Resolution and size issues with printing

Hello, Creatives!

I have (probably noobie) questions about size and resolution using Glowforge. When I create something in Photoshop, I am specific with the size and resolution. However, when I bring my design into the Glowforge app, the artwork is re-sized. It is often smaller than I originally created it. I have to resize it then to make sure my print and projects are accurate. I have Photoshop set to inches as well as my Glowforge.

Does Glowforge have a resolution size similar to Photoshop? If it does, what is the resolution size? For example, in Photoshop you can set the resolution to 300 PPI for printing and 72 PPI for animation. Is it better if I switch to metric? I’d really like artwork I bring into Glowforge to be the same size when it was created.


you will want to start with a document size equal to the GlowForge’s printspace.

something like 11.9 x 19.5 inches. I don’t recall offhand, as I made a template, and just start from that in InkScape.

a search on here for print area should get you what you need.


This tends to happen with illustrator too if you save a file with the box responsive checked. I’m not sure how to prevent it from photoshop as I never did one straight from photoshop to Glowforge. Hopefully someone who has can chime in for you.

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20x12 - it’s a setup that the GF uses and will force the size to be correct. It generally assumes 96dpi but regardless of what the sending program uses (like PS using 72) the 20x12 canvas tells the GF to ignore pixels and make everything fit the 20x12 space.

It can actually be any size as long as it’s the same ratio - so a 5x3 or 10x6 would work as well. It’s just easy to setup a 20x12 workspace that you use for GF projects and not worry about the program’s DPI settings.


A bitmap image doesn’t inherently have a printed size.

Save as a PDF. PDFs do contain printed size information.

I just made a 2" 72dpi image in Photoshop, saved as a PDF, uploaded to Glowforge, it appeared as 2" in size.

I then resized it to 2" at 300dpi, saved as PDF, uploaded to Glowforge, and that also appeared as 2" in size.


Thank you @dan84! I will try the PDF work around. I did try making a doc that was 12x20, but still had the same issues.

I have found it best to double check measurements in any case. However, if you only have rasters there is no way to cut it out. I use Inkscape and can include both at the size needed. I scale the raster to the size needed. Usually it is too big and thus I have all the data of the high dpi and get much better prints.

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