It's Not Just A Dash Line It's My Design please help

My apologies if I am posting in the wrong area but all the other categories are greyed out. Not sure if it’s my phone app but I need help and the 5 of 50 articles I’ve read don’t seem to answer my question.

My designs are from my culture, it’s part of our sacred traditional tattoo and patterns. My designs are Samoan or Polynesian themed. When I create a dash it needs to be a dash and not turned into a solid line. How can I keep this from happening where it takes my dashes and turns them solid. There are a couple times it’s turned solid and didn’t engrave or cut.

TIA, please LMK how to remedy this.

Hi! It would help to know what software you are using to create the dashed line. If it’s Illustrator, a dashed line is actually an Appearance (like an Image Trace), and needs to be expanded to create the actual dashes. To view your design as the Glowforge sees it, try using the Outline view instead of Preview.

I’m sure the same thing is true for other software, but they probably have different terms for it.


In Inkscape, there is a path effect called “pattern along a path” that will take any shape from rectangle to fish and multiply it along any vector with considerable controls like spacing, height, etc.


If I’m reading it right… You’ve created a dashed line and in the GlowForge UI it changes to a solid line.

This is easy to fix! Just select your dashed line in your design program, and Outline it. This could also be called Convert to Outlines, or Outline Stroke. Either one will get you what you want. Just make sure your dashes are the right thickness and placement before you Outline!


Hello @watsondl, thank you for reaching out to us. It sounds like you’re getting all the right advice from our amazing community members. Thank you everyone!

Give the tips they provided a try and let us know how it goes. If you’re still running into trouble, and you are comfortable doing so, you can always post your design file here and we can evaluate the file more closely. If you don’t feel comfortable posting, you can always email it to us directly at instead.

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There are Inkscape instructions here:

If you use a different design program you can do a search for [name of program] dashed lines and see what comes up :slight_smile:


Thank you, I’m using Inkscape. I just recently learned it so everything is still brand new.

Thank you so much! I’m trying that right now.

Thank you all, I appreciate all the support. I’m using inkscape and was able to get the dash lines to work using rbtdanforth suggestion. Attached is the design I have, it’s a Malu which means protected and is a Samoan only traditional design. Thank you all again!


@watsondl, I’m so glad to hear you were able to get your design issue resolved. That is great news!

Please don’t hesitate to reach out again should you need anything. We’re happy to help!

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