Vector shape engraved fine; an identical copy of it did not

While making some test pieces today I found one vector shape that did not engrave properly. It was a literal Illustrator copy-paste of its neighbor, but one came out fine, and the other was mangled.

Here is what was in the app. All of the text was made the same way, regular Illustrator convert-to-outlines.

And here is how it came out. I was watching it and the laser head was skipping parts of the text on the top left. The text to the right is identical. Nothing else on the job had a problem.

The material was non-PG 1/8" plywood, but I was using a manual copy of the PG HD Engrave settings. (Speed 300, Power 16, LPI 450) But since I was watching the head move it was clear that this issue had nothing to do with the material. The head movement was different for the garbled portion.

multipart kerf (4.8 KB)

Job was at about 1 PM Seattle time, 12/23/2018.

You should probably either include your file, as sent to the Glowforge/email them the file, and also tell them the time/date with your local time zone.

Good idea. Updated.

And have to wonder why the actual etching on the material in the photo w/ from the GFUI with the artwork is so out of focus? Did you have the material height set correctly? (Not a cause of the issue, but may be another indication of something odd going on…).

But I just ran a job like many I’ve done before, and getting material height thickness warning pop-up on my GFUI… Think there’s something a little phooey with the GFUI today.

Just off the bat I can see that the part that engraved weird is doubled up. Not that it explains why it didn’t just engrave it twice, but it is an anomaly. Still looking at it to see if anything else could explain it.


Good grief, you’re right! Guess I was moving too fast.

If you overlay engravings doesn’t it not engrave the overlaid part? I thought I read that somewhere, but have only done it once, now, by mistake so I ain’t sure.

In any case the overlay has to be the root of the problem. Case closed. Thanks all!

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Yay, glad it all worked out!

Overlaid vectors will effectively cancel out the overlaid portion.


Wow, I didn’t know they canceled each other out. (Makes sense though.) Guess that shows how little I use vectors for engraving!

Thanks for the answer @jbmanning5 , that’s right. I’m going to close this thread - if the problem reoccurs, go ahead and post a new topic. Thanks for letting us know about this!