Scanned image creating double lined cuts

I’ve been banging my head against the wall trying to figure out this dilemma. I’ve got scanned images (PDFs generated from a copy machine) of hand drawn designs. I uploaded them as PNGs to to output them as SVGs. So far so good. My problem occurs when I upload the SVG to the Glowforge interface and realize the lines all have inside and outside cuts (see image and you’ll see what I mean). Is this due to the thickness of the line in the hand drawing? Short of making 20 6th graders re-do their drawings, what can I do to avoid these “double cuts”?

It depends on where you click. Don’t click directly on the line itself, click on the white background. There’s a tutorial here that explains it further:


I don’t think he’s using the Glowforge bed trace.

Reading through the instructions for the SVG Tracer linker, I did see this:

A note — one limitation of SVG Tracer is that it identifies the cut path as a closed contour, rather than as a single line. That means it will cut both an interior and exterior path for your package outline. The cut process is usually pretty fast, so it doesn’t add much additional time overall to the cutting process, but if you see your machine returning to outlines it’s already cut, that’s why!

Basically, it’s tracing the interior of your element and the outside of it.


Whoops, my bad.

Why not just load the PDFs directly to the GFUI? It can handle them.

To my knowledge, PDFs will only engrave. I’m looking to cut.

PDFs are container files, like SVGs. If they contain raster images, they will only engrave. If they contain vector images, they will cut or engrave depending whether the vector is outlined or filled.

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Got it–thanks for the clear explanation.

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PDFs generated from a copy machine/scanner aren’t going to have vector components. They’ll just be rasters.

What you are seeing is something that happens with autotracing a design. I’m not sure what online software can prevent this… basically, you want to do a centerline, or a stroke trace, where it picks up on those lines as strokes and not filled shapes.

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I think @Jules is spot on about trying the Trace feature for this project. Otherwise, can you please post an example of an SVG file you’re having trouble with so we can take a closer look?

I am not sure what the intended outcome is. Are you trying to make one of these?

If instead of uploading lines you uploaded shapes, then there would only be the shape with one line around it. you would still need to vector it but any line no matter how thin would look like a hollow shape.

It’s been a little while since I’ve seen any replies on this thread so I’m going to close it. If you still need help with this please either start a new thread or email