What is normal for rendering time?

I’m seeing enormous amounts of time taken in uploading/rendering even fairly simple SVG files. I’m loading up SVGs saved out of Illustrator, mostly vector files that I have found online and altered. For some of the more complex ones, it’s taking upwards of 30-40 minutes, and even then sometimes it throws an error and doesn’t complete.

I love the Glowforge, but the software experience really needs some work, gang.

Is everyone else seeing similar times?


I’ve thrown in some complex files that have taken about 5 minutes before I get an error (there is one in particular that has over 45,000 nodes for one figure). I’ve never had to wait 20-30 minutes before the error message.


I’ve had 20+ minute waits and when I let it go (almost) always get the sorry, can’t do that message.

Unless I’m dead nuts certain it will or should work, I’ll kill it after 20 minutes and look to my file for issues.


I am happy to run a test with one of your files on my end if you wish. Your wait times are significantly longer than anything I have experienced.


If you get one that hangs up for more than about five minutes or so, kill the render and start checking for what might be hanging it up.

A lot of it depends on how complex or large the images are (as in either number of nodes in vector files, or number of pixels and area in engraves.)

Anything that you don’t know the source for (something you got off the internet) could be a problem if you try to load it without checking the lines to see that what you are loading came across as smooth curves with just a few nodes as opposed to short choppy disjointed segments with tens of thousands of nodes. The short choppy segment ones tend to originate in CAD programs when curved shapes are exported, and they can overwhelm the interface.

Simplifying the lines first, or reducing the size of raster images by removing unneeded backgrounds and cropping, or splitting the image into manageable parts, will make the files load faster and wind up saving a lot of time and frustration in the long run. :slightly_smiling_face:


No. Nothing remotely close. Just a few minutes for all of my jobs. I have no way to measure my complexity versus others’, however. Your Glowforge might be getting less-than-great internet speed.

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Rendering on import? Or sending the final layout to the cloud after hitting the PRINT icon in the GFUI?

Loading artwork never more than a couple minutes. I had a bitmap that was taking a little longer (note: to me, “a little longer” is literally under 5 minutes because I am impatient) so I killed the process and reduced the pixel count substantially.

After clicking the PRINT icon in the GFUI the longest I waited for the motion paths to build was maybe 5 minutes and that was an 8"x10" photo engrave… probably the same bitmap I mentioned above that I resized.

My internet connection is 5mb down/1mb up so it’s not like I’m rocking a premium connection here.

I would check the files you’re downloading and/or auto-tracing and make sure they are as clean and simplified as they can be.


I’ve never run into waits like this. What size are your files? How is your internet and wifi connection? What other variables are we dealing with. Are the vectors only vector paths or are there embedded bitmaps? How many nodes? How many objects?

Even my squiggle bowls or Scrabble layout vectors load in five minutes.


Images tend to process a lot faster then vector files. I had to covert my art for my boxes to PNGs because the tops would take 20+ minutes to process as vector but the PNGs would only take 7 min. The quality didn’t really change but i saved over 4 hours of processing time across the 20 prints.


I have a few questions for you to get started:

  • Do you experience the wait when you upload the file to your Dashboard, or after you press Print?
  • Are you using Save As or Export from Illustrator? (Save As will have better results.)
  • Would you mind attaching your file or sending it to support@glowforge.com so we can take a look?