Want to cut out xmas tree

Good Morning,
We received our Glowforge last evening. We made some snow flake ornaments, worked very well
I got a pic of a 2 piece christmas tree that we want to cut out, not engrave. How do I cut out the outline and not engrave it. Do I need to run through a program first?

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A picture or the source art will really be required to help you out here.

Also since you just got it you might find all of this really helpful:

It’s not specifically about what you’re asking but it has so much good stuff that will get you pointed in the right direction.

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the pic is below

Basically that’s a JPEG which is a raster object, sometimes (incorrectly) called a bitmap.

What you need to do is convert this to a vector object. Vectors are like “line art”, meaning they are a collection of paths.

There’s not a super short answer to this question, but yes you’ll need a vector editing program. I would suggest Inkscape if you haven’t used one before, since it’s free.

Then once you get inkscape installed, you would want to trace the jpeg.

Searching the forum for inkscape trace will show you lots of people with this exact same question and will get you going really quickly.


If I were at my pc I would trace this one for you so you could keep working but sadly I’m not. The good news is that doing what you’re asking is really easy, and would only take a minute or three to do.


I can help with that…

Tree.zip (22.0 KB)


I got to my pc, and took what yawstring made and “improved” it.


This wasn’t really necessary, mostly I did this to show some “best practices”. In cases where precision really matters, you generally want to cut the inside holes before you cut the outline. So, I did the following [in Inkscape]:

1.Select all (you’ll see it’s one grouped object)
2. ungroup (now it’s one big path)
3. Path->break apart (now your one path is lots of small paths)
4. select all (you should now have a lot of small path object selected)
5. unselect (shift-click) the tree outline
6. set stroke color to black (this makes all the inner cuts and the second base piece black)
7. unselect the base (now all your inner cuts are selected)
8. Path->combine (now all your inner cutouts are one black path [optional, but I like it, keeps things simple])
9. select tree outline
10. set stroke color to blue

And now you’re good to go. You can cut the interior cuts and base first, then do the tree outline last. This will give you the most precise result. A lot of this probably went right past you if you’ve never done vector work before, but if you take hte time to learn how all of what I just said works it’ll pay you back over and over, these are all pretty commonly used tricks.

Tree3.zip (21.6 KB)

Search the forums for “palettes” for more information about using colors to define cut order.


For those who are in a hurry and don’t have time to learn the vector program (although you really need to do that to get the most out of your Glowforge), there is one other option. Use a web-based vectorizing program like this one: https://www.vectorizer.io/

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I’ll add pine tools to the mix for when you are in a hurry and don’t want to learn raster editing.

In fact, even if you do know, there’s no simpler way that I know of to split an image into equal slices.


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thank you so much

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