Question regarding design file

How does the GF software interpret the files that we are going to send it? All I’ve really heard is “color”. In the below example, the red represents cut and the green represents engrave.

This is a rectangle with a red stroke and a green fill, with a circle that has a white stroke and white fill behind it. My expectation based on what I’ve read here is that this would result in an engraved area with an unengraved circle in the middle… a “dot” stamp if you will. But then I wonder if the GF will engrave based on the object as opposed to the visual representation of the objects, in which case I have to use the operations to join the circle to the rectangle… but that results in this:

Now I have a cut out rectangle that is engraved, and a cut out circle. I don’t want the circle cut out, but I can’t separate the path of the circle from the rectangle to give them different strokes.

Then I look at this… which I am hoping to make as a stamp, and I wonder how it will work if in the end, the green part is all comprised of one circle that is behind everything else.


This is one where the Glowforge team themselves will have to answer. Because different software will handle this file in different ways.

There are some which will actually leave the interior of the white circle alone. But many of them would know that the green fill really does exist behind there, and so they will engrave inside the circle.

The safest way to handle this (would work in almost every program I have seen) is to never have the fill happen in the circle area at all, and to not have the circle use a stroke. There are many ways to accomplish this in your design program of choice, but most probably are not intuitive.

What I would do is use your second example to make the green fill, and then move that fill object into a different rectangle which does not have the circle object present at all.

For your added stamp example: Go ahead and do the green fill, but make sure every white piece inside is a different object. Then run a difference of the white out of the green. That should give you a single object which has never had any fill behind the white zones at all.


So use separate objects for engraves and cuts, as opposed to using the stroke and fill of a single object. That probably makes sense. Makes the stamp above pretty difficult to accomplish…


Without commenting on how the Glowforge works, I can say that using Illustrator you can easily generate that file either as a solid green circle with white shapes in front, OR as a set of individual solid green shapes with border lines (if you want them).

To achieve the second drawing you could make the first and then use the “pathfinder” tool to do a boolean subtraction called “Minus front”.


I just ran through the process in Inkscape and it was easier than I though it would be. So my final is that I have three objects… one for the engrave which is the combination of everything (using the “difference” path command). It has no stroke and green fill. Then I have the outer circle that is just a red stroke and no fill, and finally the “contents” which have the blue stroke and no fill. Seems like a smarter way to generate the final product anyway… but adds a couple of steps that, depending on how the GF interprets the file, might not be necessary.

I have both versions of the file saved, so when I do get my GF I can test it out with both options!


One nifty thing I discovered with Inkscape is that if you use the Paint Bucket tool, the fill it generates is actually a completely new object.

Often this caused me to have the laser double-cut my strokes before I figured out there was a second object with a stoke of its own (and normally rounded or otherwise imprecise corners)

So you could generate your normal gear, the use the paint bucket, and set no stroke on the color blob generated by paint bucket.


Good to know! Thanks.

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Outlines, outlines, outlines! I don’t know what’s comparable in Inkscape to view outlines but seems that should be on the checklist of things to do before sending file to print.


Inkscape also has an outline view. But for the duplicate lines from the fill operation you would need to zoom in quite a bit to notice (or have a real keen eye for line width I suppose)


If you want to post it here as an SVG, I can throw it in the GF UI and show you.


That’s awesome @dan! Sadly, it doesn’t seem to like my .svg files and gives me an error when I try to upload;

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Uploading SVGs is apparently problematic but can be done. There’s been a lot of discussion about how; here is one approach:


It won’t get me to a point where it even places the IMG tag in the post. Let’s try it this way:

seal_cm.svg is the original version where the green is just a circle behind everything else.
seal_cm_2.svg is the new version consisting of three objects, one for engrave, one for cut, one for partial cut.


That works!

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I made a little something… note this is for the folks who said they wanted to just watch the whole thing, unedited, 1x speed. :slight_smile: (also note: engraving was low-res, 225 lpi).


Amazing! Your efforts to satisfy your customers are a big part of why I like to hang out here. Thank you! And you are a lucky dog, @chadmart1076.


Just curious. @dan would you set the engrave step or cut first? Isn’t there a chance that if you cut first it could move and the engraving be in the wrong place?

And to follow up: Is it as easy a reordering the steps in the left tray shown in the first video? Alternatively do you feel that there is enough down pressure (if thats what you call it) to hold the piece in place after the cut?


Thank you very much for the real time video. Deeply appreciated!


All the likes! That looks amazing! Thank you.


Interesting to hear the fan speed changes at 3:34 in the second video. No obvious reason for it mechanically so guessing either a temperature sensor or some magical algorithm in the cloud.