Troubleshooting

File Won't Print

  • A Quick Intro

    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, break it into a few separate stages as follows:
    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

  • Design Includes a Very Large Engrave

    If your design includes a large engrave, you have two choices. You can reduce the size of your print in the app by signing in, selecting your file, clicking on your image, and then dragging a corner towards the center of the image to make it smaller. Or you can divide your image into pieces and print them one at a time, as shown below.
    1

    Split your image into pieces

    • Save your design as a PNG file
    • Go to imagesplitter.net and upload your file
    • Click on the "SPLIT IMAGE" tab and enter the number of rows and columns you want to split your image into
    • Choose PNG as shown below
    • Click the blue “SPLIT IMAGE” button. The software will split your image into the number of rows and columns you specify and automatically download a zipped file of the pieces.

    image splitter

    2

    Create a single file with all the pieces

    • Locate the file on your computer (where your downloads go) and unzip it
      • Mac: Double click on the file to open it
      • Windows: Double click on the file to open it, then click “Extract All”
        extract all
    • Open a new file in Inkscape (used for this example, although other software will work too)
    • Choose File > Import and select all the images from the zip file
    • Line up the images up so they are seamless. In Inkscape, when you drag the images near each other, they will snap together. (If they don’t, go to View > Show/Hide > Snap Controls Bar and adjust the settings.)
    • Select File > Save As and save the file as an Inkscape SVG file
    3

    Upload and print

    • Sign in to app.glowforge.com, click “Upload” and choose the file you saved
    • Each piece of artwork will import as a step in the app. Click on a step and choose “Ignore.” Repeat this to ignore all the steps but one, and then press “Print.”
    • When the print finishes, leave your material in place
    • Set the step you printed to “Ignore” and print another step
    • Continue ignoring and printing until you’ve finished
  • Want Help with Your Print?

    If your file still doesn’t print, please send the following to support@glowforge.com so that we can investigate:

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