XY origin question


When I design a job, the software I am using (VCarve Pro) has the XY (0,0) point at the lower left of the design. I export the file as SVG and import it into the GFUI. On the screen, the rulers show (0,0) is now at the upper left, but the design is unchanged. Is there a standard for SVG that I am unaware of, that is being taken care of in export settings? In VCarve, I can set the (0,0) point to be the upper left, but when I do this, the Y values in my design become negative.

This goes back to my prior post where I suggested the option of placing artwork at a specific set of data points rather than dragging around by camera location.

Thanks for any tips or explanations!


Basically, there is no fixed origin in the GFUI.

Everything is relative. This is because there’s pretty much no absolutely fixed point in the machine, the crumb tray can move.

Search the forums for “jig”, and “alignment” and “art board” and you’ll find a ton of discussions about how to get perfect alignment.

Welcome to the Glowforge! Did you name yours?


I’ll also add that there’s not even a fixed usable working area. The working area size varies depending on the job you’re doing. Basically if you move the head faster it needs more room to slow down, which comes at the expense of your working area.

Also also! All of this is controlled by the clever GF software which is subject to change with little or no warning. My suggestion is to get familiar with jigging and relative placement over the idea of absolute position.

People have done some amazing things at scale using clever jigging, so it’s definitely repeatable.


I had to wait until I could play around to get back with you on this as I have been under-utilizing this great program. You guys keep reminding me that I need to use it more for :glowforge: work.

Anyway, the SVG comes out of Vcarve kinda stupid but there is a quick workaround if you want precise placement. Put a 20X12 box around everything you plan to export and put it on its own layer and make that layer its own color. Now, export everything including that box. Everything will snap into place and you can set the box to ignore.
Oh, and don’t forget you can’t acualy print 20X12 that is just to make things snap into place.


SVG normally uses top left as the origin, with positive Y axis being down. This can be changed by using transforms, but that’s probably not what you want.

Inkscape also uses lower left for origin. It sounds like both Inkscape and VCarve Pro “do the right thing” in flipping axis and adjusting coordinates when outputting SVG. Inkscape puts the top left corner of the page at SVG’s origin. I don’t know what VCarve does, but since you said it comes in OK, I guess it does similarly. The top left of the cuttable area of the Glowforge gets mapped to SVG’s origin (though an object should be .01” in from the edges, so not right up to the origin.)


Needs to be in significantly more than that as the true cutting area is in a bit from the edges.


In my experience, the upper left corner of the area displayed as cuttable in the GFUI is 0,0. This is decidedly not the corner of the bed!

See my write up here for discussion of coordinates:

And this one talks a bit about finding where the printable edge was for creating the pass-through jig.


Ok! That, I believe, is the step I am missing. I have been setting the job size to 20x12, But I didn’t export the dummy border layer, so the job never seemed to show up aligned with the rulers in the GFUI.