The Leather Bag Story

Will this design be shared? Will all the other designs be shared? Seems like a GREAT bonus to have some awesome starter projects included!

Dan, I noticed that the cut edges of the leather on your bag are light coloured - as if the leather were cut.
I always assumed the laser would colour these edges black/dark brown when cutting - or have they been treated in some way?

I’ve been carrying that bag for a while now, so I think the light discoloration just wore off.

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When I laser cut leather I found that a good washing can remove most of the dark charring on the edges. Which is funny as I typically end up manually staining the edges darker later.


I love seeing projects like this because they represent a large part of the final product that isn’t on the materials list: Inspiration.

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Could you just change the stroke to dots, convert to outlines, export to pdf like usual and close without saving? Or duplicate the outlined version to a separate layer for future GF use.

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Exactly the way I handle it, actually.

What’s the reasoning behind converting to outlines? Couldn’t you just do a dashed vector line directly, as long as it had a little thickness to it?

@Brandon_R converting to outlines causes the laser to spend a lot more time on each line segment, (as each segment becomes a 4 lined rectangle which is 4 cuts rather than 1) which heats and damages the leather more than is needed. This is more of an issue on thinner leather and more heat sensitive materials.

Using dashed lines is not only easier (as you can move and change your stitching lines at any point), faster (both in cut time and design time), and a better final product with less heat damage. It’s something other lasers support, so I imagine it should not be too difficult to get the Glowforge software to support it (eventually).

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I know a lot of illustrator but I’ve never laser cut anything before. This is good info. That makes sense that it would still want to draw the circle or square needlessly.
I guess I’d have to think about a smaller point sizes or something to get aound it if they don’t change anything?

You can have the laser cut dashed lines, if the laser’s width happens to be exactly the width of the cut you want. Or you can have it draw around the perimeter of the dash, if that’s what you want. However, natively, a dashed line in illustrator is a straight line with a visual style applied, so the default treatment is “hey, here’s a line with a unique appearance” rather than “here’s a bunch of little lines”.

Definitely one for the feature hopper.

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Ok, I’m a wee bit late to this topic, but I’m wondering if there would be some way to have a “preserve line/stroke style” option/checkbox in the illustrator export plug-in.[quote=“Brandon_R, post:28, topic:243”]
convert to outlines
This is the way I have to handle everything that I send to my plotter for cutting vinyl. I often have duplicate layers to preserve the original path in case I need to edit something down the road, and while that works, it can get quite confusing when you are working quickly.

How I deal with this is with multiple files instead of duplicate layers. So I say my base AI file then outline and prep and save it as a separate print file with the date. That way I have the base file for future edits and then versions of prints.


If you’re in Illustrator CC2015: after you’ve set your dash lengths, set the stroke with to .0001 pt (the three zeros are important) and then outline stroke.
This results in short lines and not the filled rectangles that a fatter stroke gives you.
As always, do this to a copy of your original line in case you need to go back.


Is there a pre made pattern for this (or something like this) yet? I couldn’t find anything in the glowforge store. Thought it would be fun to make a pre-designed version before jumping in to design my own.

Not that I’ve seen yet, but I wouldn’t mind seeing something like it show up in the Design Catalog one day myself. (Trying to figure out how to keep from hurting my husband’s feelings by designing my own…he keeps buying these huge bags for me as gifts, and they’re large enough to carry a child in. He’s such a sweetheart.) :smile:

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how do i get my GF to pick up the cuts to align the next part? I have been having a rough go lining up a project…i’ve tried snap marks too. Getting a pattern to align over multiple cuts continues to elude me.

If you want to align multiple cuts over a pattern, the easiest way currently is in doing the alignment in outside design software (Inkscape/Illustrator/Affinity Designer/CorelDraw) before you save the file.

Hi Jules! Hope you can help me … I have images!

Got to working with snapmarks (FINALLY) this morning, and it’s so CLOSE…

Med Draft Board - Default settings (engrave design and cut snapmark for pt1 (right side burn) modified setting (std engrave/score (so I could see where /how far off) on the pt2 (larger left side burn.

This was the second consistent “almost”. My graphic is clean and no empty space at the top, it seems to be off 1mm low & 1mm left…

Any thoughts?

Yeah, you probably need to report that (with pictures and a description just like you did here) to Bonny on the Introducing Snapmark thread, because that’s pretty visible.

To make sure that she sees it (she’s the Project Manager) be sure to include @bonny in your post there. That’s something they’ll probably want to investigate.

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