What the Heck Is Going On Here?

I need to engrave a roof shingle pattern onto a piece of wood that is 15" x 30.625." Just use the passthrough, right?

Well, when I put the material in and enter the settings and click on Passthrough and hit print, the design suddenly fills in and I get this…

It should look like this…

What am I doing wrong? Any help or guidance will be greatly appreciated!!

It’s set to “engrave.” Try “score.”


Will it score the whole thing? I need it engraved.

You may have invisible fills in the entire image. Check it in your design program for any shapes with no fill and no stroke. Those little suckers make their way into a lot of files for those who use Divide processes.


Objects consist of outlines and optionally, fill. If there’s fill, it doesn’t matter what the color is, it will result in the object being treated differently than if it wasn’t filled. When you engrave, this can make a big difference since unfilled will engrave an outline and filled will engrave the entire object. But if all you want to do is engrave the outline, you don’t actually want engrave anyway. Engrave is “rasterized”, so a vertical solid line will be made up up many tiny stacked dots. This can result in “ratty” outlines. But if you use Score instead, whether the object is filled or not doesn’t matter. The laser will follow the outline like it was cutting, except it will run at a lower power that only removes a little bit of the material.

Score is actually what you want for this. As a bonus it’ll be substantially faster than engrave would be…


In your software you need to have “fill” on so you can see what is filled and what is not. If I wanted to make a shingle pattern and not a “brick wall”" pattern, I would cut them out and glue them back overlapping like shingles or have a gradient design,

To actually engrave 30+ inches might take 8+ hours of engrave time in any case.

If you need it engraved, best bet is to rasterize it. It looks like you may be hit with the same processing bug I found a little back with the GFUI cutting off nodes(makes sense as they are beyond the printable area) but then filling the new none enclosed space.

Only an issue with passthru.

Thank you, eveyone! I think I have it more or less figured out now.

That wasn’t the problem, but I think engraving is not the way to go anyway. Thank you so much for this tip, though. I do need to be more diligent about checking for oddities like that before I attempt a design.

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Thank you! This is very helpful and good to know! I’m going to simplify the whole thing and stick to scoring lines in a shingle pattern rather than try to engrave it.

Yes! Thank you @randy.cohen. I do believe that score is the way to go with this.

Yikes! 8 hours? LOL

I think I will take the recommended approach and score a simple “shingle” pattern instead.

Thank you, @rbtdanforth!


I was being optimistic I think. I am working on one that is 5"x17.5" that is taking 4.5 hours so similar engraving that was 30" would take five times that. it is the back and forth that takes the time even if the area cut is say 10% of the area

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I’m so sorry to hear about the trouble you experienced, but I’m so glad to hear that the community was able to provide some great advice to help narrow down the snag, and provide a work around. I’m going to keep this thread open, and move it over to “Everything Else” so that the discussion can continue there. However, if you run into any trouble, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly at support@glowforge.com. We’re here to help:)


@rbtdanforth, I wasn’t able to get the project done. I had two days to figure it out and I’ve never used the passthrough before. The learning curve combined with the time constraints was prohibitive and I gave up! I will need to find some tutorials and invent some reasons to practice!

When buying material that comes in 4x8foot sheets I found that 8’=96" and 19x5=95 leaving a quarter inch kerf for each of four saw cuts and the 5 pieces being easy to carry about so a design that will take four or five boards can be done in one of these stacking the shapes. With no one of those shapes needing to be done in two cuts (each one less than 11" but overlapping ) so by using what might be scrap area gets used in the space above and thus the work of five boards can be done in the space of four.

In that case that one millimeter error that would wreck a continuous design is not a problem, but you can work out ever greater accuracy in the process. And meanwhile get much more work and less scrap out of each of those pieces.


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