Illustrator, SVG, and Carbide Create: uncheck "responsive"

TL;DR: Carbide Create is no the problem, in Adobe Illustrator, uncheck the “responsive” box when exporting SVGs.

SVGs import at funny sizes, but I never saw a clear answer on the forum that explained what exactly the fix was, or why it was happening. I had this issue with importing an SVG into Fusion 360. My SVG keeps on importing with an odd, seemingly arbitrary scale. I had read a bunch of the closed threads on the subject, and tried setting my ppi/dpi to 98. I hadn’t gone so far as to go back to using inkscape, but I was considering it.

The “responsive” setting is there to allow different screens to scale the vector graphics according to how they’re being displayed. Unfortunately, most of these programs seem to consider display on websites and print before any other uses. SVGs with “responsive” settings do not set height or width explicitly. But, when you turn “responsive” off, as you export your SVG will retain its height and width data. You can see this if you inspect the source of the SVG (XML is advertised as human readable!).

I hope this helps.


Svg files were invented for display use, not CNC, and scaled in pixels. Like many things (stl files come to mind) it’s all cobbled together. To add to the fun the default px per inch (or mm or furlongs) in inkscape changed a few years back. Explanation here


That is a good point, though I suppose we’re co-opting the SVG format for its “vector graphics”, while really trying to subvert the “scalable” part. PDFs or EPS would probably force the context of size on any vectors they contain… but then there’d be a million posts about how raster portions of those formats didn’t show up right.

It would be pretty cool, if on import, given an ambiguously sized SVG, if Carbide Create (or fusion 360, for that matter) would prompt the user to explicitly specify the width and height. Somehow Glowforge’s basic online editor is able to import SVGs at the right scale, despite having exported with “responsive” on; maybe it just makes a good guess, or they check metadata and know how to scale vectors based on their origin?

@Mooselake, the link to the Inkscape explanation provides really good insight into the challenges of using SVGs for dimensional accuracy.

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Oh man, I still use Makercam, and now I have to either open up the SVG in Inkscape and re-save it so it re-scales, or know what version of Inkscape I created it with. . . It’s easier to just open it instead of having to remember what version I created it with, since I have been crating stuff with it for 5 years or so. The really really rustled my jimmies when they did that. I know why, but still. . .

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Makercam does that. It’s a basic G-code creator, but I am used to it and when I use AutoHotKey with it, I can knock out a lot of tool paths in a relatively short amount of time. Very handy for cribbage boards if you are grouping your drilling operations in groups instead of having it punch ~533 holes in one go.

120 x 4 - Score
10 x 4 - Games won
3 x 4 - Peg starting holes
1 - Winner hole

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These things run in groups, I’d just looked it up to answer a similar question in another forum. Fortunately svg files allow for fractional px or we’d all be stuck at 1/96th of an inch resolution until they change it again. Or worse, 1/3.77952755906 mm. Furlongs and cubits left as a exercise.

Estlcam asks when importing svgs, but of course that means you have to know the exact dimensions of the workspace (iirc, might be the object inside the workspace but that takes more coffee to figure out)