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Fabulous! I’ve been playing around with Mapbox. I hope to achieve your excellence!


So nice! Love the dimension and the contrast of the water.

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Thank you, but I think I’ll give the credit to Mapbox, as this made it very easy, and I’m sure there is a ton more to learn. I wish I would have found this a long time ago.


Very cool. Nice job!

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Very cool! My GF is actually arriving today, and I’m planning on trying to make one for my town via Mapbox. Any tips/settings advice on how to get the best results? Great work!

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Since I’ve only been using Mapbox for a few days, not sure I have best practices, but here are a few tidbits to my process. I start out using their light style theme and start hiding layers that I won’t use. I export the primary roads I want to use as one layer and be sure to hide the background so you get a transparent PNG. I then created a layer to have the minor roads, parks, airports and export that for it’s own layer. I did a layer for the lakes as well. I imported all of these into illustrator onto individual layers. The primary roads and lakes layers were converted to vector using image trace. The minor roads layer I left as a image as that was engraved. The outside border is it’s own layer, as you’ll use that on every print. I created the internal border and spend time merging and cleaning up the lines. Then saved as SVG and upload to :glowforge: . Voila!

I am also limited to the size that I can print, as my :glowforge: has issues if I put anything in the lower right hand side too close to the edge. I am getting a 4th replacement unit. So, I keep my width to a maximum of just over 17 inches.

That’s very oversimplified, but I’ve gotten where I can create a 3 to 4 layer map that’s ready to print in just over an hour. The printing takes way longer, as the engrave on the Madison map took over 3 hours. Here is a image of my file with 6 different layers that are sent to the Glowforge.



Awesome! Thank you so much for the information. This will take a lot of the trial and error out of it, when I attempt to make my first one. I can only hope that I’m able to achieve the same results. fingers crossed

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Good luck, and be sure to post your results!

Why did you take this approach? It would seem that the major road vectors overlap the minor road image for engraving so since the head is going to traverse the whole thing anyway, it’ll take longer with the majors as vectors as it’s adding another operation on top of the image engrave.

I did it this way as the major roads are their own layer to give the finished piece some depth. It’s not the same piece of wood. Otherwise, maybe I don’t understand the question.


Got it. Looks like you cut the major roads. I thought you were scoring the major ones and then engraving all the others on the same piece of material.

Nice work! Where are the export functions in map box? Cant seem to find them.

These are rather fantastic! The perpetual problem with being a maker and owning a Glowforge is you keep seeing ideas that take you off down another rabbit hole! Here I go again…


There is a print icon in the upper right hand corner. Click on that!

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Got it! Thanks! Do you have a subscription that gives you unlimited prints?

Personally, no, I do not utilize a subscription.

Set off smoke alarms at the house today. Fan and exhaust needed to be cleaned, and smoke wasn’t being vented properly. It would be very nice if they designed the exhaust port to be a little more friendly to clean, like having a removable cover… Everything seems to be working now.

One last map before moving onto something new. I made this for a friend who works at the University of Notre Dame. 2 layers Proofgrade maple, 2 layers draftboard. Map was created using mapbox.


Are you not selling any of your works? When I sent an inquiry to MapBox I was informed that if I even sell a very limited number of items at craft fairs I would be required to obtain a commercial license. Do that have another program that isn’t listed on their website?

No, I am not selling any of my maps. I have made these as gifts. If I ever get to the point where I decide to sell anything, I would pay for the commercial subscription. Mapbox is definitely not cheap either, but does make it very easy to pull the layers off that you need.

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Wow! Love this one, outside of the fact that you decided to make it of South Bend. cough

I kid! Really awesome work. Love the detail. Whoever you’re making these for are some very lucky folks. Well done sir.

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