Printing from Ipad

I will start out with, I am not a tech savvy persondo not own a computer.

First thing is probably to learn to use the Glowforge interface…there are a series of sample prints that will take you through the basics and get you comfortable with the layout…I’d suggest reading through (and printing the examples) that you find here:

Click the links in the left column to go to the topics.


Welcome @cbgroover to the forum. Let us know a bit about yourself. What do you hope to accomplish with your Glowforge. The iPad can function very well to load your designs or other designs that you get from different sources. There are some good tools that you can use to make your own designs. I am not too familiar with those, but as to uploading and printing from the iPad, that’s pretty easy.

Do you wish to make your own designs? Are you interested in things that need to be cut out with intricate vectors or more of an engrave cool images and cut out some circles and squares?


Hehe, my iPad sent my unfinished message. Thank you for getting back to me so fast.
I am a metal smith & jeweler, I fell in love with the laser cutting/rostering process for faster production of parts when I was still in school.
I’m currently trying to expand my practice/business and in the future have another source of income by renting out time on the GF in my home studio.
Right now I am trying to cut out hand drawn shapes, b/c I like the imperfectness of the human hand. I love the trace function, but now I need those images multiplied. I have gotten the hang of Adobe Draw and Vectornator x. The issue that I have run into is getting my designs to the right file type. I have gotten my designs to send but they are coming through as ‘bitmaps” and things I want cut are only coming through as etchings.
I’ve been searching YouTube and GF to find out what I am not doing right.

Thank you so much y’all, I’ve been wanting to reach out but have been too proud to ask for help.


So you need vectors to cut. PDFs also work. Does your software allow you to put make vectors and import and place bitmaps and then save as a PDF? Posting will surely bring out some help from folks in your situation who have figured this all out.

Yes, vectors. I thought the programs were automatically making my drawings into them. It’s very different from how I did it in the LAB. There were small points that I had to draw around my shapes, when I used their programming. I found out how to draw that way through Vectornator, I just need more practice on drawing that way.
I think I have found a way to save them in PDF format. I’ve gotten one image to convert, but I have not tried to print yet.
Will it work once it’s in that format? Without me having to re-outline everything?


Just test it out. I use cardboard all the time. It’s a great practice material. Just search for settings for cardboard and watch it carefully.

Have you understood how the Glowforge uses colors for vectors to designate separate operations?


The thing about Vectornator is that it allows you to have both bit maps and vectors in your file. The way I would approach adding the vectors is to add a new layer over the bitmap layer, and do your hand-drawn vector outlines on the upper vector layer. If you just want to send the vectors to the GF I’m thinking you could either hide or delete the bitmap layer. If you export it as SVG format, be aware that Vectornator saves it in a wrong (smaller) size. It’s best to export it as a PDF.

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Welcome to the forums @cbgroover. I can see you’ve gotten some great advice on using your iPad with your Glowforge. Since there doesn’t seem to be a problem I am going to move this thread to Everything Else. If you ever run into any issues though feel free to start a new thread or email us

Thank you!

I tried out these programs on my iPad. Unfortunately, Adobe Illustrator Draw is not going to work: while it can produce a PDF, it doesn’t give you enough control over things like fill and stroke settings to be able to produce a usable cut file for the Glowforge.

I had better luck with Vectornator. I scribbled some lines, turned off the fill, and I was able to successfully save an SVG, which I could upload to the Glowforge and set to cut.

I know a good number of people seem to be getting along with just iPads, but my feeling is that it’s going to be very hard to do anything precise or accurate without the more powerful applications you can use on a computer, like Inkscape, Illustrator, or Fusion 360. If it’s just approximate, hand-drawn shapes, I guess it could work.



Thank you so much! Thats what is exactly what I was trying to figure out.

I have vectornator, so ill just get rid of Adobe draw.

If I run into another issue can I message you?

Thanks again,


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