Preview totally different

For some reason the cut that I had in the sag file and had labeled as a cut didn’t cut. So I placed the cut where I wanted it in the preview. It cut it a good 1/4 inch higher and messed up my design!

How can I avoid this?

And again.

First step is to run the camera calibration tool. A very good chance that will tighten up the overlay to where the design actually falls. Have you done that yet?


Where and how? Also, I make something in Illustrator with very specific measurements. I save it as an SVG, and when I put it into the machine the measurements are off.

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You fix the size changes (which are because the different softwares have different lpi defaults) by making a 12x20 artboard around everything

The camera calibration is: Lid Camera Calibration Beta

Also, it’s worth reading through most of: Community Glowforge Tutorials: Table of Contents you’ll find so many of your questions answered!


There are some tricks to saving an SVG from Illustrator.

When you go to save, give it a file name and continue, you’ll get an SVG options box. Click more options and make sure that Responsive is not checked. The default behavior is for it to be ticked and that will cause resizing.


Thanks Deirdrebeth!

Hi there,

I’m new to GF. Forgive me but I have to ask.

Is there a specific reason to save as SVG instead of PDF?


Putting the design in the middle under the head with very flat material and using the Set Focus will allow you to get pretty good camera alignment, but the official specs are 1/4" and less off from the preview.

So jigs work great, but you have hit on one of the continuing challenges of using the Glowforge, re-aligning an image after the print has taken place to add more or correct something. You can also use a very light score on the masking and immediately stop the print. Then shift the design over with the arrow keys. Not exact. You can add artwork that is a cross to align to that is outside of the area you want to redo. As long as you select the whole design including the cross and the main image, you will be able to sift. Just score that cross hair until it aligns.

Depends on what you are using to generate the file. Some folks prefer PDFs because their design software generates good files and there are some options like not having to convert text to paths for saving PDFs.

I have found that I have to work to ensure that all the different variables are correct if I am saving as a PDF to ensure correct size.

I mainly use Inkscape so I just save as SVGs.


Thanks for the help in this thread, everyone. @coreycatt, did you see more accurate results after running the camera calibrator and using set focus? Also, are you still running into any trouble with your design scaling?

i almost always use PDF if i export out of Illustrator. If it’s not a crazy complicated file, i literally copy/paste out of illustrator now. no reason to make an intermediary file. but if you have something with a crapload of nodes (and i mean a whole lot, really complicated file), the copy/paste isn’t perfect. but i’ve only seen that once so far, on a very messy family crest that i downloaded from somewhere else.


I see you already emailed us about this and we’re working on it there, so I’m going to close this topic.