What file type for cutting?

Hi! I’m a new glowforger.
For some reason when I upload artwork it automatically sets to engrave. Choosing cut is not an available option. Could this be because of the file type I use? I’ve tried JPG and PDF and even 3D Paint. What file do you use to cut?


Yes, it likely is the type of file you are using. Raster images like jpegs and some PDF files can only be engraved. They are created using individual pixels of color.

In order to create cut lines, you need to create a vector path (line) for the laser to follow.
We do that in any one of a number of vector programs like Illustrator or Inkscape.

There are some tutorials that explain the difference between the two kinds of files and how to turn them into something that the Glowforge can interpret here. (They’re just short writeups, but they will save you a lot of time.)

Official Glowforge Training starts here:

And some of the Customer recommendations are here:

That should explain a lot of what you are shooting for, and if you have specific questions, you can always ask here…there are experts in all the major design programs.


Thanks for the answer @Jules, that’s right. I’m going to close this thread - if you have any other questions, go ahead and post a new topic. Thanks for letting us know about this!

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