Setup for Multiples with Both Sides Etched

My girlfriend and I are leaving for her doctoral graduation ceremony tomorrow. She mentioned that she would love some of the “round Toit” tokens I made with her business logo on the back. We talked about it briefly and then nothing else came of it until she mentioned the other night that she forgot about it and it would have been cool. So I am making them now. What I found is that the design in the GUI is limited to one instance and if you add more than one and go to another design you lose all the duplicates. I also ran into a problem where I could fit 28 units on a sheet of material but over 14 and the program wouldn’t process them. My process is now:

  1. Set up the material with magnets for guides.
  2. Set up the design for side one, make all the duplicates.
  3. Cut half of one sheet, side one.
  4. Tape the cut parts in place, flip the sheet 180.
  5. Cut the second half of the sheet, side one.
  6. Repeat until the desired number of sheets are done.
  7. Flip the sheet and lay out side two.
  8. Etch side two, first half.
  9. Turn the sheet 180, etch side two, second half.
  10. Repeat for the other sheets.

So far it seems to be working, though I have wasted about an hour doing layouts that weren’t saved. :sob:


Interesting. Are you copy/pasting in the UI or did you make all the duplicates in illustrator? I generally run batches of like 30 to 40 business cards at a time without an issue.

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Copy/paste in the UI. I don’t have Illustrator, can barely use Photoshop, and haven’t been able to get the hang of Inkscape. I do everything in Solidworks, export to PDF, load into the UI, and copypasta.

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Can you explain what result you get?

Congratulations to your girlfriend first of all.

If you’re coming from Solidworks create a 12 x 20 drawing sheet, create all your instances on that drawing sheet (leave room at the edges - the printing area is less than the 12x20.

Plot your drawing to a PDF and bring that in the GFUI. Make a second PDF for the backside, just don’t plot the circles.

If you’re careful (tape the board down, hold with magnets, make clamps, whatever) you can pop the “coins” out and turn them over, then engrave the second drawing you created. I would do the cuts on the first run so that you can be sure to get the second run stuff positioned properly.

I think you’d be happier this way, and it’s currently the only way we know of getting any repeatability. That will definitely change for the Pro models, not sure what the basics will get, if anything.


I believe @dan has said that the both the pro and the basic will have the flip and cut functionality.


That is my understanding. That feature was touted day 1.

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Oh, the Flip and Cut functionality exists right now. (I do it all the time.) :grinning:

But you need to be able to specify different stroke and fill colors for the different operations that you want to perform, and I’m not sure that Solidworks allows that. Never used it.

If your CAD type programs allow for Fill and Stroke colors, you can set different colors for the front and the back engravings, align them right over the top of each other, and the interface will let you do one side, cut it, flip it right in place, and then do the back.

And if you create the multiples in the design software before exporting it to PDF or SVG, you can do as many as will fit on the sheet. (It might take a really long time though…engraving across an entire sheet is a multiple hour endeavor.)

If the CAD program doesn’t allow for fill and strokes though, that’s what you want to assign in a program like Inkscape or Illustrator before you save it as an SVG. Just give the parts different colors, and set the ones you aren’t using to Ignore in the interface.

So the workflow is:

Design the file wherever you want - CAD,3D vector program, 2D vector program, whatever.
Bring that file into Illustrator or Inkscape (Or CorelDraw or AD, or whatever 2D vector program you’re using) to assign colors to the Fills and Strokes.
Make any multiples and place them where you like.
Save your SVG or PDF and open that in the GFUI for processing.

Over 14 and the GUI gave me the generic error about the job not being able to complete and please contact support to tell them why it didn’t.

@hansepe The error with quantity makes me concerned with creating multiples in the source software. I don’t want to spend hours making the layout only to have it fail to import. I have had this happen several times. I am currently doing about what you suggest, with different layers and colors set to give different objects and depths. I use a solid hatch to make the etching, but I think that causes the GUI to timeout because of the size of the file when exported.
I got really good repeatability with my method, I just had to recreate the cut files in the GF UI every time. Now that I know the limit of the UI I will try creating the source file in SW and see where I get. My process is pretty much exactly what you suggest with the exception of doing the multiples in the GF UI instead of in SW.


I haven’t run into an issue with duplicating in the GFUI yet doing many multiples, but there you’re at the mercy of the camera for placement.

We’re all still trying to learn and keep up with software changes so what works today might not have worked yesterday or even tomorrow for that matter.

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I’ve gotten that a few times. As recently as last night. So far, every time, I’ve just hit Print again and it just worked. I have yet to report to Support, although I probably should have.

Yeah, see, I just don’t get that. If I have a .5" think piece of wood that I want to cut clean through, and I cut halfway through on the one side, how could I continue that cut on the other side to cleanly make my .5" cut? Somebody will say “Make a jig.” And that part I get. But when it comes to flipping, if I’d been off by .5º clockwise with my jig on the one side, I’d be off by .5º counterclockwise when I flip it.

What am I missing here?


This one was not just a go-away problem. It wasn’t until I reduced the instances by about half before it would complete.

I get that. Did you report it? They have any ideas?

I didn’t report it. I know it was caused by the load on the system. The GUI would slow down with any more than 13 copies so I just went with that. If I get it again I will probably report it.

I can’t find it now, but I think I recall Dan telling us once that large numbers of multiples are going to be better off set up in the outside design software instead of trying to use the interface to do the layout for them.

If you bring in your file with the multiples already set up in them, it can be processed. Several people have done that successfully.

But it is a lot slower to process multiples than a single file - so the interface can appear to hang up… just give it extra time if you are doing one with a lot of parts on it. :slightly_smiling_face:

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You’re better off doing the cut after the second engrave.

Between the “Round Toit” message and the logo, choose the design that is most tolerant to being misaligned and engrave that side first, then flip the sheet, engrave the second side, and then cut the tokens out. No more taping! Also, the second engraving and the cut will have perfect alignment since they were done in the same job/setup. As an extra bonus, no more un-taping either, and no possibility of tape residue.

Another thing you could do is cut a rectangle around the perimeter of each half-sheet after you do the first engrave. That way you’d have a stack of uniformly-sized rectangles that you can load into the machine all in the same way when you start on the second side - no more rotating 180° for the second side. Also, the uniform shape and size of the rectangle would lend itself well to being held in a fixture (what many call a “jig”) for easier and more accurate registration when you’re engraving and cutting the second side of the tokens.

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Is this… hassle… something that could be bypassed by connecting to the GFUI in a new tab, a different browser, or different computer?

Multiple people can use a single machine at the same time, right?

(Questions are for anyone who has received a Glowforge.)

In general, we recommend doing as much as possible in your design software right now, since the GFUI isn’t designed for anything other than layout and print. There are some exceptions like trace and copy, but until we flesh out that feature set with things like save, it’s not really great for that - and it wasn’t meant to be right now.

We really appreciate it when you take time to report bugs - it makes the product better for everyone.


You’re really not at this time. That forces you to make a jig and the positioning of graphics just really isn’t there yet unless you use the 12x20 hack. If you’re doing that it is better, IMO, to use your material as the jig, making sure to keep it in place ( tape, magnets, clamps, all the above) and flip the pieces.

Use different colors for the two sides and ignore one side, then reverse the pieces and ignore the opposite layers. You can also do two separate 12x20 files, whatever is easiest with the software you’re using.

I’ve also used cardboard to make a jig for smaller pieces that I want some precision on, like name plates, coasters, etc.

I’m speaking from experience and you can look around the postings from the last couple of days to see other people talking about the issues of getting graphics where you want them. You might get lucky, but…

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