Passthru slot and larger cut files

Hi All,

I am trying to cut a 14x19.5 oval with the Glowforge’s help. Yes, I know, the size is bigger than 12x20. I do have the Pro unit and figure I could use the passthru slot to accomplish this task.

When I load the file in from Illustrator and set everything, it says no artwork (even though the boundaries are within the grey lines.

The file is not the issue here since when I shrink it, it will print just fine. See the Ready next to print below?

So, my questions are:
-Is there a way to print this without slicing the file in Illustrator first?
-What are the max dimensions for cutting/engraving?
-If you have a Pro unit (or modified Basic), what luck have you had with cutting/aligning/engraving larger sizes than the Glowforge was meant to handle?

Thanks for your help!

Not sure what I am seeing. The file is not within the hashed lines on your first pic so you would get no art work.

Probably breaking up a file in 10" lengths would work well for the pass thru.


Notice in the first file, it say “No Artwork” next to the print button?

I am trying to print a large file using the Passthru slot. If I shrink the image to cut size, it says it is “Ready” to Print.

I do not want to chop up the file in to smaller pieces as I am afraid alignment will not work when running the second laser cutting session. Do you know if there is a way to use the Passthru slot without chopping the file down to 19.5 x 10" pieces? In other words, Can I keep my design dimensions and still make it work with the Passthru slot?

There is currently no software help for making the passthrough easy. You have to manually break your art into segments that fit into the printable area.

Any design file that doesn’t have at least one element that fits into a single bed’s printable area will show as “no artwork”. Plus any design element that has some portion outside the print space will not print at all.


No. There isn’t currently a way to do that.


That makes me sad. Thank you for telling me.

Now how do I cut my file in to layers in Illustrator? Can I load the design as a bunch of layers and deactivate the layers outside the printable area?

I use Inkscape, so I’m not sure on illustrator. My guess is that you’d do something like make a number of duplicates and a rectangles of the appropriate size and combine (intersection) with each duplicate to get the pieces. I’ll bet @Jules has a guide in Glowforge Tips and Tricks.

Yes. Though the way you indicate separate operations in the GFUI is by using object color, not AI layers.


Maybe the “knife” tool?

I have been trying the knife tool, but it won’t slice my oval. I am sure I am doing this wrong. I am going to try building this oval in Photoshop (A software I actually know), then trying to come back to AI to figure out how to turn a photoshop image in to a cut as opposed to an engrave.

By the way, if you look through some of the passthrough projects people have posted so far, getting each segment to line up perfectly is a bit of a trick (and ignoring the camera view is critical since it will lead you astray). I suspect an oval might be one of the more difficult shapes to pull off.

1 Like

Yeah, you’ll need to cut it, but I have an oval example listed, with instructions out the wazoo.


I would recommend the table saw feature from the cutting tools here:

You don’t have to use a guide, but I do. I just drag a guide down or across and zip the table saw tool across it to separate the paths.

1 Like

And from there, I would move the cut paths to a new art board template and export as separate SVGs. That way you don’t have a mess of line stacked on top of one another. As long as you set up your artboards correctly, you don’t have to worry about aligning the artwork, only the material.

Great! Ok I am facing another problem now. After I scissored off the oval half below the line and cut it in the laser, it also cut where the scissor line was. How do I remove this line so it doesn’t cut oval halves. In other words I want to leave it open so I can try to cut an entire oval without it cut in half post-laser.


I love this idea, but svg sounds like a 4 letter word… I have two halves right now. My manual alignment wasn’t bad. I just need to figure out how to get GF to only cut a half oval instead of cutting out the entire half of the oval (see photos in previous post above)

1 Like

You need to break the corner nodes and delete the line that results when the scissors tool is used.

Not sure what the Illustrator command is to delete a line segment.

1 Like

Just click the line with the direct selection tool (white arrow) and hit Delete.

Whoops! When you first cut the oval in half, you use the Scissors tool on the path itself, and make sure that you leave that as an Open path. (I’m not sure if the version of Illustrator that you are using does automatic path closure…if so, make sure you turn that off. )

If it does create a joining line, use the White Arrow tool to select just that line and then delete it.

Your oval is looking good though.

1 Like