What am I doing wrong?

Hi All,
I was wondering if someone might point me in the right direction?

I have a nice clean image and when I import it into the Glowforge I get a bunch of dots?

What am I doing wrong?

I have tried making it different file formats and changing it black and white using Gimp.

Just want to import a clean image so I can engraved a clean image. Thank you for your help :):slight_smile:


1 Like

You probably have the engrave mode set to “Convert to Dots” instead of “Vary Power”. I’d bet that if you make that change, you will be MUCH happier with the result. (Setting is in the GFUI).


The laser only has two colors to work with, burned and unburned. So we need to think in terms of black and white whenever we engrave something.

In order to approximate shades of gray, a series of dots are used in a process called “Dithering”. That is what you are seeing. The farther apart the dots are spaced the lighter gray the image appears to be in that spot. It’s the same process that used to be used for printed newspaper images. From a distance the eye sees shades of gray, but actually only one shade of ink is used. Up close, it just looks like a bunch of dots.

That is dithered correctly. Try running it and see if you like the results. (The areas that appear black on the teal preview will not be burned. The teal colors will be burned. So you have to think of the preview as a negative of the photo.) :slightly_smiling_face:


As usual, @Jules, has explained much more clearly than I did! (and more accurately too). I thought you were having an issue with the output, vs. in the GFUI. (But I will tell you that my PERSONAL opinion is that engraves done with Vary Power tend to have more clear results than “Convert to Dots”)

Hope that is helpful, and hope you have great success with this and all your future Glowforge projects.


It looks like the vary power setting was the trick!!! See attached photo. Thank you both (Todd and Jules) for your fast replys and answers to help me out… it’s greatly appreciated !!!

I will add a final product pic :slight_smile:


They definitely do when you are 3D engraving. (I’m currently learning to use that process - it’s a stone cold hoot!) :smile:

@mattepiscopo, while your preview is going to look a lot nicer for Vary Power, your results might not be what you expect. I’m just warning you up front that the areas that you see burned on that are going to probably all wind up a fairly uniform color on the actual print. But it doesn’t hurt to run a couple of tests. :slightly_smiling_face:


if you’re engraving on a light colored wood, your image is going to look inverted, fyi.
If you’re engraving on a dark tile, then carry on.


Thank you :slight_smile:

1 Like

Thank you as always Jules :slight_smile:


This topic was automatically closed 32 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.