What is This Clip-Paths Error?

We can’t process clip-paths (yet!). Clip-path(s) have been rendered along with your design in case you prefer to cut them out separately. For now, edit the affected shapes with a path subtraction tool and they will upload successfully.

Can someone explain what this error means? I have no idea what clip-paths are.

Is it possible for the software to highlight the parts it can’t process so I know where fixing needs to happen?


Clip paths errors appear when you have objects in your design that overlap each other to provide some negative or positive space. Often they appear when someone uses a white fill color to indicate negative space and places it over an object that already has a fill.

The design softwares use clip paths and clipping masks as a useful feature and celebrate it! Yeah! Not good for how the Glowforge processes a vector though. That’s why it’s a challenge. When you search the topic, it generally doesn’t give much explanation on how this affects a vector as processed by a laser, specifically the Glowforge. Some programs add a clipping mask or path around the whole design, especially when exporting PDFs. You have to understand how exports work.

I like the idea of highlighting the clip paths to show what’s up.

You are going to have to look for visible clip paths, like a series of concentric circles each with alternating red or white fills that make a target. Each circle is smaller and just overlaid on each other, biggest on the bottom, smallest on the top. That creates a clipped path and results in a perfectly fine image of a target. Usually those images will work just fine for say a color laser printer or inkjet or whatever. Normal 2D printers are built to render images correctly and not put layers of white on red on white on red. They work as the image processing software does for your monitors and punch out or clip/masque the overlapping images.

Open this up in your design editing program and click away to understand. Right click, Save as in a place you can find it, and open it up in Inkscape, AI or your design software of choice.
Hope it helps.

clip path example

And as always, if you are willing to post your design, we can help comment on it. If it is something that you would like to not open up, do a personal message with it and I’ll check it out.


@marmak3261 will square you away, he has been invaluable to help me understand.


@marmak3261, Thanks for the detailed explanation of clip-paths!

@wing, if you’re still having trouble and don’t mind, would you post your file here or send it to us at support@glowforge.com? I’d be happy to take a closer look.


Shhhhhh… @marmak3261 is explaining something. Everybody hush so I can learn! :wink:

Thanks, @marmak3261, for the great explanation!


Thanks for the replies y’all!

I actually figured out what happened and forgot to follow up. I opened an svg in Inkscape and changed the size of a rectangular path by selecting half the nodes and moving them close to the other half. That somehow created an overlapping path thing (my explanation is not nearly as good as @marmak3261’s :stuck_out_tongue: ) where the path was shortened. The error went away once I removed those two sections of the path and added them back.


Thanks for the update - I’m glad you figured it out!