Only offering Engraving

When I trace or upload a file my glowforge is only offering engraving as an option. Cut is not clickable. It says “Sorry. Bitmaps can only be engraved”.How can I get it to cut rather than only engrave?
Also, my glowforge has only a small list of “recent materials”. When I “Search” for other materials nothing comes up. Do I need to import materials into the list?

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Click on the Magnifying Glass icon in the Unknown Materials to do a search for other materials. (Just type “walnut” for instance to pull up a list of all the walnut and walnut plywood options. Click on one to select it.)

If your image consists of pixels (bitmap image) the only option you have is to Engrave it. Cutting lines are created with vector paths, and you usually have to create those in one of the drawing programs like Inkscape or Illustrator, or through using the Trace Function in the Glowforge interface.

There are a few tutorials that can help you to get started with adding cutlines…here are a few that you should work through to get a better understanding of how it works.

First you will want to learn how to use the Glowforge interface…so reading through (and working through) the suggested examples are important steps for learning to use the machine:

Print a Gift of Good Measure.
Print a Snap-n-Store Box with Customization
Make a Gift Tag
Shortcut Keys
Working with Manual Settings

And the tutorial below expands on using the Trace function in the Glowforge:


As for actual materials, the only thing that will be in that list is Proofgrade materials (that Glowforge sells). I think Jules linked to saving custom settings.

Thank you for the suggestion @Jules.

@llazzelle , could you try the above suggestion and let us know if it helps?

Hi, This is Lenae. Thank you for the help with the trace feature. I didn’t know about clicking outside the image in order to change it from engrave to cut. However, now it seems to be both engraving and cutting. Someone suggested the “ignore” button on the engrave and I will look for “ignore” tomorrow.
I’m still not getting a list of alternate materials when I use the “search” criteria. Would card stock be searchable?

Searching will only ever bring up Proofgrade (:proofgrade:) materials - the ones they sellin the store, so no card stock (at least yet!)
You can save your own settings by clicking on the + sign in the top right corner of the settings box, and then you can name it Card stock and you’ll see it listed when you’re trying to do the same function (Engrave, or Score, or Cut)

Hitting Ignore on the Engraving portion was the solution I was looking for. Thank you everyone. Print time down from about 50 minutes to about 7.

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I’m glad you resolved it! I’m going to close this thread. If you run into any other trouble, please start a new topic, or email us at We’re here to help!