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Author Topic: Flipped objects do not upload to Cricut Design Space - Inkscape Mac  (Read 589 times)

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Offline sonjay

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I ran into a weird issue that at first I thought I was doing something wrong or that the problem was with Cricut Design Space. But I'm pretty sure I've narrowed the problem down to a bug or glitch with Inkscape (Mac version 0.92) and I'm curious if maybe it could be something I'm doing wrong or if it really is a bug that I should report to the Inkscape folks.

The issue is flipping an object horizontally.

In Inkscape, Mac version 0.92, I drew a closed path and gave it a  stroke. Then I duplicated it (using Edit -> Duplicate), flipped the duped object horizontally, and moved it over so it's next to the original. When I uploaded that file to Inkscape, and the flipped object was a weird distorted line.
It was a simple enough path that I finally just drew the flipped version from scratch and used that to get my project done.

But flipping horizontally is such a common thing to need to do, I really wanted to get to the bottom of what was going on. So I did some experimenting. I tried flipping horizontally with svgs downloaded from elsewhere, with paths I drew myself, and with paths I had traced. I tried cloning (instead of duplicating) before flipping it. I tried copy-paste. I tried reversing the path. I tried ungrouping it first (even though I hadn't grouped it in the first place.) I tried grouping it. I tried grouping then ungrouping it. I can't remember what-all I tried, but in every single case the object was either missing when I uploaded it to Design Space or was distorted to a straight line.

I also experimented with flipping vertically -- vertically flipping works fine, just not horizontal flipping.

Then something dawned on me. I have Parallels on my Mac, and Windows 10. So I fired up Windows and downloaded Inkscape for Windows. (Inkscape Windows version 0.92)

In the Windows version, I could take the object (any object), dupe it, flip it horizontally, upload it to Design Space, and it uploaded perfectly.

I'm attaching 4 files to this post. test.svg is a simple closed path with a stroke, created in the Mac version of Inkscape. Duped and flipped horizontally, then both of those duped and flipped vertically. The first screenshot is that file after I uploaded it to Design Space. As you can see in the screenshot, that  file uploaded to Design Space with the original path and the vertically flipped object intact, but the horizontally flipped object turned into a straight line and the one that was flipped horizontally then vertically went missing altogether.

I saved that file as test copy.svg and opened the copy in the Windows version of Inkscape. I deleted the copied objects, then did the same thing to the original path - duped & flipped it horizontally, then duped both of those & flipped vertically.

The second screenshot is that file uploaded to Cricut Design Space.  In the second screenshot, from the Windows version of Inkscape, all four of the objects uploaded to Design Space intact.

Is there some secret trick to flipping an object horizontally in Inkscape for Mac that will work in Design Space? Or is this well and truly a bug that I've discovered?
  • 0.92
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Offline brynn

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Re: Flipped objects do not upload to Cricut Design Space - Inkscape Mac
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2018, 03:44:45 PM »
Welcome to the forum!

Is this using Silhouette Basic?  Some people have identified a potential bug with Silhouette Studio, which is causing extra paths and sometimes extra nodes, with DXF files.

Although I know Inkscape very well, I don't use any kind of cutter, and I'm pretty confused between Cricut Design Space and Silhouette Studio.  They both sound like software for a Cricut.

Unfortunately, I'm short on time at the moment.  Could you have a look at this message thread, and tell us whether your problem sounds like it might be the same as that problem?  https://forum.inkscapecommunity.com/index.php?topic=1278.0

If it's not the same thing, I'll be back tomorrow, and I can look at your problem more closely.  (Or maybe someone else will be along.)  I'm sorry I don't have time right now, but I wanted to answer, to let you know we've seen your message.

See you again soon.
  • 0.92.2
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Offline sonjay

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Re: Flipped objects do not upload to Cricut Design Space - Inkscape Mac
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2018, 05:01:35 PM »
Hi, and thanks for your response!

No, this problem isn't related to Silhouette at all. FYI, the Silhouette is a cutting machine that uses the Silhouette software. The Cricut is a similar cutting machine, but it uses Cricut Design Space, which is basically a cloud-based platform that operates as a browser plugin. The software is required to send files to the specific machine, so since I have a Cricut, I have to use Cricut Design Space.

Mentioning that CDS is a browser plugin spurred me to try uploading the file to Design Space in a Windows browser. I got the same result. (original object fine, flipped object not there)

At your mention of Studio, as a troubleshooting step, I downloaded the Silhouette software -- the free Basic edition. It turns out, Silhouette Basic doesn't allow opening svg files directly. A quick  search tells me that I should save Inkscape files as a Desktop Cutting Plotter file (.dxf) to open it in Silhouette Studio Basic. When I tried that, I got an Inkscape error message: "Inkscape has received additional data from the script executed. The script did not return an error ,but this may indicate the results will not be as expected." Then there was a traceback that referred to dxf_outlines.py" and it wouldn't let me save the file.

When I tried saving an svg that has no flipped object, it let me save it as a .dxf file, which I could then open in Silhouette Basic.

So it seems there's something wonky going on with Inkscape on Mac when files contain a horizontally flipped object. Hmmm.... I just tried flipping the object vertically and got the same Inkscape error message.

I'm don't know if the error related to saving a file as .dxf has anything to do with the problem I'm having uploading svgs to Cricut Design Space. For Cricut, I don't normally mess with .dxf files at all. In Inkscape, I can flip an object vertically or horizontally and save it as an Inkscape .svg or as a plain .svg. I just can't upload it successfully to Cricut Design Space. I can upload .svg files out of Inkscape to Cricut Design Space just fine as long as there's no horizontally flipped object.

I don't want to get sidetracked into troubleshooting .dxf files and Silhouette Studio. Unless it's somehow related to my problem with .svg files and Design Space.
  • 0.92
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Offline sonjay

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Re: Flipped objects do not upload to Cricut Design Space - Inkscape Mac
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2018, 05:35:18 AM »
UPDATE: I found the secret trick! I don't think it's supposed to be this way, but this worked!

For the simple path in the test file I uploaded here, selecting the flipped object and then choosing the menu command Path -> Union created a file that uploaded correctly to Design Space.

For more complex files with multiple paths it wasn't quite so simple. Simply choosing "Union" didn't work. But Ungroup, then Object to Path, then Union worked.

Just why the original object uploads just fine to Design Space but the flipped object requires Ungroup then Object to Path then Union -- that's above my pay grade. I'm just glad I found a solution, and of course I'm glad to be able to post it here for anyone else who might be experiencing the same problem.
  • 0.92
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Offline brynn

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Re: Flipped objects do not upload to Cricut Design Space - Inkscape Mac
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2018, 02:07:10 PM »
Wow!  I'm glad you found a solution.

I think you've definitely found a bug.  But whether the bug is in Inkscape or Design Space, I couldn't say.  It could be something about how Inkscape flips the object or it could be about how Design Space "reads" it.  The fact that Union seems to fix it still doesn't tell me where the problem starts.

When I use your attached SVG file, and I try Union on one of the objects, I notice that it adds another node to the path.  I'd be curious if you don't use Union, but instead, just add an extra node.  Does that also fix the problem?

Another thing you can try.  Sometimes when something doesn't work in Inkscape, if you move a node, it suddenly makes it work.  Like just select a node, press the up arrow and then the down arrow (or left then right).  The node ends up in  the same place, but moving it forces Inkscape to recalculate the position, and something about that makes whatever it is, work.

Likewise, adding one or more nodes sometimes causes something that's not working properly, to start working better.  What I'm thinking about your problem, at the moment, is that adding the extra node during Union causes Inkscape to recalculate something.  But that's just a guess.  I'd be interested if you have a chance to try adding a node or moving a node, and whether that fixes the problem like Union does.

Hhmm, I wonder what is happening with the XML with Union.  Let's see....

Interesting!  Yes, Union changes the XML quite a bit, while moving or adding a node does not change it very much.  I don't really understand XML very much, so I'm not sure what the changes mean.  However, just viewing the XML, I can't differentiate between the original object, the one flipped horizontal, vertical, or both.  They all look essentially the same.  So I don't know how Design Space can tell the difference either.

Well, you certainly would be welcome to file a bug report for Inkscape.  At least make it available for developers to investigate.  There are issues (bugs) with transforms, and it wouldn't be surprising to me, if this is a bug in Inkscape.  Here's some info telling how to make a report, and what kind of info is needed:  https://inkscape.org/en/contribute/report-bugs/

Let's see....  No I don't see any other reports about flipping horizontal.  It's just really curious that flipping vertical doesn't have the same problem!
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Offline sonjay

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Re: Flipped objects do not upload to Cricut Design Space - Inkscape Mac
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2018, 07:40:39 PM »
Oh wow. I hadn't noticed that Union added a node. And sure enough -- adding a node but not applying Union also allowed it to upload to Design Space correctly. Bizarre!

Honestly, I don't even want to look at the XML. I deal with XML enough when I'm doing php stuff. I have less than zero desire to deal with it for graphics stuff.

I'll hop over & report this to Inkscape tomorrow. I do think it's an Inkscape bug, not a Design Space bug. Since the Windows version can flip an object and upload to Design Space correctly, that suggests to me that the problem is with the Mac version of Inkscape. But of course the Inkscape developers can determine for sure what's going on. I'm just glad I found a way to accomplish what I need to.

Thanks for helping me investigate this mysterious problem.
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Offline brynn

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Re: Flipped objects do not upload to Cricut Design Space - Inkscape Mac
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2018, 11:35:19 PM »
Ah, well fortunately, since adding a node will fix the problem, it makes the XML irrelevant.

Honestly, I got a bit lost in your discussion about using Windows for testing.  But the Inkscape project is lucky to have users like you, who can help to sort out these things!
  • 0.92.2
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