Split Images - aligning, snap together & locking

I had a design that the GFUI said was too complex and so it resulted in an error. Got it. I’d prefer that you increase server-side memory or whatever to make this unlikely, but this is what happens. Luckily, the GFUI presented a recommendation to use “ImageSplitter.net” to split my image. Bingo! Worked great. Wouldn’t it be great to integrate them (or their techniques) into your server workflow?

ImageSplitter’s output is a set of files, in my case four. They had filenames coded in their order:

  • 0-0.png (northwest quadrant),
  • 0-1.png (northeast quadrant),
  • 1-0.png (southwest quadrant), and
  • 1-1.png (southeast quadrant).


So far, so good. Now I load them into the GFUI. How do I place them? I zoomed in and carefully aligned the edges as best I could.

Unfortunately, while the GFUI shows no gap, a test print shows that there is one.

So here’s what I’d love.

Best case:
Recognize a specific naming convention (or create a function) and auto-magically assemble the pieces and soft join them together.

I can choose the print settings and then the GFUI can load and process them sequentially at the rate the cloud is able to handle with one push of the start button.

Less WOW, but OK
Snap Together
Enable “auto-snap together” capability that “connects” two images by their proximate edges as if magnets snapping together.

Once I carefully aligned the images, I wanted a way to lock them in their spacial relationship.
Again, think of the magnet idea. Otherwise, it was too easy to nudge them slightly and get a gap.


This is almost always because the job won’t fit on the onboard buffer, which is like 3.5hrs of instructions.

SD engraves oughta get you near the entire bed width. Or, you can go manual and increase speed or lower LPI a bit.


I think I would be inclined to do the aligning in the design software (Illustrator or Inkscape), then export the SVG with images embedded. That way you know it’s precise since you can use the design software’s alignment tools. But maybe you already tried that.


Put the pieces on different layers in your SVG, aligned the way you want them. Make sure your page size in Inkscape / AI will fit within the printable area of the GF bed. Hide all but one layer, save, and import. Print. Open Inkscape, unhide the next layer and hide the one you’ve already printed, save. Import into GFUI, print. And so on, until you have all four pieces done. All positioning is done in the design software, so you can get it perfect.

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Did you see the tutorial below? There’s a way to do it manually that does not split the dots like the image splitter does…you might get a better result with that kind of image.

As far as it being too complex, you might have been able to process the whole thing by simply lowering the LPI a little. Anything over 195 LPI is going to get you complete coverage with the engraving, and lowering that will sometimes let the entire file process as a whole. You should be able to get up to full bed size processing on 195 LPI. (The default for SD is 270. Or it used to be.)

Tutorial for splitting an image:

Like everyone above suggested, I wouldn’t try to combine them in the GFUI yet. It will be better in some sort of outside design software.

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Also, if you’re looking for image splitters or SVG converters or any number of quick image converting functions (and don’t have time to do it in a proper editor for whatever reason), Pine Tools has you covered.

Thanks. I like all of the wonderful suggestions about how to manage the file outside of the tool. Many of them are quite helpful - @jbmanning5, @cynd11, @evansd2. @Jules, I did read your tutorial a long time ago and it’s smart.

With modern software, this can be done auto-magically and not add to a pre-process. I also agree with keeping GF focused on other awesome tools. However, I’m going to agree with others when I say that simple vector tools, aligning and snapping, being able to select or lock objects by selecting layers…these are quite basic. Custom material management was a tougher task and @icirellik jumped in and did that for us all. Thank you Icirellik!

I’m experimenting for much larger pieces using the passthrough, so scaling and lower DPI works, but how limiting is it? Why can’t the server code break the job into sets of processes that fit the buffer and take the job in stages? My laser printer can’t physically hold all of my graphics print jobs in its memory, so the driver feeds it portions at a time. HP doesn’t ask me to send one page at a time, or worse, save the document as separate files with only one page turned on at a time.

We all (in this thread) LOVE our GFs. I’m just trying not to make excuses for these things just because I love it.

Now I’ll go see what combination of methods suggested above will make it work in the meantime. :wink:


OK. With all of your help, I came up with a workflow that is relatively easy and does what I needed for a raster image. Thanks all.


I have to wonder at a certain point if that will ever come… not necessarily because of ability but because of potential liability concerns. It would be entirely possible for someone to set up a 24 hour engrave - or even way longer. Whether we all stay at or near the machine, I can’t say, but no one could be around to monitor something for a 24-hour job. All it would take is one screw up in the machine, or a bad design, while someone is sleeping to toast their house in the middle of the night and whoever is in it. Maybe something like having to push the button when the next job in the queue comes up could resolve some of that.

Someone can already burn their house down by starting a 5 minute job and driving away.

But I do wonder about the delay in supporting longer jobs…

Interesting thought.

Absolutely correct/I agree.

I’m not lawyer and won’t pretend to be… but their seems to be a pretty significant difference in liability between: customer A who started a 5-minute job and drove away and customer B who started a 36 hour engrave (totally feasible, I believe, 1355 LPI takes a longgggg time) and died in a house fire.

If the job time limit is driven by liability concerns, there is no way they can break that news to us that will go over well. “Hey guys, this thing every other laser does, which we could easily do, we aren’t going to offer. Instead, here is a free link to ImageSplitter.net and @jules will help everyone who has a hard time figuring it out.”

I sincerely hope it doesn’t come to that!

Me too. :laughing:

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Warning: incoming crabbiness! You’ve been warned :slight_smile:

On the other hand we could stop having the same conversations over and over.

This applies to so many threads on this forum… think how much time and effort is spent rehashing all the little (and sometimes big) things that are just a part of the whole GF experience?

No, your passthrough alignment isn’t automatic yet and may never be. No, starting and stopping an engrave is a bad idea and leads to artifacts. No, we aren’t able to make custom materials. No, continuous autofocus of curved surfaces isn’t a thing yet, if ever. No, Glowforge won’t tell you when or why not.


I’m confused, I thought I was on the internet? Isn’t that what it is for?

But seriously, I am more than happy to see (and contribute) to the same gripes over and over, because that is how we tell the company what is important to us.

Back on topic…

I’m seeing odd results with my workflow. Any ideas?

I aligned everything carefully in Illustrator.
I have it scaled to the exact size I want it engraved.
I export as an .SVG
I import it and print and I get lines. It’s as if the GFUI is not keeping them aligned.

This is what the center intersection looks like in Illustrator (at the circle):

Here is what the prints look like:

Here’s the file.

Did you Embed the images in the SVG file? I downloaded that and there’s nothing in it but a couple of rectangles. :slightly_smiling_face:

And if you can upload the original unsplit image I want to try something with it.

I changed to a Google Drive link because I saw the same thing. Yes. The images were embedded.

Huh! Something’s going on, my Illustrator version won’t open that one.

Do you have the original unsplit version of the image available? (I can see lines in the thumbnail of that one.)