Vary power and convert to dots missing?

did they remove the option to be able to change weather we wanted convert to dots or vary power?? i engrave alot of acrylic to make custom silicone molds and sometimes to just takes WAY to long to engrave so i change between convert to dots and vary power depending on the design. those options are no longer in SD graphic, HD graphic, or manual. did they remove it or move it to one of those features you have to pay for monthly like alot of things??

im not sure what rasterize means or what a raster image is. i work mainly with SVG files. all i do is load them in and the adjust my settings for what i need. i had dialed in perfectly of basically mixing the settings between SD and HD. with convert to dots. my settings made my etchings very detailed and even with no lines in the etching. but faster then the HD settings… i could usualy cut a 4 hour etching down to 2 and a half hours with the same quality as the slow HD etching settings. but if i cant go back and forth between the vary power and convert to dots then i can only just use the SD and HD settings. which is now putting me WAY behind on how many orders i can get out for my customers in a day. i have a 14 hour etching this weekend to do. without my custom settings the etching takes 22 hours…

Maybe this should be posted in Problems and Support so they can weigh in?

I don’t recall hearing anything about changing those settings?

Convert to dots and vari-power have never been options for vector graphics. It’s a single, solid burn.

The time to burn won’t change between vari power and convert to dots so long as speed and LPI remain consistent.


ok thank you. i wasnt sure where to post it. i will post it in there and see if they have an answer. thank you

i know vary power and convert to does doesnt change the burn time. but it does change the quality. i did almost 2 months of test prints to get my settings dialed in for the fastest print with the best quality for each of my projects. thats why im worried that those settings seem to be gone. several projects that take me 3 hours to do with my settings i have to cut for customers today. those settings seem to be missing and just running it on HD its now taking 5 hours per etch. so im not going to be able to get them all cut today like i needed to.

this is correct. if you want a variable power engrave, you’ll need to convert the engrave to a raster/bitmap first.

1 Like

ok for everyone who keeps talking about bitmaps and raster and stuff. 99% of my stuff is SVG format. i have had my glowforge for a while now. i did months of test cuttings and engravings. YES the option to change the format between vary power or convert to dots WAS in the options for engraving with an SVG file. i know because i have run hundreds of files and changing this option for them. it was not just an option with bitmaps/jpgs or what every file format. it WAS an option with SVG files. i had a book with all of my settings written down and weather it was vary power or convert to dots for each of my images for my files. so please dont tell me it wasnt an option for SVG files and only an option for bitmap/jpeg files. thank you

SVG files can contain both raster (bitmap) elements and vector elements.

If you had the option to engrave with vari-power or convert to dots, you had raster graphics embedded in your SVGs. Nothing has changed on that front since Glowforge started as a company.


Svg is a container file similar to how a zip file is a container.

Vector images are like an instruction set on how to make the image so it can be theoretically resized and manipulated and still look nice. If you create something in AI, it’s going to be a vector until you make it otherwise. Things you import may or may not be depending on the format. Raster images are just the image, like an actual picture. If you try to resize these, they start looking pixelated/blurry the larger you go because it’s not redrawing with the original instructions for defined areas and lines.


THANK YOU!!! this was the answer i was looking for!! a reason why the option was missing! not just being told it wasnt an option for svg’s for some reason a bunch of my svgs are missing the option but i others i have done before its there now. again thank you! i will have to go back and check each design and see if they are all doing it.

thank you. i was clueless of what people were talking about with raster images. never heard of it. its just weird that this file i have cut and etched tons of times all of a sudden doesnt have the option to change the setting. thats why i was asking if glowforge changed something to figure out if its on their end or mine.

If you are engraving an image it will have light and dark areas that will need to be engraved differently. If it is a vector engrave it will have only a single color so the variety of depths are unnecessary and a simple setting is sufficient.

It’s interesting to me that GFUI won’t rasterize a vector image before engraving to allow for the same convert to dots or vary power options.

e.g., this SVG: Vector_to_engrave

If I just drop that into GFUI and select engrave, I also don’t see any vary power or convert to dots options. But if I rasterize it, then I do. Why not allow GFUI to do that rasterization for me? (my feature requests for GF staff)


Processing time/cost? Maybe as a paid feature as this is a design function and that should be done in your design program.


There are a lot of variables to select when you rasterize a vector; resolution, bit depth, image quality, color mode, file type, etc. I can see why GF wouldn’t want to touch it.


Nah. This could be done in the user’s browser. In fact, the browser already does it just to render the SVG.

1 Like

This is a good point… but aren’t they already doing it anyway? Simply by allowing vectors to be engraved? It would make more sense if engrave wasn’t even available for a vector shape.

Yes and no. Try to fill a vector with a gradient and see what happens. You only need to have vary/convert/etc with differing shades within the same image. What you posted, if I guess correctly, is a number of lines making up areas that have a fill in them. That would translate to the lines, the light outer green and the one inner green. You set the engrave settings for the two greens separately.
As a raster, the gf can’t see them as different zones, only shades within the same zone-hence the need for vary within a raster but not a vector.


It would involve a complete redesign of their vector processing code. Would good come of it - yes. But it wouldn’t be a small undertaking. I mean, we still don’t have winding orders solved. Or, overlapping vector shapes. Or vector gradients. Etc.

I can’t see any particular reason why convert to dots would be needed with a vector element? Maybe there is a use case, I just don’t know it/can’t think of it. Flat/solid colors don’t tend to look great with convert to dots. Without being able to recognize gradients, vari-power doesn’t make sense. And a vector is basically a single power vari-power engrave :slight_smile:

I’m not sure how your example is made. Is that opacity? That’s an even tougher problem to crack.