joined in your editing software beforehand) before moving to another area and then coming back later to complete the shape?

If I’m correct, this is less about the order of a bunch of jobs based on color, but more about the algorithm by which the machine chooses to complete a single job consisting of multiple shapes.

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That, to my understanding, is correct. For example, I had a single-color object that consisted of shapes in the form of letters. I don’t know what decision-making process took place, but it decided that “H” should come first, then “SE” and then “OU” to spell “HOUSE.” Similarly, a while back, I had what appeared to be a few paragraphs. At first, in multiple locations, it left out the letter “s.” This was a 2-hour job, mind you, so I wasn’t happy while I was watching it. Guess what! It went back towards the end and did all of the missing “s!” So it has some logic to what it does, but I don’t think it’s meant for human understanding. :slight_smile:


Indeed…you got that right! I’ve experienced the same thing and it drives the OCD part of me a little nuts. But, as long as it does all the work, I can live with it.

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It really takes great effort to not automatically go “Something’s wrong. It missed a spot.” Meanwhile it’s thinking “Hush now. I got this.”


Well… except when it actually does skip a spot, and you have to go back and run part of the job again. Then it’s thinking “derp.”


Wait. Is that a thing? Have you seen that?

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yes. And I know at least one other person has too.

*my occurrence was reported via email, but I never heard anything beyond “Thanks, we’ll look into it”, and it did not happen again the next time I tried that particular file.


REALLY. And then the same file worked fine subsequently? Man, I wish they would have gotten back to you about that. Even if it’s just “We’re sorry you had the issue. We identified and resolved the cause.” I mean, that’s called “a resolution.” Part of that is notifying the requestor that something has happened. Another part is notifying the requestor with some frequency when it’s still in-progress. Leaving things up in the air is simply rude.


If we haven’t answered you on it, by all means ask after it.