Paper to machine

We received our glowforge last year and my husband had hoped I would really get into it. We have a toddler that’s turning 3 in July (already have hands full and with many other things) and now that I’m showing interest in the forge I’m wanting to just use paper and pen. I’m an artist with paper from making drawings, illuminations, sewing and much more stuff. So here’s my question: Can I just use the trace option in the main program to copy what I have on paper and then put the material in to apply to? Or do I have to do the art on the material itself that’s being cut or engraved? Thank you! Sorry for the long intro, have a feeling I’ll be back with more questions.

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You can absolutely scan the artwork in and then apply it to your material wherever you want…that’s the way the machine is designed to be used. :slightly_smiling_face:

There is a short tutorial on using the Trace function here:

I’m not sure that it’s mentioned in the tutorial, but you can also now drag in a vector shape of any kind to align with your artwork in the interface, so you can cut out a different shape around the engraved artwork other than doing a close outline cut. (Engrave the art and then cut out an oval or rectangular shape around it instead of cutting the exact shape.)


Depending on the level of detail you’re working with, you might want to take a photo of the piece and then import it into the UI using either a PC or perhaps a tablet/phone app. (never used the ios app, myself)

The trace feature is really only good for rough work with bold contrast.

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You’ll quickly figure out what type/style works best with trace. Another option, if you have a scanner, is to scan your artwork and go from there.

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