Using Inkscape with the Passthrough 🤔

Yes, I second what @Jules said, please do us all another favor and write this up!

I’m very new to all this. I have been working with Inkscape for a little bit and had taken one of my designs that will need to go through the pass through and just cut it and then deleted the paths where I don’t actually want it to cut because that’s where the next piece will be connected. I did this before reading this tutorial. Will that work the same as what you are describing with the boxes and deleting the paths? Do I still need to add layers? Thanks so much.

I’m working with Affinity Designer for Mac.
The process seems to apply the same way, but I haven’t figured out a proper way to break the curves exactly along a crossing line or rectangle. I can insert a node and open it (not so precise) or combine two shapes (which results in additional connecting lines). Any hints from those using affinity designer?

You can break it wherever you like, but don’t forget your indexing marks, which will need to be placed near the breaks.

If you want to use freestyle indexing marks…a good tutorial for it is this one by @johnse

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I did my index lines and got everything saved the way it says, but when I go to upload it in the glowforge app nothing appears to place on the wood. I can see the images to cut and my index lines on the left but nothing where the camera view is. What am I doing wrong? Thanks!

You might have the index lines placed outside of the view area…try doing a CTRL+A to select everything in the Glowforge interface, and then click the SHIFT+ right arrow key on the keyboard to start moving it over.

Be very sure you have everything selected (CTRL+A) and use the arrow keys to move it. You don’t want to change the relationship between the marks and the design.

(Or just go back into your design and shift the marks closer to your design before re-saving the file.)

Found it. View / Snapping Manager / Snap to Object Geometry will help get the breaks right on the intersection of the rectangle


I got thanks!! Had to back out to 67% and then I could see it was way off to the left out of viewing area. I think it may have been because I didn’t move it to the page border in Inkscape before I saved it. Thanks again for your help and for this tutorial.

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OMH! I have been trying to figure this out for 3 days and I STILL get lost half way thru your 1st line… rectangle, snap, Margins??? Can anyone make a video of this for us idoits to follow? Ok for ME to follow? But thanks for the help, Im just afraid I am beyond anyone helping and ALL of my designs need the pass through! Grrrrrr

Welcome. Did you read the write up posted by Jules in this original post? If all of your designs need the pass through, you are going to have to master this. There are youtube videos out there, but recreating Jules’s sample and cutting it in cardboard is going to give you so much more assistance as you can follow each step and clearly see the Inkscape screen as you go. The process used for breaking up a word file is the same as for files that aren’t text. Don’t give up.

Here is a video - there are others —


I was going to also suggest maybe trying it with the nodes first if you are having trouble with the rectangles concept. It’s more work the first few times, but might be easier to understand. All you are doing at that point is coming up with a way to cut the lines of the word.

There is another design tutorial here that I recommend everyone read first before starting to design for these.

The technical terms and operation terms aren’t always intuitive. Like using the word “Boolean” for chopping things up, especially if someone refers to the functions this way and your user interface makes no mention of this term. If you haven’t studied modern logic, programming, or mathematics, that world just doesn’t make any sense. Why would we be calling a process that transforms an object after some 19th century mathematician? There is a good Netflix documentary about George Boole that would explain why.

Yes, defining margins of the design space. Defining guides and grids on the art board so you can snap paths to exact spots on the artboard. Understanding the transformations that happen when going from landscape to portrait and thinking through them with the dimensions. Then referring to the curtains or the margins on the crumb tray where your material will lie and getting alignment figured out with that as you move the materials.

Keep at it. And if you would like some help slicing your designs, you could always send me a private message with them and tell me what size you need them to be and what size of material you are working with. I can get one prepared and then you can get a sense of what the resulting file might look like that you are aiming for.

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OMG cardboard!!! Great idea I have wasted so much wood. I have read so many peoples versions that my mind is gunna blow as non of them seem to work for me. I think part of the prob is which version of Inkscape Im using??? I have a different version on different computers. I really appreciate the help. Thank you so much!!!


OMG!!! your brain!!! KAboom. Thank you for the offer. I just might take you up on that.
I really appreciate your time!!!

Cris Strank

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Hello again Jules,

First, thanks for this tutorial. I am unable to get my letters to unionize. Any suggestions?

Just check to make sure that you follow the steps exactly…with Inkscape you will need to Ungroup at a certain point (as well as converting to Path) in order to get the Union tool to work.

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I would love to try your suggestion - it sounds so much easier! If you have the time, I would really appreciate it if you would write up step by step instructions.:smiley:

Jules, I will pay you to teach me passthrough. Please I’m a visual learner. Help. My email is please message me

Hi Patrick, thank you for offering, but I couldn’t take your money. Did you sign up for the Passthrough Beta software? Because it’s a whole lot easier than this, and it’s being tested now.

They might still be signing up new testers, so it doesn’t hurt to get your name out there. It’s a lot easier than doing it this way.

In the meantime, I’ll ask if anyone more familiar with Inkscape has time to give you some tips privately.

Thank you so much for responding Jules . Patrick is my husband. I’m liz and the one seeking help. We just got the glowforge about a month ago and I’m loosing so much business for not being able to create bigger signs . So is the pass though beta a new software ? Truly I appreciate any help you can give me . I’ve watched so many YouTube videos but these people seem to really know how to

Use all these different softwares for design .

Many thanks