Living Hinge Design is FINE in Illustrator But Exporting All... Janky

Hi All -
I am new to Glowforge but have been designing with Illustrator for about 10 years.
I cannot figure out what is happening with this file!

Here is a screen shot in Illustrator:

And here is what was sent to GF:

The worst part is this is happening after I spent ALL DAY testing different living hinge designs and configurations for folded wood earrings and this is the perfect flexibility. If I can fix it!!!



It looks very nice! Are you exporting vectors? Have you looked at the nodes? That should tell the tale.

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Usually when it’s file specific like this, it can help to upload the file (zipped up), if you’re willing to do so.

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Sure thing.
I tried a bunch of things recommended on Stack Exchange which then made the GF throw errors when I tried to upload. Not my day.
Here’s the file:

And here’s the ai file. (2.2 MB)

First thing I see, is that it’s scaling the design down when it uploads. My recommendation here is to design everything in a 12x20" artboard. This aspect ratio will be identified behind the scenes when you upload a file and scale things correctly (the SVG you uploaded uses no specified units, so it’s using pixels, and Illustrator uses a different value for pixels per inch than your browser does).

Second, it looks like it was maybe saved at 2 decimal places. This design is very, very small - where hundredths of an inch could make a difference. When you save as from Illustrator, I would use 3 or 4 decimal places.

Here is your same design that I saved back out using 4 decimal places. It seems to load appropriately for me.

livinghinge (40.5 KB)

New on the left, original on the right.

That fixed - there are a couple of areas that may not go as well as you planned.

This is the 6th hinge cutout from the bottom. It’s going to overlap the edge cut on the left. There is something like 3-4 ten thousandths of an inch between the two lines.


Eek! Thank you so much. Let me go back in and see what I can do.

When you get way zoomed in while drawing stuff, it’s easy to lose track of scale and how much room you really have. I tend to use a stroke of .008” to simulate how much material is going to be removed, if paths will intersect, etc.

When you Save As SVG, click the More Options and set up your saves to look like this:

Also, the metadata was missing from your file, so I’m guessing you exported rather than saved. The official recommendation is to do Save As or Save a Copy.

I use export all the time and I haven’t broken anything yet, but you’ll need to go into the export options in Illustrator and set up the appropriate boxes.


Much better! Thank you so much! Excellent tips!


Looks like you got it.

You can also select in AI and then paste directly into the GFUI. That worked perfectly for me.


What @hansepe said. i only use copy and paste unless it’s something really dense and complicated.

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That doesn’t work for modern versions of Illustrator.

EDIT: Tested and I guess I missed a memo somewhere, when did they fix it?

not sure, i’ve been doing it for a long time. and i’ve never had anything but the most current version.

At one point, it was specifically for 2015 ( I’m glad I saw these comments or I would still be saving unnecessary copies!


It’s never been “broken” per se, but it was a bit weird.

If you start AI from the Start Menu as opposed to double clicking on a file it’s always worked. Now it doesn’t seem to matter how you start AI, it still works.

I’ve been using this trick with Creative Cloud versions since the feature was announced.


May be a Windows thing, it never worked for me on my Mac no matter how I started it. But it does now, so happy times.


glad it’s working now. i know i was using it at least back in the beginning of November last year because that’s the one time it was a problem. when i was copy/pasting a big family crest file that was really complicated and it ran into some issues. other than that, it’s worked perfectly for everything else.


REALLY!?!? I didn’t know that! Game changer for my workflow!


wow, here I’ve been saving copies on a Mac this whole time…

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There is nothing wrong with that, but this gives you options.

I’ve been a fan of this method for quick “one offs” sine it was introduced. i still generate SVG for everything that I want to keep and maybe use again.

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