Detailed SVG...too much detail?

The SVGs for sale on Etsy are pretty nice but are the super detailed designs better suited for laser a cutter? Seems like most come with svg cdr pdf dxf files so they can be scaled.
My wife wants this Tree of Life but it’s very detailed and I’m wondering what do you do with spots that end up too small for the bit…delete them out of the file? I’m considering an 1/8” bit.

This is a learning area for me…what do you all do?

if those are full 4x8 panels, an 1/8" bit might still be able to cut all the areas. If it is too small, I know I have read of some using 1/16" bits successfully. I think you should go for it. If nothing else, you might be able to get the really small stuff done manually with a drill and a coping saw or something.

Have you ordered the files to check the actual sizes yet?

1 Like

Nice! I really like that tree. It might be possible at a 4’ height, only way to know is to buy it and check. Even without the smallest cutouts it might still look good. Or not, who knows lol. It would take forever to cut though and I’d probably use double stick tape or CA glue or something because that many tabs would suck! Let us know how it works out!

I have not ordered it yet but I will; it’s only $2.99! With a DXF or SVG I can make it whatever size I want, right? I’m thinking it would look good as a 5’ x 4‘.

The thing that will be a pain is setting all the tool paths. I’m still using makercam (wanting to learn Fusion360) so I’d have to individually select all of these areas…ugh.

Yeah, you will be able to scale it.
There are lots of cam programs that are in between makercam and Fusion in terms of user friendliness and power if you want other options.

1 Like

can you provide a link to it? I’d be interested in looking at what they have to offer.

do you mean overall dimensions for all 3 panels? If so, then your concern about the small pockets is valid.

Yes. It would go in our master bedroom which is only 12x14’.


Yeah, that was my first experience with MakerCAM too, which led to me looking for other options. For a simple hole cutting project like this tree of life, you may want to look at JSCut. It requires an SVG file, but you can choose paths by color in the SVG rather than having to choose each pocket individually. I would probably use a program to separate out each panel into it’s own file (or otherwise color code them). I use Inkscape for my SVG editing, as I prefer to use free programs wherever possible.

Additionally, I have used online jpg to SVG converters successfully in the past, should you need that functionality. Just google it and several will come up.


You can select them together by Click + dragging.
I have done my fence that way (typing on the phone right now but can send link later if interested), dividing the work in cut portions of about one hour. That allowed me to cut section after section each evening one at a time.


Interested! Thank you.

Here it it comes: Fence link
A couple more panels are in the pipeline. Give me a year or so.

Procedure to produce sections of gcode in makercam:

  1. Load your design into
  2. Click, hold, and drag the section you want gcode from. You just have to touch the perimeter. The parts turn red.
  3. Leave the other sections unmarked. They stay black
  4. CAM/Profile operation => enter your parameters => confirm with ok
  5. inside turns blue
  6. CAM/calculate all => tool paths appear around or inside the marked area
  7. CAM/export gcode => select profile path, export gcode, select sensible file name like “”, save and close window
  8. mark the parts again and delete them.
  9. pick the next section and repeat until you have them all.

This is a little bit more work, but gave me the option to cut this at different days.
I left the system running at all times until I was done with the sheet.
I didn’t notice any offsets from section to section, but it was also not very important for this project. I also marked the 0,0 point of my drawing. With my laserpointer I could go back and define home as needed, though I didn’t have to use this backup option.

I hope that helps a little.
Let me know if you have questions.


Thanks for the reply! I follow the same process with makercam and breaking up this “tree of life” into different gcode files would be a good way to do it. What I was saying above is, no matter how many parts I break the code into, this “tree of life” would be very time consuming to create tool paths for all the cuts (welcome to CNC? :smirk: )

I really like the fence and the laser pointer is great. Nice job on the documentation, too!


yes, I agree that it will take time. But I think that different sections are better than just the pause button.
The problem is that the z-axis is so slow. I made sure that the step down setting is set to the cutting depth of each step. Otherwise it will add much more z-axis up’s and downs. Drove me crazy until I figured out what caused it.

1 Like

I have a lot of experience with 2D AutoCAD LT and AutoCAD Electrical but CAD “design”, CAM and CNC are new to me. I know I could probably find some answers in the software section of the forum but if you know of any good posts or topics that are more specific to what is “in between”, please let me know. :slight_smile:

That is very good information to know! Thanks

AutoCAD 2d is where i started (I remember using Rev4 back in HS after my mechanical drawing classes! :open_mouth: ). Since then I’ve progressed through many versions of AutoCAD, though I’ve never really dropped using text commands. That is one thing I miss when using Inventor. I have had a decent experience with Inventor over the past few years, though I do find it frustrating that the sketch layout procedure is so different than AutoCAD. Sometimes, for complex designs I start in AutoCAD and import the DXF into Inventor.

That being said, I also feel like I should figure out Fusion for more organic shapes in the future (I have plans to do a bunch of 3d milling with a Shapeoko, and possibly with the Maslow).

1 Like

There are ways to smooth dxf files and/or reduce the number of nodes. I have done this in a couple of instances to remove superfine detail.

1 Like

I think the main concern here was just how many pockets there are in that design. But I am interested in node reducing techniques, if you care to share :slight_smile:

1 Like