Feature request: kerf offset reminder

Hi there!

I’ve been using LightBurn very happily since the day I got my laser cutter in the summer of 2020. I’m about to buy a LightBurn Camera, mostly to further support LightBurn’s development (and of course getting a camera that is guaranteed to work correctly with LB is a nice bonus :smiley:).

Over the last few months, there is one feature I wish LightBurn would have. If this is not the right place to post such feature requests, by all means let me know and I’ll be happy to move/re-post elsewhere (or shut up about it if you’re not taking feature requests of course :grin:

Kerf offset reminder on cut (line) layers

I make a lot of designs that rely on finger joints or dogbone joints to fit together. The Kerf Offset feature is awesome because this allows me to make my designs with exact dimensions, without having to worry about the kerf width messing up my fitments.

However, in switching layer settings back and forth, I always have to find the discipline to check whether my Kerf Offset is configured correctly. More than once I’ve messed up cuts on expensive or scarce materials because I forgot to check and set the Kerf Offset correctly.

Would it be possible to add a general setting that, when enabled, pops up a confirmation dialog when I start a cut operation when any Line-mode layers do not have Kerf width configured?

As a bonus, it would be extra cool if a configurable minimum power level or max speed could be added to this so that the dialog only triggers for layers with a max power above a certain level or below a certain max speed (i.e. knowing they’re actual cuts rather than just line engraving).

Some of this can be better managed today using a template file and the Materials Library entries.

Normally, when you save a LightBurn file that contains shapes, the output contains only the layer settings that were used by the design. If you save a LightBurn file with no shapes in it, the system saves every layer, and this is what we call a ‘Settings Template’ file. Same file type, it just lets you quickly reset the settings to something known, and is meant as a way to have multiple settings banks that you switch between.

Here is our documentation explaining how and when to leverage the Materials Library. You can set and save the desired kerf on a per-material basis then apply when desired.


Didn’t know about “Settings Template” files, that sounds quite useful, thanks!

Is there any way to have LightBurn use such a template when starting up (and/or on File -> New)? Knowing myself, I would often forget to open a template and just start drawing something up right away.

As for Materials Library, I definitely agree it helps tremendously for known materials. I’ve been using it more and more lately and it’s extremely convenient. No more needing to remember settings or referring to earlier test cut sheets. Still, I find myself experimenting with new (to me) materials and/or thicknesses all the time, perhaps also because I’m quite new to laser cutting altogether and still doing lots of exploration. That’s when I sometimes forget to set a kerf offset. Maybe I’m just an idiot though :wink:

Not sure how to help you with these issues. Maybe a post-it on the monitor? :wink: You can also add ‘Show Notes’ to a file and have that note display upon opening of that file as a reminder, but that would require remembering to Open that file, so we are back to you designing your workflow to leverage these features.

1 Like

Hehe, no help needed, I’ll happily ramble along until I learn to remember it. It was just a suggestion for an optional safety net of sorts - if I turn out to be the only one who would actually find such a feature useful, it probably wasn’t a good suggestion :grin:

You can set per-color, or global defaults for the cut settings in the Cut Settings Edit window. You can tell LightBurn to reset to those when you make a new file (in the settings, file settings pane).

Having the system warn you that you don’t have kerf enabled would be pretty specialized. Most users would want that the opposite, I suspect (IE, you have kerf or some other, less used option, enabled - are you sure?)

1 Like

Ah! That’s very helpful, thanks a bunch @LightBurn.

Tangential idea: many apps allow users to customize which columns are shown in a table view, usually by right clicking the column headers. Would you ever consider adding something like that to the Cuts/Layers view so that one could add display of other settings (e.g. Line Interval, Kerf Offset etc.) for instant visibility?

It’s feasible, though ours are interactive, and tied to the undo/redo system, so it’s not trivial to make it fully customizable.

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.