I would be happy to try any file in the GFUI and test it out in cardboard. I think that if you gave us a few to work with, we could give you the pointers you need to ensure you have files ready to go when you get the Glowforge. Post them here or PM them.
Ponoko has some good instructions on what is demanded of the file for their services. They can be applied to Glowforge designs, but in the end, the only way to uncover problems at the moment is to load them into the GFUI. There is no on line SVG checker that says you are good to go for a Glowforge, although some folks have thought about writing an Inkscape script that looks for common problems. We had thought having an online sandbox to test designs would be helpful. But we can share our GFUI with invited users, so that might work if you can find someone with a Glowforge.
Before any pre-release went out, the forum explored this problem in depth. No one had a Glowforge to test a file out so it wasn’t quite clear. Eventually the Beta folks helped demo some things and with some clarifications from Glowforge, we figured out what would work and what wouldn’t.
Some pre-flight check list to go over your designs with would be handy with both vector and raster objects requiring specific controls.
Let me take a stab at it off the top of my head for vector-based SVG files.
Vector: try to break your file down into these steps. And this is off the top of my head. I will edit this list as I get corrected by community members or get added suggestions).
- one color, one operation (cut, engrave, or score)
- one object, one operation (cut, engrave, or score)
- either a filled closed shape of one color with no defined stroke to make an engrave
- or a single path of one color, closed or not with no fill to make cut/score
- Closed paths can either be engraved or cut/scored in the GFUI but the default behavior is filled engrave, non-filled but defined colored stroke cut/score. Always defaults to cut, but can choose score.
- use as few nodes as possible
- join paths to complete a line or make a corner, don’t just put the ends next to each other
- white is a color, if you don’t want it engraved, unset the fill color totally
- Overlap filled objects require special attention, the overlapped space may not turn out as you wish
- you may have to punch out or do a boolean remove/union/difference overlapping shapes to ensure that no hidden closed filled path is under the top object closed filled path.
- Text/type is treated specially in design programs to allow for editing of text. The text must be converted to paths before sending the file to the Glowforge for processing.
- Grey scale or percentages of a color fill of vectors do not register in the GFUI. A 70% black color will be treated as black. You can’t control grey scale engraving using a gradient fill in a closed path vector object at the moment.
Ok, that’s it. I’m digging a deep hole here. This doesn’t even touch bitmap prep, placement, sizing and the many ways to treat them in the GFUI.
Best would be to get someone with a Glowforge a file and then see what it needs.