Need help-Maybe you can see something I cannot

Hello! And thanks in advance for any advice you can give. I was engraving a cutting board for a friend (which is why I’m in beyond the manual).

I spent hours working on this file, cleaning up nodes and all kinds of crazy. But after I engrave it, there is a thin line across the board. It definitely wasn’t the board, because I checked it beforehand, and when I checked my file, I couldn’t find anything (the line is too prefect to be a break in the wood).

So I go back, and spend a couple of more hours cleaning up the file again, checking everything I could possibly think to check, and I go to print it again.

A million hours later, it’s done, but the line is there (deeper in fact, since I didn’t think the flowers showed up well enough, so I ran just the flowers several times). So, the line is somehow connected to the flowers, but I can’t find it still.

If anyone isn’t too busy with their own projects, can someone help me find the line and get rid of it? I’m already down two cutting boards and like ten hours of engraving time (not even going to mention how long I’ve been in front of the computer trying to work on this). I think a fresh pair of eyes might see my mistake better than I can.

Also, anyone know of anything I can put in that line in order to not have to engrave yet another board? I think I’m going to end up supplying her with enough faulty boards to gift her entire family at Christmas if I keep this up.

Thanks again!


What software are you working in?

You have an open path somewhere in there. How to fix it is roughly the same process, but the specifics of how to do it will depend on what you’re using.


I was working in Inkscape. If it’s an open path, is there a shortcut to finding it? :joy: If not, I definitely see a link between two flowers, so I can start checking everything in there.

Right that’s where I’d look. Specifically I would look at the nodes and look for breaks. Let’s see.

Inspecting the center of my flowers I see a hot mess. I’ll clean that up. I missed a lot, I’m not sure if ignoring my coffee to work on this was a good idea. I think I need that coffee…

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Found one of them in seconds. Here’s how.

Select the suspected flower. Go to node editor. Look closely for a node that has a smaller diamond shape. Chances are it’s a path break and is actually 2 nodes.

See it at the very top?

Screenshot (267)

If you drag across it, you should get “2 nodes of xxx” in the bottom of your screen.

while they are both selected remove the segment between them (probably isn’t one, but this will be sure), then join the selected nodes. It’ll change to a single selected node.

Inspect and repeat your other flowers and paths.


Thanks. I definitely see what you are talking about. I normally clean them up, but this excessive amount of nodes, I stopped after cleaning up the branches :joy: thanks for the help. I’ll get right back on this after I finish my coffee.


I wonder if there’s a path break detector plugin? Ever looked into it?

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I think I’ll look for one now. My understanding of the plug-ins I have now is minimal. But I’ll figure it out. Thanks so much for your help. Definitely going to be doing this on cardboard next.

Oh hey, check out preferences->input/output->input devices and crank up handle size. Makes it a bit easier to see anyway.


Careful of cutting designs with lots of fine details and nodes on cardboard – that’s how fires get started. I stick to big simple shapes with cardboard. If you’re doing a light score maybe, but in general I try to use cardboard carefully if at all.

Thanks for the heads-up. I’m really cautious with cardboard (don’t ask why), but I’ve got all my settings for cardboard engraves figured out, specifically for testing purposes now. I would just engrave my flowers anyways, where ever the problem is, it’s within that section.


Me too.



This is why I always rasterize my engraves. It’s not worth depending on the Glowforge software to rip correctly when you can just hand it a bitmap.


I’ll have to figure that out. I use a different program for my raster images, and I haven’t leveled up enough to figure out going the other way. :sweat_smile: :joy:

It’s easy, you can use the convert to bitmap (which I don’t like) or export as png (which I do) feature in inkscape. It’s much easier than you think.

Searching the forums will find lots of discussions of exactly how to do it but I bet you’ll have no problem just trying it out.

Thanks again. I don’t have enough coffee in my house to fix the flowers in that file, too many nodes, so inkscape is moving at snail’s pace. So I decided to work on one flower and duplicate the correct flower. Maybe I can rasterize my single flower and insert it where needed. I’ll try it out next. After I fix it, I’ll put the file back up minus the names. I decided it was probably best not to share my friend’s info with the world, she’ll kill me. Maybe I’ll actually sleep tonight.

Select all the flowers at once outside of node mode. Copy them and paste to a white space on the document. Then export as png.

Then drag the png into the svg and place it on the existing art.

Once you have that where you want it you’re good to go.

I’m paraphrasing a bit. Like if it were me, I’d probably work on a copy of the file to preserve the original paths.

It probably seems clunky but really the entire process should take only a couple minutes once you have it figured out. It’s really easy.


Ok. Fixed my flowers, got thhem back into the file, tested on cardboard, no more line. Thank you for all the help. I made a general file to share for thanks. I left it a million colors because I’ve been playing around with either engraving the tree and engraving the outline of the flowers, or doing the outline of the tree and engraving the flowers…now I have to go buy some more cutting boards :cry: :cry:Tree Cutting Board


Thanks for doing all the hard work of cleaning up - we’ve all been there! Thanks also for sharing your file - it’s a nice one!