Separating pieces of a complex file

Just purchased my GF last night and am awaiting its delivery. I used to print on a much larger bed that could handle all of the pieces of my files with one print job. Now with this smaller bed size I’m wondering what my best course of action is…
If I’m cutting a large fingerjoint box, can GF’s software separate the separate pieces (bottom, sides, etc) so that I can cut or position them separately, or should I create new .svg files for each individual piece of the box? Never used GF’s software, so I have no clue of its capabilities just yet… would like to have my files prepared for when it gets delivered.

Thanks already for being a great community - I’ve already learned so much in the past 24hrs!

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If they are already separate pieces in the SVG you can click anywhere outside of the object… then click on individual pieces and hit “delete” to remove them. Ideally you would have them in separate layers so that they show up as separate “jobs” in the GFUI. Then you can just click on the jobs you don’t want to print and choose “ignore”. Then when you finish one piece, you can ignore that one and choose a different one to move around and cut.

Thanks for the prompt reply…

So I should ‘ungroup’ all pieces in Inkscape before uploading the file This will separate them, correct?

I’ll likely just save them as individual pieces like you suggested, since that seems the most efficient method over time.

And by layers, I think @kanati means separate colors. The Glowforge UI ignores layers, and all operations are separated by color.


If you make them separate colours they will show up as separate commands in the GFUI (Glowforge User Interface) so you won’t even have to move them out of the way, you can set individual pieces to ignore while you cut other ones


I don’t use inkscape, but I do believe that is correct. Ungroup them and they should be individual pieces you can move around. An inkscape user my better be able to verify that. EDIT: Listen to deirdrebeth. :slight_smile:

I actually believe the more efficient method would be to have them as separate jobs in the same file that you can ignore and “print” as you need them. But you need to check and see what the most efficient method is for YOU. Mileage may vary.

If pieces are within a box they will auto-group - or if there are bunches and bunches of them it will auto-group - but file group doesn’t seem to stick. So if you want things to group, put a box around them or make them the same colour

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Hi, even though @kanati is correct for many files, if you plan to use a file more than once, it’s usually much faster to edit your own files than try to edit within the GFUI (Glowforge User Interface).

A risk to just relying on the GFUI, at times the UI can be painfully slow (various reasons this can happen), so often when trying to move something, it may inadvertently get resized and basically best to delete and reload to ensure the scale is correct to match your other files/pieces…

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Thank you all for your responses so far. I’ll just have to wait and see what works best when I get the machine up and running. I’ll separate my pieces in the meantime…

Is there a limit to how many layers I can have in the GFUI?

Groups and layers are ignored by the GFUI. Also line thickness and clipping paths. Text will need to be converted to curves.

You can “group” items by making them the same color—the GFUI will separate them out by color and operation.

Operations are determined by artwork type. Vector outlines will default to cuts, filled vectors to engraves. Raster/bitmap will always be engraves.

Here’s a link to an SVG file I made that contains multiple steps and operations separated in this manner: Mastermind Game With Rack & Pinion Box Latching Mechanism

Does the GFUI separate by fill color, stroke color, or both?

Also, don’t skip past the “your first three prints” tutorial you’ll find linked at the end of the setup process. Most people seem to ignore that step, and spend weeks floundering because they missed getting the basic information that would have answered all their questions. :blush:


Both. I keep forgetting which takes precedence when a shape has both stroke and fill, since I always make mine with just one or the other. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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A filled vector without a defined stroke color will default to engrave.

An object with defined stroke colors defaults to a cut.

You will want to ensure your paths are closed if it is a filled object.

Here is a post that talks about organizing colors in your design program to assist in the order of operations.

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Both. I keep forgetting which takes precedence when a shape has both stroke and fill, since I always make mine with just one or the other.

So it will cut a filled shape? I can’t stand having to convert to stroke only (like a .pdf) since I can’t see the lines anymore… I’m assuming there’s a way to tell the UI whether the layer is a cut or an etching?

For vectors, you have the option of specifying cut, score, or engrave. :blush:

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Don’t worry about line thickness–the GFUI ignores that. You can make all your lines 1 pt or 2 pt or whatever. Makes no difference.

Yes. The default behavior for a filled shape is engraved. A defined stroke, no fill, is cut. But you can manually change each of them to the other in the interface.

If you would like to test out some shapes and object in the user interface to see what happens in a file as you define them, post or PM them and one of us will test them out for you and show you how it appears.

What design program do you use? Inkscape, right?

Yes, I have been using Inkscape.
My design is highly sought after in the mealworm farming community (literally dozens of us), so I’m afraid to share any of my files, but I understand just about everything that you all are sharing, and will figure the rest out as soon as I’m able to get into the GFUI.
I’m assuming I get access to the GFUI once I receive my cutter and register the machine, correct?


Right after your run the setup process.
If you’d like to take a peek and play before it arrives, you can be added as a guest user to an existing owner’s account.