Unable to get fine cuts. Everything getting blown out

Ahhhh I see. Yeah, the file looked wonky to me as well. Is there a way in illustrator to fatten up those paths a bit automatically without having to redraw the whole thing?

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Sorry, I use corel draw so I can’t help you with specifically with Illustrator. All the programs can do the same basic things though, they just use different terms to do it. @Jules (our local tutorial expert) can likely point you to the right help files though.

I can tel you that in Corel I ungrouped the panels>selected the inner panel lines/segments>welded (combined) them>selected only the outer lines>welded them>selected the fixed inner panel and the fixed outer panel and welded those into one object and viola! fixed file :-).


Good, I’m glad ya feel better. :slight_smile: The GF has glitches here and there like any piece of equipment, but I can say without doubt it can cut/engrave extremely well and as promised! When you come across weird cut issues like this it’s usually a problem with the file. There’s definitely a learning curve to figure out how different file types work and how the GUI interprets different kinds of lines and shapes etc., but you’ll get there with practice. We’re here to help when you need too.


I actually just cut one of the panels out of curiosity…it’s definitely too thin on the branch tips…they break at a touch, even with adjusted settings, and you lose all of the detail that makes it interesting. (Beeyatch to weed too.)

The offset path tutorials in the Matrix can be used to repair the file.


Sorry to sound like a dolt, Matrix?

A Gold Mine of tutorials


It’s the place where we cross-reference all of the tutorials…here’s the one for Illustrator and the other 2D Drawing Programs.


Oh sweet jesus. Down the rabbit hole I go! There goes my night! hahaha Thanks Jules!


Yes, but you will emerge more powerful than before :muscle:


Just reading the comments on the page, it seems that several people are having trouble with the finer details. Looking at the pics on the page, it looks like all of the tips are burnt off as well. Then, it was painted, which covers up the scorching.

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FYI: The Tips and Tricks and Matrix were all user generated. So it’s not linked to anywhere in the official documentation.

Oh my, @kittski, that was some work you did approaching this file. It’s not at all Glowforge friendly off the bat as an SVG and does take some work. It is something I think would be nice, but I am not ready to redo it.

One possible guideline when evaluating a file is to look at the space between the centers of the paths. If it is less than the thickness of the material, very careful consideration will be needed. 1/8" thick material can do 1/64" spaced cuts, but it depends on the material and the application. Add the .007" kerf and it does take some time to get a sense of what will work in a cutout and what won’t.

Continuous, joined paths with as few as nodes as possible is what to aim for. Among many things. But a great topic for dissection.


It only takes me a few moments to do, but I guess it does appear pretty daunting. (It usually takes me longer to find the issue than it does to fix it.) I also know that I’m a bit anal about files to. Even if they will cut right and don’t need it, I like all the elements as organized and clean as I can get them. I hate stray segments laying around lol.


Well, it helps that your bread and butter designs are knockout silhouettes like this. You really get/understand how to approach negative and positive space.

The other night I had to print something three times because I just couldn’t see how the cut would leave the letters in a silhouette connected to the framing but still have the negative space defining the letters. Only when I did a print could I figure out how those dang letters needed to be connected. They kept disappearing in the print.

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Gosh, thanks for doing all that work @kittski! I was intrigued by this project, thinking I might like to make one too. So I downloaded your SVG. Whew, that’s a lotta nodes! I’m guessing you didn’t throw any out. I opened it in Illustrator, isolated the central design, and ran it through the Path…Simplify command to get the 12800+ nodes down to 2000+ nodes without too much loss in detail (curve precision 99%). Then I changed stroke to 1.5pt, and did a Path…Outline Stroke command. Followed by a Pathfinder…Unite to combine all the overlapping bits. Deleted all the “innies” to leave a figure that had a little extra distance added to each line to help account for kerf. I don’t have time to cut it right now, but here it is if anyone wants to have a go.

Edit: I just realized that the original was downsized by @kittski for illustration purposes so my copy would be too small to fit the rest of the Thingiverse file. So I edited it so it would fit. The current version of the SVG should fit the rest of the pieces.


Thank you for doing this fix. It’s a bit tedious, but the basic design is good.

It reminds me that I should be dumping some designs on Thingiverse just to give some folks starting out some tested designs to try out and understand how they work.


I thought that looked familiar. I started to make one of these back in September but I got distracted and/or bored after fixing up one panel. I had a lot to learn about Illustrator (and have since improved significantly thanks to several people on the forum) so I never uploaded this. But the test cut in Draftboard was kind of mind blowing with some of the paper-thin branches that actually came out. Pulling the masking off broke a lot of them, of course.

simplified_panel_1.zip (3.1 MB)


Thanks @cynd11. You are correct, I really just did it for illustration purposes and I didn’t clean it up at all. I knew it’d needed a bit more work to be a viable file. Thanks for doing all the hard work, I’m going to save yours for sure!

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Wow, amazing troubleshooting here! Thanks for all the hard work to help.


Absolutely awesome. Here’s how it cut!

This is 1/8" BB Ply with mask. ( Ran out of proofgrade ply last night monkey with the original )

I’m going to take your instructions and see if I can muddle through the rest of the file.