Lining up prints decreases print time?

Hi -

I have 8 of a particular design that I would like to print. I made an 8-up in illustrator and created an svg and couldnt get it to print.

I had an svg of 1 up which I was able to print individually and then if I copied and pasted it in GF as an 8-up.

The only concern is that when I copy and paste it, I am not aligning everything so things are on the same plane. If this was the case, I think the GF might go across the bottom 4 and then engrave those as a whole and then work it’s way up to the top 4. Right now everything is engraving 1 at a time and then moving on to the next design.

If everything was lined up in my graphics program and then on a nice grid - would the GF still engrave them one at a time or would it go across the row and build up… and most importantly, would this even impact (in a positive way) overall print time?

Thanks! :slight_smile:

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If they’re combined vectors into one path, yes it’ll do it all in one go.

If it’s 8 copies of an imported vector then no, each will be done one at a time.

Interesting that your 8 copy file wouldn’t work. I’m not an illustrator guy but if you feel comfortable posting the file the illustrator people will chime in, I’m sure.

combined vectors in one path - I’m not sure what this is… can you help a newbie understand a little better? For example, if I have a vector drawing of a fish and then I copy and paste that 7 more times on an artboard… and save it as one svg, does that make it all one path?

Does the one path method you described speed up print time for all?

Thanks @evansd2!

I’m not an illustrator guy, but in inkscape what you’d do for a vector engrave is select your engraved shapes and choose Path->union. This would make them all one path object. The glowforge therefore only scans the area once.

As for your specific improvements it would really depend a lot on your file. As I mentioned above, posting the file for people to evaluate is really the only way to get specifics.

For example, if you have eight 1/4" circles, it’s going to be pretty quick no matter what. Switching to a single scan will save you time, but not tons of time.

If you have eight 11" tall by .25" wide rectangles, you would see a tremendous savings.

How much? That depends entirely on your lpi and speed so I can’t give you numbers, but conservatively probably it’d save at least half the time.

Also, layout of your pieces and how closely packed the engraved areas will matter too, because your laser is traversing the whole space.

I’m afraid there is not one specific answer, but if you post your file, more specific feedback about layout and timing can be offered. Engraving is complex – easily the most complicated thing we can do with the GF. If you haven’t taken the time to really dig into engraving details, I’d recommend blocking out some time and searching the forum for “engraving” and “engraving settings” and “engraving tips” and “engraving layout” and anything else you can think of.

Remember to hydrate and maybe tell your friends where you are, it’s a deep rabbit hole!