Process Masks? Design Using Affinity Designer

I am having trouble with the Glowforge software interpreting my designs wrong from Affinity. I am trying to engrave some words on wood circles…and I have done all the conversions that I’ve always done and there are parts that it is reading as solid. I’ve seen other people have had problems with it. So I tried to export as a pdf to work around it. It worked for one file and not the other. This is the design I created and what it looks like when I import the pdf into Glowforge app. I don’t understand why it thinks there are masks. And quite honestly I don’t even know what masks are. Anyone have any suggestions?! I’m so frustrated. I’ve spent so much time trying to figure this out.

Also, I know many people use Illustrator with no issue. I’m considering switching over…but I’m nervous about it being a complicated program that is hard to figure out.


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Are the words there as well? I have that happen sometimes with exports from AD, but usually I can just have it “ignore” the mask rectangles and everything works as intended.

If the words aren’t there in the artwork when you import it, then there’s more going on. If you’d be okay with sharing one of the bits of text artwork, I’d be happy to look at it in AD and see if I can tell what’s going on.

The words are hidden under the mask. It’s almost as if it’s reading it as a solid rectangle.

You can reorder the design elements over on the left side by clicking and dragging. Drag the rectangles to the bottom and mark them as “ignore.”

And yes, I get that; as I said, I’ve had it happen, but usually I can just “ignore” the rectangle, if not delete it, and the artwork is fine.

I’m not seeing the rectangles as a separate piece. The words and the rectangles are one.

Okay, then I can’t be of much help without seeing the artwork or at least knowing how you’re going about converting the fonts to curves. :woman_shrugging:

If it’s of any help, here’s how I do it:

  • Type the word
  • Select the word, choose Layers --> Convert to curves
  • Ungroup the letters, remove the fill and give them an outline (so you can see the individual curves)
  • For each letter that has enclosed curves (like the inside of an “o”)
    – select the letter, break it apart using the “divide” tool
    – select the inside curve, move to front, then subtract it from its outer shape
  • Select all the letters and use the “add” tool to combine them
  • Add a fill to make sure you didn’t miss any inside parts
  • Once satisfied, export to PDF or SVG for import into the GF app
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Not an AD user, but the GFUI sorts things by color so if the text is a color different from default then the GFUI should see the text as different than rectangles.

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