Vector fill question

If you design a vector image in illustrator - say for example, a chess board with alternate black and clear squares, each with a vector stroke, and you send it to the GF without rasterising it, how would the GF handle the file?

Would it score the outlines of the squares, then engrave them as it would a raster file or would it do a constant back and forth score of some kind? Or would it just ignore the fill?


A stroke dictates a cut/score. A fill indicates an engrave. If they are the same color the GFUI will lump them all together into one setting.

The stroke will score every square, and if you only have a fill on every other square you will set the power level for it to engrave that square.

For example, I have a vector engrave test file. It has 10 rectangles on the bottom, each with a different color. Then I have 2 strokes, one around the whole piece, and one around a tiny section in the top right corner that are the same color stroke. I can set the power level for each square, or even choose ignore if I prefer. It looks like this in the UI:


Damn. Except for bmps/photos I never use fill. I use the object’s line color to then tell the laser’s CAM software whether the action to perform is a cut or engrave and the appropriate power/speed. So if I want an engraved box it’s got a stroke defined in AI or Corel and no fill but a color (say red) that I then tell the laser software is to be engraved. It then engraves the box. If I tell the software that red is a cut, it will cut that box.

The caveat for this is that engraves have to be enclosed objects so a box has to be 4 sided. I can “stack” engraves where different objects are embedded in another object and engrave either the embedded object or engrave the outside object up to the edges of the embedded object.

My test file has 10 rectangles each with a different stroke color but all without fill. The laser then applies the power/speed settings to each color but engraves the full rectangle for each, not just an outline.

With the GF now I have to change my designs to have fills for engraved objects?


It defaults to engrave for fills and cuts for strokes. You can convert it in the GFUI to whatever you want, but if you have a lot of layers youll have to do that for all of them.


Can we officially pronounce this as guh-foo-ee ? It has a fun ring to it.




So do you need to have no stroke defined for a filled (to be engraved) box so it doesn’t engrave the interior of the box and then cut it out?


If you dont want the cut/score, then removing the stroke on that path is the best thing to do.

If that path stroke is colored differently than every other stroke in the file, however, it should give you a seperate job box for the engrave and the cut. Then you can just choose to disable (‘ignore’) it in the GFUI.


Thanks. Looks like I’ll have different source files for my current lasers and for GF projects.

Gonna need to train myself to use a new set of default actions when I’m designing stuff. Although I do see how somethings are easier (or at least doesn’t require the same forethought).

Does GF “see” both fills for overlapped objects? Say a square with blue fill and a circle inside the square that’s black - would telling it to engrave blue engrave the full square or just up to the edges of the black circle? In my normal workflow I do the normal object manipulation (merge, union, etc) to create a square with a circle shaped no fill area and a circle with a fill in it. But for the target market I could see GF saying that the stuff that’s not visible doesn’t exist so the designer doesn’t need to worry about dealing with stuff that’s hidden. Non-designers tend to think that there’s nothing underneath an object and could get bitten.


That’s the kind of thing I’m going to be testing for over the next few days/weeks. From the one test I ran yesterday with the hedgies, Glowforge’s interface was able to correctly identify several stacked layers of strokes and fills, and give the correct options for dealing with each.

(I was REALLY impressed!)



We call it “the app” for whatever that’s worth.


Thanks all, I think that has made it more clear.

1 Like

Heh… You’ve been locked up in the Glowcave too long. Not quite sure that works out here where many of us tend to have more than one app. :wink:


That gets my vote. There, now it’s settled! :smile:


Gesundheit !! :grin:


Ha ha! Good one! :laughing:


yeah I thought app was too vague, and GFapp just sounded wrong, so I went with GFUI


It’s settled when it’s used publicly. I look forward to the 1st usage video where somebody says “You just go to the GFUI (and pronounces it properly as Guhfooee) and click…” :slight_smile:


Don’t know…I kind of like the sound of “Guh-Fapp” too.


You should probably look up what fap means before promoting that name =P