Why isn't there an option to cut/engrave even if the image is out of bounds?

I only have a Basic model but I’ve been wondering for a long time why I don’t have the option to continue to engrave/cut even when the design is out of bounds. (Having the machine stop at the boundary would be just fine for me personally.) There are many times I just want to engrave or cut a portion of something but can’t due to the limitations of the ‘forced bounds’ of the cutting area. And I don’t want to take my design into another program to ‘cut it up’ since I do a lot of positioning and transforming AFTER the design is imported to the GUI. This would be so helpful and so much fun for me.

Forgive the naivete´ of the question if it’s been answered already. I did search the forums but I didn’t come up with anything.

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Those boundaries are set by the operation, either cutting or engraving, because the head needs room to slow, stop and reverse direction. Slowing the speed can slightly increase the area.

No need for apologies, especially since you did search. A question shows a desire to understand, and the community has your back! :sunglasses:


Thank you for the reply, although I’m still not quite ‘getting it’.

How does the passthrough slot work on the Pro models? I assume you don’t need to ‘cut up’ your designs into pieces in order for the head to know to stop, no?

Correct. The Glowforge software cuts up your design for you, then starts where it left off when you shift the material forward for the next section.

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Ok, so it’s a software issue. And I don’t access to that “feature” because I’m not a Pro owner. Correct?


If you are a Premium subscriber though, there likely will be a way to align your prints in either the Basic or the Plus using a technique called Snapmarks. (That was previously Beta tested widely, but will not be available outside of the Premium subscription when it is released.)

You would still have to cut the design up yourself, but you’ll have a much better shot at perfect alignment of the parts with that. (Also… if you are interested in aligning cuts around pre-printed materials, the Premium subscription will add that functionality when they release it.)

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Oh good to know. Thank you Jules.
I’m a Premium Subscriber so that’s neat info. :slight_smile:
I really don’t want to have to cut up my designs because my placement isn’t something that’s ‘predetermined’ but I understand what you’re saying. I do quite a lot of freehand designing within the Glowforge UI so it would have been immensely helpful for me to be able to ‘override’ the boundary even with the understanding that the full design wouldn’t be completed and would only fit to the boundary box.
Thank you for taking the time to explain it to me, however. :slight_smile:

So are you describing a situation like this where there is an engrave that is in bounds but part of the design is outside and blocking the whole design?

Yes, for the most part. I’d love to be able to cut/engrave the bits that are still within the confined area of the machine with the understanding that the machine will stop within its confided area.

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The speed of the engrave is what determines how wide those margins are…you can slow the engrave speed down (and lower the power) in order to make the boundaries smaller and give you more room to work with.

It takes some experimenting, but the boundaries at the side change size based on how fast the Engrave is set for. That requires more width to slow the head down at the sides the faster the engrave is set.

Yes, I understand that. I’ve adjusted settings to test out boundary areas. :slight_smile:
My issue is that I sometimes only want a small section of a design I have already uploaded and not the whole piece (for example: just want a half of a face but only have a whole one). But it’s ok. It’s a minor issue that I’ve been working around for the most part.
Thanks for all your tips though. :slight_smile:

I think the reason they don’t allow that is that it would be an “advanced” user type of function. Right now the fact that the entire thing turns grey isn’t enough to make people understand that it won’t engrave - so the idea that you can engrave part but not all would lead to a lot more “why did this engrave/not engrave” errors.

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