Score lines only cut in one direction?

I’m scoring horizontal lines into sheets of acrylic, and no matter how many times I re-make a file in illustrator, the glowforge will only score these lines cutting from right to left - it makes a slow return to the right hand side and scores again, moving leftwards.

this is strange because on the first score it cuts, it starts from 0,0 position in the upper left and will actually score heading from left to right - then scores back again heading left - but from that point on, it only goes right to left. this adds a lot of wasted time and movement into the process, which would be much faster scoring in both directions.

is this normal? it’s done this on every set of lines I’ve scored, and it’s kind of odd behavior.

I’ve attached a link to a zipped copy of the SVG file I’m trying to use here.

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Part of the motion planning calculations going on in the background seems to take into account thermal expansion of certain materials, especially acrylic. This is a good thing, as it helps prevent overheating and melting. In this case, going back and forth in close proximity would probably not be a great idea. The calculations seem to take into account the type of material (for PG), as well as power & speed.

Btw, It’s not uncommon to see your GF “skip” elements (even individual letter glyphs) only to come back and fill them in later. If (When) you see this, don’t panic (as many of us have done) and stop the job – just let it finish completely.



I know it will score in all directions if you have a continuous loop.


great advice - thank you!

that’s fair enough, it just adds 2x the time to the job, even if it’s at 500 speed at 1 power. I can appreciate it’s an algorithm thing, but it’s not super efficient for movement.

I’ll hold out for the GF people to answer on this one, I don’t need a super speedy response, but as I’m cutting 35 full-bed items today it’s doubling the hours required…

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Well, good luck! :slightly_smiling_face:

So just to follow up here - if you go into illustrator and select a pile of adjoining lines, you can just hit command-J and it will auto-join all the paths to make one big zig-zag set of lines. Magic!

I was able to do this in about 30 seconds and am using that set of cuts to do my job. many thanks!!!


It’s scoring from the defined beginning of each line.


thanks for that. so since I’m drawing one then duplicating, it’s using that same geometry to do the cuts. I don’t really know a good way to avoid that, though. hrm.

No idea what your file looks like. Why not just draw 2 - one from left to right and one from right-to-left and duplicate the two?

I also explain how to change that in the link that I posted. Just select the appropriate lines and reverse the path.


in illustrator, you can select paths that go a direction you don’t want and click on Object | Path | Reverse Path Direction.

if you have a ton, that may be awkward. but if you have a few before you start duplicating, it may be worthwhile.

and regardless, if the time it takes to fix the directions is less than the time it takes to print as many copies as you need with inefficient pathing, then it may be worthwhile anyway.


after reading your whole article there it makes a lot more sense, and I will arrange my files appropriately with that in mind. When I’ve done these things elsewhere they had layout software that would rearrange cutting order or something into the most efficient routing… I hope that becomes a feature in GF cloud software here. When I make vector artwork I’m not usually thinking about optimal cutting flow while I’m working :slight_smile:

If you’re just printing a one-off design, it’s probably not worth fixing if the file has already been laid out. If you do it up front, it might be worth it. As my example showed, it only saved about a minute on a 17-18 minute print. If you’re doing a job that you plan to print many, many times, it might be worth your time.

Great linked answer @jbmanning5! I’m going to close this thread - if the problem reoccurs, go ahead and post a new topic. Thanks for letting us know about this!