Request to show scale percentage

I found a great design online, but it was designed for a different wood thickness. I’ve burned through several planks adjusting imported .svg scale, and now it finally works.

It sure be nice if the scaling percentage was displayed, so I could note down the final scaling value in order to repeated the print in the future without all the expensive guess work.


would be a nice feature. Until the day comes that it is implemented you can scale exact amounts in other software. I’m sure there is a way in most programs we use but I only know how to do it in Fusion 360 as that is my go-to.

Agreed. It’s a question of how usable they want to make the Glowforge for tinkerers and re-mixers. (they might even sell more materials if it were trivial to re-size designs to fit different material thicknesses!) :wink:

You might also take a small part of your design and scale that to run small tests before burning entire planks. I’ve saved myself a ton of materials by taking a chunk of a part with a sample slot set, scaling that and cut/testing, then going back and scaling the whole model only when I have it dialed in.

Unfortunately you’re up against what I call a “minimum complexity problem”: getting a really tight fit has lots of variables, it’s not possible to make it simple and also highly accurate. It’s a bit like the adage about quick, cheap, and high quality—pick two.

For instance one major set of variables that almost can’t be automated is in the material. How thick? How consistent? What’s the kerf width? Glowforge tries to eliminate that as much as possible via proofgrade — even then there are small variations in thickness and kerf width that will require iterating if you are going for a very tight fit.

Depending on your tolerances you can mitigate this with slot designs that are designed to pinch or lock your materials, but again, minimum complexity rears its head and now you’re back to needing a serious editor.

This is why there are whole companies dedicated to making capable editors (fusion, inkscape, illustrator). It’s a complicated issue and requires detailed tools.

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I have a template of slots I use. They’re just U shaped rectangles with various slot widths. I cut them out of each material. There are 5 in a set - one is sized (in the design software) to the thickness of the material plus 1 kerf (generally 0.007in) because I will be taking half a kerf on each side. The other 4 are 0.001in steps on either side of that (sometimes I have to modify them by more in odd materials).

Easy to setup for new materials - just scale the piece by the % difference from my “base” material of 1/8". The overall size of the piece gets a little bigger or smaller but the slot retains the correct proportion and will be a good reference. I test the slots by sliding them on one of the other pieces.

Most designs of non-mechanical things I’ve found are okay to resize by the appropriate % by selecting the whole design and applying that to the whole selection - it’s okay if that 3" reindeer body is an eighth of an inch larger because I moved from 3mm material to 1/8" material. Lock the X/Y sizes so they adjust proportionately and then change the size to 103% for instance. All dimensions in the design will adjust by that much including the width & length of the slots & tabs. The overall piece size is okay to change along with the slots & tabs unless you’re trying to fit a precisely sized receptacle. It is so much easier doing it that way than adjusting every slot & tab.


Yeah, what @jamesdhatch said re:every slot and tab. Nobody has time for that.

That being said, if you’re working on your own original slot and tab design, clever rigorous use of clones can make slot width adjustment a single step. It’s parametric-lite.

I make my slot its own path then intersect clones of that with the larger pieces that they’re meant to cut from. If I need to adjust all the slot widths and don’t want to scale the whole image, now I can. There are lots of caveats to this method, and lots of little quirks about how I do it that are beyond the scope of a single comment, but that’s the gist.


Thanks so much for the feedback. I’ve passed it on to the rest of the team!