I made this file awhile ago thinking I was much closer to getting my first laser. I thought I might well share it here. I wanted to test it on an actual laser before sharing, but it seems fairly straightforward so please give it a shot. The engraved pattern for the holder is intended to be a placeholder for whatever artwork you want to replace it with. I wasn’t sure what file format is the best to share a design.

If anyone tries it please share the results.

tangram no overlap.pdf (1.4 MB)


Sweet! I never would have thought of personalizing a Tangram, but you could do a lot of cool things with it!

Great share! :smiley:


Funny, one of the first things I knew I would make with a Glowforge was my own custom tangram set—every time I see one at barnes and noble or something I think, “I can’t wait to cut my own.”


Thanks so much for sharing your design with the community!


Thanks for the design… How many can you make…


I have Tangram Pro for the iPhone. I did all 540 puzzles they had in the free version. My daughter loves to do them when challenged. I wanted to make a set for her before she is off to college.


Anyone with access to the GFUI? Is a PDF okay?
Is it easy to select the area to engrave on the holder on the second page?
Is there a way to create a file to make it easier for someone to switch out their own artwork?

Here it is, uploaded directly as a PDF. Pagination isn’t supported yet; I’d recommend creating the background overlapping as a separate color.


I assume that the outline in the UI is an approximation of the cut file, the radius looks a little rough on the corners and miters on the corner overshot a bit. Here is another file with the design on one page.

tangram with holder.pdf (1.4 MB)

I guess I need to add a bit of explanation with my files. The outer frame on the left should be glued over the engraved design on the right. To make a tray for the puzzle pieces.


So will the new file work? I am curious to find out if the black part will engrave and if PDF is the best way to share.


I would like to share more designs. Let me know of this one works or how I can improve it.

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The left half with the straight vectors seems to be just fine, although when I tried to import the PDF, it only imported the cut lines of the tangram and didn’t include anything of the graphic.

The right side with the graphic with the text has several issues that need to be addressed. The files has clipping paths which can be an artifact of using PDFs that I tried hard to get rid of but couldn’t. In the end they made no difference. Then there was the white circles under the text to block out the underlying graphic. That won’t process the way you want it to. You have to directly clear space in a graphics program. You can’t just put a white colored layer over the engrave you want to cover. When I imported the PDF into Inkscape and then exported that as an SVG to bring into the Glowforge UI, it brought in several copies of the saying/text and then noted about the clipping paths.

One way is to keep the engraving/graphic as a separate graphic and save it as a PNG or whatever. that keeps your options open. When you process the cut file, you can import the graphic or whatever graphic you want to put in after you open the cut file. It also isn’t the best resolution so you aren’t going to get the crispest engraving. It’s grey and not a whole lot of dark, but I’ll see how it works.

Put the text that you’ve converted into vector for engraving in one color. Put the outer cut into another color and separate from the other cut which will make the pieces and the border/ring to contain the pieces.

Here is the file as I would use it, cleaned up in Inkscape and saved as an SVG. Maybe you can look at this file and get a sense how to put them together. I tried to embed the graphic in the SVG but isn’t showing up in the post graphic. That’s why I keep bitmaps separate and import them as needed. I hope this helps.


Thank you so much! I wanted it to be easy for others to replace the engraving.

Would SVG be a better format for sharing? I used PDF because I had seen other files shared in that format. I also thought about scripting the PDF to allow someone to change the graphic, but the way you explained sounds much easier.

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SVG is what the Glowforge processes right now natively. For the time being, I’d just stick with that if you can do it. Makes it much easier to process in the UI.

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Having to modify the markup to share an SVG is still annoying in discourse, and a bunch of folks probably have not figured out how.

Are you sure you still need to do that? I thought uploading of SVGs was fixed.

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if nothing else, I think if you put it in a zip folder you can upload it here.

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I uploaded an SVG in this post with no trouble, so I think it’s working.


I know what you are saying. On some browsers when you upload an SVG, it seems like it isn’t uploaded but it it is there. It’s just a very small pixel size, so you you have to add a few zeros to the width and the height of the markup and it will show up big.

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It was an issue with my settings and saving method. I was getting an error message telling me my file did not have size data and so it might be corrupt. That had to do with “responsive” being turned on in the save settings. The size being way too small was due to the “decimal” field being set at “1” and not at “3”. I have sorted it out for myself… I think. Maybe this will help others who had the same problem. It is pretty weird that “Save As” and “Export” do not display the same SVG setting options, and “Export for screens” doesn’t give me any SVG subsettings at all.