Need Help with Cut vs Engrave in Illustrator

Hey Guys,

I received my GF and I have been trying to work on our first custom job, but I can’t seem to make the GF understand cut vs engrave areas.

I have a simple rectangle and square that I want to cut out on the black lines, and engrave or score a line on the blue lines. What is the process that I am missing to make this happen in the GF software?

File is attached for you guys to check out and see where I am going wrong.



Awesome, welcome to the club.

There are lots of things to learn here. I’d suggest starting with this post.

Your question isn’t really an illustrator question, it’s more a “how do I design for the Glowforge” question. If you read through that whole post you’ll be off and running in no time.

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@evansd2 Thanks for the reply! I will dig through everything and give it another shot tonight. It looks as though I should have set the laser to “Score” rather than “Engrave.”

Yup. Setting to cut or score can be manually done like that.

In general fill/no stroke is engrave, and stroke/no fill is cut. If you design like that it’ll make your job setup a bit simpler.

I’ve had similar issues, and one solution I’ve found is to simply group the areas I want cut, and group areas I want scored in illustrator before saving, and for whatever reason that worked!

You were close. Essential is to know that defining a stroke color and defining a fill color is what determines a distinct operation.

As @evansd2 pointed out, a closed-path, vector shape with no fill color defined but just a stroke color defined will give you a distinct operation that defaults to a cut, but can be changed to a score, or just manually set. All vector paths defined with this same color will get imported into the GFUI as one cut/score operation to define speed, power, and focus.

A closed-path, vector shape with a fill color defined but no stroke color defined will give you a distinct operation that will default to an engrave. You can then adjust speed, power, LPI, and focus.

You want to define an object as either, not both.

If you want to make different settings for different objects, change the color value of the stroke or fill. The order of operations will depend on the color definition going from black as 0,0,0 RGB or 000000 hex to white defined as 255,255,255 or ffffffff.

Regarding “score” versus “cut”, these are just terms for the Glowforge user interface with presets. From a manual point of view, you are just defining the sames settings. It does help from a design point of view to distinguish a through cut verses a light cut that doesn’t go through and just scores the surface.