Question About Cut Order

Hello! Is it possible to set the glowforge to start cutting in the middle of a design rather than the outside edge? I have been experimenting with cutting paper and it would work so much better if the outside edge was cut last instead of first. Thank you!

you need to get a copy of the Custom palette (search custom palette). it lists the colors in “cut order” so you and change line color to alter the cut order. it is available for Adobe and Inkscape!

Yes, there is a way to do it. Make the stroke colors for the inside lines black, and the strokes for the outside cuts blue or green or red.

Black cuts first. Darker colors cut next. Lighter colors cut last.


This isn’t strictly correct.

Colors can be defined by a numerical representation, called a hex code. The glowforge does operations in order starting with the lowest hex code to the highest.

Black is hex code 000000, so it goes first. Pure white is hex FFFFFF, which is the highest, so it would go last. (if it is done at all, I suspect GF might auto ignore white strokes, but have never tried it).

So a pure blue is 0000FF, and a pure red is FF0000, therefore blue has a lower hex value and would come first. It’s no darker or lighter than pure red, it just has a lower hex value.

Custom color palettes that keep that in mind can be really helpful, because really who can memorize all the hex codes? I built a custom palette generator if you want to go all in and make one, but there are simple links in there to just download one if you don’t want to make your own.


The GF will process these colors in order listed. As stated, you can download the palette for your app so they are available with a simple click. However, as you rarely need more than a few steps, just knowing pure black/blue/green/red is enough, if you’re using an app that doesn’t have a custom palette file available.

0 0 0 black (#000000)
0 0 255 blue (#0000ff)
0 100 0 dark green (#006400)
0 100 255 navy blue (#0064ff)
0 255 0 green (#00ff00)
0 255 255 cyan (#00ffff)
100 0 0 brown (#640000)
100 0 255 purple (#6400ff)
100 255 0 light green (#64ff00)
255 0 0 red (#ff0000)
255 0 255 magenta (#ff00ff)
255 100 0 orange (#ff6400)
255 255 0 yellow (#ffff00)


Awesome! Thank you all for the information!

I think the most number of colors I had to do was about 8 or 9, and that was for a pretty complicated nested cut where I wanted to ensure that the neighbor cuts didn’ happen too quickly, I wanted the material to cool down first.

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Or just assign your colors however you want them, and drag the operations to the order you want in the left side menu. That way you can control exactly how your operations progress. I often will do an inside-out cutting sequence, but leave parts attached to keep things from moving around. Then the last operations are inside out to cut the parts apart.


ben1, thanks for this. At first I thought you were just suggesting to build different files. But, just to clarify for anyone else who might follow this, if you create your project (I’m using Illustrator) and use separate colors for each item you want to be stratified (like one color for interior elements and one color for the outline), when you import the one file into the Glowforge, it will come in as separate object layers that you can then assign order by grabbing and moving up or down, with top-most items burning first. I have done this by accident in the past, but it was good to have you outline the process and be able to do this with some intent, LOL!

That’s a good idea.

I know this is old but maybe glowforge could just change their code to do it the right way. In the world of cnc, it’s generally always inside out cuts.