File Won't Print


When you press print in the app, your Glowforge takes measurements while the software processes the plan for your print. There are several reasons why you could see an error message at this point. The best solution will depend on your design, and may require understanding two terms:

  • Bitmap: When you scan a picture or take a digital photo, the software captures it as a bitmap. A bitmap is a type of artwork that is made up of tiny boxes of color called pixels. Photos are bitmaps, and drawings can be too.

  • Vector: Vector design starts with two simple ideas: a stroke (which is an outline) and a fill (which is a filled-in shape). Vector designs can include embedded bitmaps.

Design is Too Large or Too Complex

When your design has a lot of vector shapes or lines or a number of bitmap images, it can cause trouble for the Glowforge app. To print a complex design, there are a couple options you can try.

Break the design into a few separate stages

  1. Divide your design into steps

    When you upload your file to the Glowforge app, each color and each bitmap will become a separate print step. Divide your design into more steps by changing some of the portions of the vector design to be different colors.

  2. Set all steps but one to "Ignore."

    Click on a step and choose “Ignore.” Repeat this to ignore all the steps but one, and then press “Print.”

  3. When the print finishes, leave your material in place.

  4. Set the step you printed to “Ignore” and print another step.

  5. Continue ignoring and printing until you’ve finished.

Simplify your design

You may be able to simplify the design with your design software. Inkscape and Adobe Illustrator both have options to simplify strokes. Another option, if it's not already an embedded image, might be to convert the portion of your design which is to be engraved to a bitmap by rasterizing it. Here are two support pages on these topics which might be helpful: 

Rasterize Objects

Simplify Strokes

Want Help with Your Print?

If your file still doesn’t print, please contact Glowforge Support and send the following so that we can investigate:

  • Your design file.
  • The time and date that you tried to print (and the time zone you are in).
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