Unexpected Error issues

Tried to write support, and mentioned that I had trouble again on another thread, but it got shut down. Any SVG I try get the error on uploading, even ones I have used previously with no problems. I know it looks like there is text in some of them, but they have been converted, and are paths. This happened a few weeks ago as well. I did just grab a jpeg, and that actually loaded, but no SVG is working.

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Currently a problem loading files originating from CorelDraw and Affinity Designer:


For now you should try saving as PDF rather than SVG. Although that won’t always work for every file, as there are some aspects of PDF that the Glowforge software doesn’t yet support.

Why would SVG not be appropriate? Almost everything I have done so far has been in SVG format from inkscape. Not an artist or even terribly competent on the computer, but I am trying to understand what is going on here. I like my laser toy, and it has been fun, but things like this are very frustrating when you need to recut something for someone. Also the offset issue, but I guess that is just a permanent issue with the glowforge…

There’s a bug right now in the Glowforge software that is making it reject SVGs. Using PDFs is the only real workaround at the moment.

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Currently the only problems occur with CorelDraw and Affinity Designer SVG files. Illustrator and Inkscape SVG files are still recognized.

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Only just uploaded. Tried a pdf, it opened but looked odd, then deleted it and uploaded the SVG

I’ve never had trouble with my SVG files until yesterday, then poof. I feel your pain. From one of the comments Jules made it seems like it’s a translation error of some sort from Corel or Affinity. I use Corel pretty exclusively. It’s beyond frustrating… The response time to service tickets is getting very slow, I’m sure they’re running off their feet right now. Hopefully this will be resolved quickly.

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Illustrator and Inkscape files can also use the even-odd fill rule, in which case the Glowforge will reject those files too. It’s not the default setting in those programs but it’s available.

And most other software that isn’t Illustrator or Inkscape uses the even-odd rule too. (It’s the easiest way to implement certain operations.)


I’m almost afraid to ask, but what is the ‘even-odd fill rule’?

When given a complicated shape with overlapping bits there are two standard ways to decide which parts should be filled in. The even-odd rule and the non-zero winding rule.

The SVG specification defines them here: https://www.w3.org/TR/SVG/painting.html#FillProperties

Although the SVG spec kind of assumes you already know about the rules (which have been around at least since Postscript in 1984, although I think they’re actually a decade or two older than that).

There’s a more complete explanation here:


Is there a way that you guys can set the non-zero winding rule in Affinity Designer as the default?

No. And it wouldn’t help. Because whenever you perform a subtract operation on two curves, the resulting curve is set to even-odd. (because this by far the easiest way to implement the subtract operation. To end up with a non-zero curve as the result the program would have to go in and flip the directions of some of the curves.)

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I wonder what Illustrator is doing differently?

It’s going to the effort to flip paths when needed so the result is a path that works with the non-zero rule. Illustrator has always preferred the non-zero rule, so all of its path-combining operations generate results that use the non-zero rule.

Note that Photoshop is the opposite; its path operations prefer to use the even-odd rule, like Affinity Designer.

Normally this makes no difference whatsoever, as every graphics program on the planet (aside from the Glowforge UI) supports both.


You can “break” this in Illustrator if you go out of your way and intentionally assign a different fill-rule (its hidden in the Attributes window)

I just got a reply to my support ticket - asking me to try again and let them know how it goes. Once my file is finished I will try again with the SVG. Hopefully they’ve gotten it straightened out this time.

Seems to be working now. Only lost a day…sigh.

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That’s what frustrates me. I don’t have a ton of time right now to chase ghosts and losing a full day of time is a day I can’t afford right now. It takes a lot to send me back to the K40 or the Redsail but I was hours away from needing to do that. As long as these situations continue to plague us the GF remains a hobby toy and not a true work tool - even though most of the time it can be successfully used as one, when it can’t be reliably counted in it loses its strategic value to a business. Just takes one lost commission because of wonky cloud based issues to cause you to question your ability to commit to a client.