Score width and depth

Brand new GlowForge user. I am using Inkscape as my illustrator application. I am having difficult in figuring out how to create a score line an 1/8" or 1/4" wide with some depth to it. It doesn’t seem to matter how wide I make the line in Inkscape it still only makes the score one beam width wide.


To get a line wider than the width of the laser beam, you need to be engraving, not scoring. So in your vector software (Inkscape) you would be creating a box or closed figure 1/8” or 1/4” wide and setting that to engrave in the Glowforge interface. More info and tutorials can be found in the Glowforge Tips and Tricks section of this forum.

Oh, and Welcome!


In addition to what @cynd11 said, if your lines (more commonly referred to as “paths”) are exactly how you want them, you can change them to shapes like this:

Select the line(s) you want to engrave
Use the menu item Path->stroke to path

Your lines will now all be converted to shapes and should engrave like you expect.


It helps if you think of a score as a cut that doesn’t go all the way through – so cuts and scores are single lines, and engraves are larger areas.

If you upload a vector shape with an outline, the GFUI will interpret it as a cut. (If you want it scored, you have to remember to change it. I have a lot of interesting bits lying around from forgetting that step!)

If you upload a vector shape with a fill, the GFUI will interpret it as an engrave.

If you upload a vector shape with a fill AND an outline, the GFUI will interpret it as an engrave.

If you upload a bitmap, aka raster image, the GFUI will interpret it as an engrave.

If you want your engrave to be deeper, the easiest way is to increase the number of passes.


If you’re really intent on using score to achieve this, you can defocus the laser to get wider or narrower score lines. It will take a lot of experimentation though as the depth will decrease as you pull the lens out of focus.


And unless you take out the crumb tray, your width will be limited to about 1mm, maybe less.

I’ll add one more to this… if you want to engrave a shape AND score the outline of the same shape, you need two overlapping objects, one with fill only and one with score only, and each set to a different color. Setting one object to have a stroke and fill, even if those two things are different colors, will still be interpreted as one object by the GFUI.


what if your lines in illustrator are engraving as a shape and not the line itself? How do you change that?

You might be a candidate for centerline tracing. Search the forum for it.

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