Opening a png file

I have several png files that the glowforge shows as being uploaded, but the image is blank. I can see the image when i use other programs to open the file. Also, I have a png file that the forge will not let me cut. It says that it can only etch the design. Really need some help here.

To the ones that aren’t opening - if you’re willing to upload them here someone might be able to help

.pngs are raster files so you will only be able to engrave those. You need vectors to be able to cut & score - .svg is a container file that can have both, but is the most common for vectors here. You can open your .png in Inkscape (or another vector program) and trace it to get a vector. There are instructions for how to do that (search for your program in the Tips & Tricks section).


I’m sorry for the confusion! Only SVG and PDF files can be used for cutting and engraving. @deirdrebeth is correct that JPG and PNG files can only be used to engrave. Vector files like SVG or PDF are able to contain lines called “strokes”, which are turned into cuts.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to create a shape to cut. If you’d like a little more depth, we have a longer tutorial that walks you through creating a design so you can see how to create a file with cuts in it. It includes step by step instructions and illustrations, including how to use Inkscape, a free design program, to create shapes for cutting.

Regarding your design not appearing, could you post a screenshot of what you see in the Glowforge app when this happens? Make sure to include the rulers in your screenshot and show as much of the bed as possible

To take a screenshot:

  • Mac: Press Shift-Command-4 and click and drag a box around your image. You’ll find the screenshot file saved on your desktop.

  • Windows: Click on the Start Menu and type “snipping tool”. Open the Snipping Tool > New then click and drag a box around your image. Click the Save icon and name and save your file.

Post that screenshot, and we’ll be happy to take a look.

It’s been a little while since I’ve seen any replies on this thread so I’m going to close it. If you still need help with this please either start a new thread or email