Stroke Weight in AI, and stacked vector paths - assistance appreciated

My apologies if this has already been asked after searching around, I don’t see any quick and easy answer. I have also searched Jules tutorials (fabulous, btw).

I need to know what to set my stroke weight to in Illustrator. Took 2 days to trace out a map I am trying to score and cut for an Xmas gift, and there is a whole section of it, that shows up of in the Glowforge App, on the right side preview pane, but when I go to print it ignores it and doesn’t cut or score. It doesn’t even light up purple or orange to let me know it will take action on that section.

I am very new to Adobe Illustrator, so I’m positive there is something I’m not getting right. Currently, all of my strokes are set to 2pts, and I believe this is way to large of a value. I saw in another thread that the estimate of the GF kerf is .008" (I could have the units wrong on that).

Anther issue I think could be causing confusion is that I have many vector paths stacked up on top of each other. I didn’t think the GF would have a problem with this and simply score the path multiple times. Could this be causing an issue with GF ignoring these sections?

Any guidance that can be given would be appreciated.


Hi – welcome. When I set a cut line in AI, I set it to 0.01. This creates a perfect cut for me every time. As for the stacked paths – how does it show in the GF interface? Does it show each one as a seperate action?

The stroke width on a path that you want to cut or score actually doesn’t make any difference. You can set it to whatever thickness you are comfortable with. The laser is still going to create just one line, the width of the kerf (.008" is a good rough number, it varies a bit by material), and the path for the beam is going to follow down the actual path at the center of the stroke, no matter how thick the stroke is.

If you have multiple paths on top of each other though, and they have the same stroke color, they will cause a problem in the interface. If you want to duplicate lines and they have to overlap each other, make them different colors. That will assign a separate operation for the second pass, and you can process it or Ignore it as you choose.

Good questions. :slightly_smiling_face:

Then I definitely need to adjust my stroke weight. The GF app shows all the stacked paths like they are one. They are all the same color, its just that when I hit the print button, only two small areas of the map turn a different color in the interface, while the ignored portion stays gray and doesn’t score or anything else.

Perfect, that is definitely my issue. All the stacked paths are the same color. I need to make some adjustments to my file.

Thank you guys.

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Is it possible that a part of the path falls outside the printable area in the GFUI? It turns paths grey if any of it is not printable. You might want to try sliding it around to see if you can get it to light up as printable…