Long Print Times For Vector/Photo

Hello Community,

I am trying to print 488 vector magnets. The SVG has three black and white vector files and a .gif photo file. I prepared the photo to be printed on cardboard and imported all files into Adobe illustrator. I grouped the files and traced the final group so it could be cut how I wanted, then exported as an SVG from illustrator. The final print was amazing but it did take 19 minutes for one print.

After I was satisfied with the print I tried to layout multiple prints by duplicating the group in illustrator on my glow forge workspace I created to fit the dimensions of the print area. Just so you know, my swatches have been limited to only the glow forge color swatch panel. I exported the layout as an SVG and it would not upload to glowforge?

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.


You’re probably not going to like the answer much, but it should work…

I don’t know how many copies you have on your page, but when you are doing multiples, you can prepare the final file by rasterizing any engraves into rows…

So if you had two rows with 3 photos and some engravable text or something on top in each row… you would want to hide any cut lines, select everything else on a row, turn it into a high resolution png file (300 dpi) then make the cut lines overlaying it visible again.

The reason for doing it in rows, is that if you want to go high LPi on the engrave, you can do that if you have a break in the processing, you might not be able to if you tried to turn everything into one big PNG file. It’s not really necessary to go with high LPI though, so if you wanted to convert all of the engravings into one big PNG file, that should also work fine.

One other thing that you have to be aware of though when doing this…do not set up engraves across the whole bed - the limits for engraving are a lot narrower than they are for cutting, so drop a couple of columns off of your multiples…it’s going to fit on a smaller bed size depending on how fast you are engraving. (I’d leave a couple of inches of space in there just to be safe with the PNG file…only do setups 17" wide.)

If you create a single PNG file it will process as one engrave, and if it is too large to fit on the engravable area of the bed, you’ll have to start messing with slowing down the speed and reducing the power to get it to process, and that slows things back down again.

And last, a final Pro tip…create a separate single file that has just one button on it. When you are dealing with a large single engrave for the bulk of the processing, you can’t take advantage of scraps without having a single to work with. :slightly_smiling_face:

If you do that, I think you’ll find that the batch processes much faster, and the overall time should drop down to something manageable.


Thank you. I was hoping glow forge had an option to duplicate in the software. That would be sweet? Ill try this method to see if it helps.

1 Like

It does, but it’s not going to be as efficient…it will treat each copy individually.

(But you can select the file and CTRL/CMD+ C to copy it, then CTRL/CMD + V to paste it. I think you’re still better off time-wise doing it in Illustrator.)


I believe there is room for both to consider. If you put ten high rez files in a row and make them one file the size of the file jumps enormously (one-hundred Squared or 10,000 times! if going 10 both ways) or what usually happens is the resolution drops sometimes to visible pixels.

If you have the images as separate files in the Illustrator it will both do each individually AND give you 100 layers to apply settings to. however if you copy paste in the GFUI you will have a single set of layers. It will still cut one at a time but one setting does them all.

None of those options are ideal to what you would want if you could redesign the universe to your liking, but some things are limited by being in this universe and math is one of those.

1 Like

I’m not really sure it’s the file size that is the limiting factor here, I think it’s the motion planning. Combining them into one PNG file seems to make it easier for the Glowforge software to create code for it. (It has much quicker processing times, which indicates to me that the GF software isn’t struggling as hard for it.)

That’s why I’ll sometimes rasterize complex vector engraves as well. It seems to work pretty well. :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

I am having trouble when I go to save the SVG file. It will not upload to glow forge. For some reason the image .png I create in photoshop is deleted when I create the svg file in illustrator? It literally disappears and illustrator says the file is missing?

Oh sorry, you need to Embed the PNG file in Illustrator if you are creating it in some other program.

While you are in Illustrator, with the PNG file in it, click on the PNG file then select Embed in the button in the top row.

Then when you save the SVG there is a little radio dial that you have to select to Embed the image.

Quick instructions for it here:

1 Like

Which ARE NOT really 12x20.
If you have a design that is hugging the edges on a 12x20 design layout - it will not load because it will be seen as too large.
At best is will say No Artwork.

Imagine a 1 inch No-Go border on that 12x20 and you will always be good.

1 Like

When I rasterize the images it does lose a lot of the quality. The vectors almost appear blurred? Will it still print nice and if is rasterizing a must?

Keep your vectors. Vectors tend to print fast and you’re just mucking things up taking the mathematical vectors and dumbing them down to bitmaps.

As noted above, create as many buttons as you can in a single layout, put the bitmaps in place, then make all the bitmaps a single bitmap prior to exporting your SVG with the embedded bitmap option selected.

If you want to share your files I’ll be happy to look at them and help you out. Good luck either way.

1 Like

Thanks to everyone who has chimed in to help! When you engrave, there are multiple things that can impact the time it takes to complete a print, including the size and complexity of the artwork, as well as the resolution you engrave at.

If you’d like to further optimize your print, that would be outside our team’s scope. I’ve moved this topic to the Beyond the Manual so the discussion can continue there.

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.