Too many paths causing failures?

Searching through the forum, it seems that there has been mentioned of too many groups causing problems with files; although @dan stated that groups should be handled correctly.

Trying to run a simple job I seemed to run into issues that are related to the font. When I selected a font (or rather my son selected one), and then converted it to outlines, it seemed to be too much for the GFUI to handle; giving me ‘We’re sorry, an unexpected error has occurred.’

After testing many other changes to my file (not realizing that the font was causing the issue), I then when back piece by piece and found the issue with the file. I was then able to select a simpler font and run the job successfully. I tried using compound paths and individual paths as well. It looks like the simple number of paths is causing a problem.

Test file is attached. I tried this four times with the ‘unexpected error’ each time.

I was able to get this job running by changing the font. For everyone, keep in mind that something as simple as a font converted to outlines may cause you issues. (22.5 KB)

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You may want to attach the SVG as a ZIP. Discourse is known to mangle SVGs.

That explains why I couldn’t get the attachment to appear.

My quick experiment:

  1. Uploaded your original. Failed.
  2. Resaved your original in AI w/ no changes. Failed.
  3. Removed the “title” element. Success.

It definitely did not like the “title” SVG element.

The other thing you could do to just get by and get a job done, if you needed to, is rasterize that text and keep it embedded in your SVG.


The font being use is extremely jagged. Each character is hundreds of anchor points. The design as a whole has over 5600 nodes. There’s only a single group in the SVG, so it’s not an issue with a number of groups.

For something like this, it would probably be better to render it to a PNG file and then embed that image in the rest of the design. Just export it with perhaps 300dpi resolution.

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I went through multiple versions. One had multiple groups for each letter; I don’t know why, or what I may have done to cause that. It was probably all of my attempts to troubleshoot the issue that resulted in the final file not quite matching the situation that originally prompted me to post.

Ultimately, there are a couple of ways to get past this issue as mentioned by you and @jbmanning5, and by just changing the font as I finally did. I just want people to be aware that even a small image of a short text blurb can cause a problem. Considering the image I started with was much more complex, I found it somewhat funny that this text is what broke the file.

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@jbpa have you tried using these export settings for your SVG file in Illustrator? These have worked great so far with detailed filled vectors. Also, you may want to convert as many single group items into compound paths where possible.


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I’m sorry you had trouble uploading your file.

Thanks, @jbmanning and @johnse. Rasterizing the text is a good suggestion.

You can also try this trick:

  1. Open your design in your design software
  2. Draw a box around the design. Give it a stroke that is a different color than the rest of the design.
  3. Upload the design to the Glowforge app and open it. The design will open, but everything inside the box will be grouped.
  4. Set the box to be ignored in the steps bar and configure the settings of your design as you wish.

Please let me know if it helps!

@jaz, I tried the same steps that you mentioned with no luck. I was able to complete the job using a different font, so you can close this; I just wanted to raise awareness for others to pay attention to these details.

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That is one funky font. Here is what I ran into opening the SVG in Inkscape.

There is some funky stuff going on with this font. It doesn’t seem to make a good outline of a letter.