How to Create Lines or shapes Perpendiculer/Parallel to existing shape

Hello all! Im having some trouble figuring out how to rotate shapes or lines so they are at the same angle or a specific angle relative to an existing shape. Is there any way to “set angle equal to shape x?”. This isnt hard to do manually, but with wierd angles I cant figure it out.

Also is there any way to set a line or rectangles length/width relative to the shape itself, rather than to the global workspace?

And if I make to line intersect, what is the best way to cut of the overhang? I try join shape and close path, but it doesnt always work. I also try to insert nodes, but sometimes the node goes directly on the intersection and other times it refuses to. Not sure how to make it always work?

Loving the software by the way!

The third thing you’re looking for, “trim”, is coming in the next release, but it’s not ready yet. The simplest way is to use Edit Nodes, ‘I’ (insert) to insert a node, then ‘B’ (break) to beak the shape, then drag the node to the one near it until they snap. The software will automatically join shapes if they’re open.

The first thing you’re looking for doesn’t exist in the software. Tell me - what angle are each of these shapes?
(there’s often not a simple answer to that question)

And the second question you have - I don’t actually understand what you’re asking for. Can you describe that differently?

It seems like you need a parametric drawing program like FreeCAD or Fusion360. They allow you make lines perpendicular, or at a certain angle between them, fix angles between lines etc., make height/width relative to something, all using constraints.

I think just knowing the absolute angle (and being able to change it) would help in this scenario.

If a basic dimension tool would show the specific (absolute) angle of vectors the user could then rotate the object by the required degree to end up at a certain absolute angle.
That would not have the elegance of parametric designing but would be helpful and allow (with a couple of clicks and writing down the angles) the desired precision.

Later on such dimension tool can be fine tuned to speed things up (kind of adding or subtracting angles of to objects clicked on in sequence…) I am sure the developers will not run out of things to do any time soon :grinning:

The problem is, is Lightburn a vector drawing program, or a laser cutting program?
And what is the distinction, where do we (and by we, I mean the developers) draw the line?

Right now I think the focus should be more in the laser-side of things, rather than on the drawing-side of things. There are so many excellent and free/open source drawing programs.

Here you can see the most wanted future Lightburn features:

If you’re looking to do a lot of technical drawing with angles, constraints, etc. I’d highly recommend looking at the sketching capabilities in Fusion 360. Free for non-commercial use and think you’ll find it does everything you’re asking for. And the trim function in Fusion is SO nice. You simply click an overhanging line segment and it disappears.

If offers constraints such as…

  • Coincident
  • Collinear
  • Concentric
  • Midpoint
  • Fix/UnFix
  • Parallel
  • Perpendicular
  • Horizontal/Vertical
  • Tangent
  • Curvature
  • Equal
  • Symmetry

You can even use equations in you dimensions such as setting a circle diameter to 1/2 the diameter of another circle or an angle to twice the angle of another.

I think LB offers a very nice set of drawing tools that cover a lot of what someone drawing for laser cutting would need. But specialized programs such as Illustrator or Fusion will always offer features specific to their intended audience.

Thanks for the feedback guys!

To expand on my first question, often I find my self trying to add a rectangle with specific dimensions at an existing vertex, like one on the heptagon. However there is no way for my to create a rectangle and attach it, then rotate it so it is perfectly parallel to side of the heptagon. May if I could anchor the first first connected vertex, then rotate on that point and snap the shape to the line once its parallel? What I usually end up trying to do is to draw a line over the shape’s side, then complete the rectangle using more lines, but there is no way to set the dimensions of that rectangle when creating it from scratch at an angle.

That’s where my second question comes in. If I have a rectangle(or line) that is at an angle, would there be a way to “extend” the shape so that it is at the correct length and width without skewing it?

If there was a way to change a line’s “Distance” rather the the its x or y width dimensions on the workspace, that would be the ticket.

Yes, I am really looking forward to the trim feature. It will be really nice to terminate lines in shapes that overlap other lines shapes. Will this be similar to the subtract boolean, but with more that 2 shapes at a time, including open shapes?

I may look into using freeCad. I am really impressed with Lightburn so far, I feel like it has almost everything I need to create precise models completely within the software, there are just a few situational things that are tricky, and I’m just wondering if I’m missing some functionality or if any other users came up with tricks for these problems.

With a rectangle (IE, an actual rectangle) you can go to Shape Properties and edit the width and height properties, and those work at whatever orientation it’s in.

“Two point rotate” is something that’s not mathematically hard to do - we already have it for the Print & Cut feature - but the UI for it will have to be sorted out. It’s something I’ve wanted myself a few times. I think the basic flow will be to choose whether you want just rotation, or both rotation and scale. Then you’d click the first point (the rotation center), and then click and drag the second point to rotate the shape.

We’re trying to do more of the laser side of things first, and not try too hard to replace Corel / Illustrator / InkScape, but we’ll continue to add more functionality on the editing side too.

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