Shooting from the hip

Thrilled to have my Glowforge! I’ve printed the ruler, and it was cool!

However, I’ve got a small jpg file that I am trying to print and I’ve spent three hours so far with no success and I’m ready to pull my hair out. Have I read all of the available documentation and forum posts, no. Have I looked in the matrix and tried to find what I needed to get this little thing done? YES.

So I uploaded the image to Glowforge, and it looks great. However, there are three areas that I want cut out within the image rather than etched. Since it’s a bitmap, Glowforge says no dice.

The Matrix says I should import the image into Inkscape, choose embed, and save the SVG. I’ve done that many times tonight, and Glowforge still won’t let me do anything but etch and continues to identify it as a bitmap.

I’m not trying to do anything complicated, yet three hours has me really frustrated at the moment and it’s time to head to bed.

If anyone can point me in the right direction… I’m feeling discouraged as this sounded so user friendly. I’m an IT guy, but not a designer so I’m not well versed with these graphic tools. This image is the size of the palm of a hand. I just want to etch the image, cut out two eyes and nose, and then cut out the design in a square shape (if you follow me).

Thanks for the guidance…

You will need to create a vector path to tell the laser where to cut. How you do it will depend on your software.

Heres a link to creating a path in inkscape:


Here is an example .svg file that contains vectors for cutting and raster elements for engraving. The picture of the cat is public domain, so feel free to share this.

Cat (1022.5 KB)

If you cut this out of 1/8" material it should assemble with a tight fit and stay together nicely.

Bless you, sir! Much obliged!!

Thank you!

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For the record, I have now successfully both etched and cut! This thing is fabulous! Thanks for the help, all. :slight_smile:


I’m so glad to see you were able to figure this out! Thank you for the help everyone.