Printer won't import SVG or PDF

I can’t import a SVG and PDF without the system changing it to GIF or JPG. Any suggestions?

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The system doesn’t change the files - it literally can’t.
What’s happening is that both .svg and .pdf are container files - they can contain both vectors and rasters. Yours contain only rasters if you’re only getting engrave options, and vectors if you’re getting engrave/score/cut options

What exactly are you trying to do? Do you have an image you want to cut out? If you can clarify someone here will be able to help - and if you upload your art someone can probably walk you through the exact steps you need.


Have you worked through any of the tutorials and/or first cuts? The interface cannot and does not change file types.


yes. went through the tutorials. And all i can say is when i import the files and try to cut i get a message that says it cant cut JPG. the tutorial says import and save as SVG or PDF. My system doesn’t give me any options. I can take pics if you need to see what I see.

What program are you trying to use?

i scanned the pattern in using inkscape, loaded it up on the gloforge app

using dashboard. i also have noticed my printer wont cut anything unless i tell it I’m using premium products. i have a digital caliper and put in the measurements and it wont cut through the wood. if i tell it its premium wood then it cuts. and that’s only using the gloforge patterns. so far im very disappointed in this printer. paid a lot for it and not getting the expected results. so far no answers from the manufacture… considering sending it back for full refund.

from a flatbed scanner?

I think the problem you are having is that a scanned image is probably appearing as a bitmap or raster image. Those don’t cut, they only engrave.

for example if you create text in inkscape(which I have just been doing) you have to select the text and then convert object to path. then save the document. THEN it will engrave.

if for example when I forget that step, i load it up and the cloud says “you have text it will be ignored” then I say to myself. CRAP I forgot to do that again.

go back to my document, convert to path. upload after deleting the previous file and PRESTO it works.

just because you enter the correct thickness doesn’t mean it will cut through. you have to consider the speed and power. This just bit me. I am working with the Home Depot Black/white boards you can find that thread in the beyond the manual section. well my pro wouldn’t cut using the recommended settings. why? beats the heck outta me. so I had to do a test. you can also if you search find a test pattern for cut power. it is very handy.


ill try tomorrow. too frustrated tonight. thanks for the advice…

wondering if goforge will ever get back to me on this…

Everything you have posted here points to a lack of understanding of the first three projects in the tutorial. You may want to go back and redo them and really understand what they are trying to teach you.

You have a learning curve ahead of you even if you are going to use Proofgrade products. I suggest spending some time learning what the power and speed settings mean, what raster images and vector images are and how to handle them, and also how to develop settings for non-Proofgrade materials. There is a wealth of information here and you just need to learn to use the machine.

I don’t think your machine is defective, I think you need to sit down and learn to use it.


Glowforge support will get back to you, but the problem you are describing does not indicate an operational flaw with the machine. It seems you are having trouble understanding designing files for the Glowforge that accomplish what you want. I am attaching a file that may be helpful. It was written by one of our most helpful forum members, Jules.
Laser Design Basics.pdf


Glowforge staff can’t help you learn how to use design software, or the basics of the difference between raster and vector images. Lots of tips on getting started with that above, however, and as your issue has nothing to do with the machine or its web interface, I’ve moved this to an appropriate forum section.

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I’m sorry for the frustrating start while trying to print your designs. I see that this thread was moved to the “Everything Else” section so that folks can continue to discuss this topic.

I saw that you sent us an email, so I’ve sent you a response there with some additional information and advice.

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I know it can be hard to understand about the svg files. Jpg and bmp are raster files and can only be engraved like everyone says. One way you can tell in inkscape that might help your understanding, is open your file, go to the menu up top, click on view, and outline. When in outline mode, you’ll see all the vector lines, which you can click and manipulate the nodes. But a raster image will show up as a rectangle with an giant “x” through it, you can’t change any individual feature of it. Those are the things that will only engrave unless you convert the image itself to a vector using trace bitmap.

If you want to engrave the image and cut it out, you’re going to need to add a vector border around it to cut it out. I would look at some of the great tutorials on here. I think I also used alot of YouTube to figure things out for Inkscape.


The most concise info on tracing is on Inkscape’s own documentation site.

Generally, “Edge Detection” allows you to create a cut outline by simply deleting everything the trace creates except the outer perimeter (Select-All, shift-click on the perimeter, hit Delete.) You can then use “Outset” to scale it around your image.

You have to play with these tools to learn their capabilities and limitations.


thanks to all for the advice…