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LightBurn 0.9.15 - Tabs, shape cutting, QR Codes, and much more

We have a bunch of new stuff to share.

First, for 0.9.12 to 14 we updated to a newer version of the framework LightBurn is built on top of.  We tested a lot internally, but a number of users on low resolution systems, and some Macs, had issues with it, including some network drops and performance issues, so we've rolled it back to the one we had before.

Tabs / Bridges

LightBurn will now let you add tabs to your cut lines, either manually or automatically.  If you don't know what tabs are, they are small gaps in the cut to prevent shapes from falling out while cutting.  If you've ever gotten a laser cut kit, you've probably seen them.

You can manually add or edit tabs using the new Tab tool:

And you can add them automatically, either as a fixed number per shape, or based on distance, in the cut settings editor:

You can even manually edit tabs after creating them automatically.

 Cut Shapes tool

LightBurn has a new tool for cutting shapes. It's similar to the Boolean tools, but smarter - Shapes keep their original layer settings, and it understands that filled shapes need to be closed, but line cuts need to be left open. The Cut Shapes tool does not work on images (yet) but we plan to support this in the future as well.

We'll be producing a couple of different videos showing how to use the new Cut Shapes tool, but for now, select some shapes, then select a closed outline to use as the cutting shape, and go to Tools > Cut Shapes.  The result will be two groups - One for everything inside the cutter, and one for everything else.

This is intended to help you cut projects larger than the work area of your laser, but there are lots of other ways to use it too.

 QR Codes

You can now create QR Codes directly in LightBurn.  Go to Tools > Create QR Code, drag out a box to set the size and position, then enter the content of the code in the pop-up box.  QR Codes support CSV-Merge style variable text as well.

Big improvements to Inside / Outside sorting

LightBurn's handling of inside / outside ordering has always been good, but there were a couple of cases that would often fail, the biggest being lines that touched the edges of a shape, like this:

The new inside / outside checks are much more reliable, and even slightly faster.

Custom Start / End GCode

For users with GCode systems, you can now enter custom start / end gcode for your files in Edit > Device Settings. This gcode will be prepended / appended to the code generated by LightBurn itself, and could be used for things like turning on exhaust, or running a Z probe cycle.

Other notable additions:

  • Choose page to import from a multi-page PDF file
  • Filled/Smooth rendering is now about 5x faster
  • Alt+Shift+W quickly flips between Wire and Filled mode
  • Text bending now also bends straight lines - improves the text quality
  • Major improvements to the 'Hide Backlash' optimization setting. Should now work as well as 'Backlash Repay Optimize' in RDWorks
  • You can now choose a built in preset for camera lens calibration instead of calibrating for yourself.
  • Fixed pause/resume bug for GCode systems that could sometimes hang a job
  • TopWisdom fixes for machine settings and framing

 

There's too much here to go into detail for everything. The complete list of changes is below.  As always, download from our Download / Trial page or use the built-in 'Check for Updates', and thank you for supporting LightBurn!

 

Editor additions:

  • Added Manual and Automatic tab placement
  • Added 'Cut Shapes' tool
  • Major improvements to 'Hide Backlash' optimization
  • Added 'No laser connected' message instead of 'busy or paused' when appropriate
  • Major improvements to inside / outside testing (much more robust now, a touch faster)
  • Added support for importing a specific page from a PDF
  • Much smarter inside/outside tests - shapes that touch, single lines, unclosed shapes, etc
  • Added support for creating QR Codes (Tools > QrCode)
  • Update the Windows system 'recent files' list for LightBurn project files
  • Rotate will snap to 15's (Shift) or 45's (Ctrl+Shift) in addition to 5's (Ctrl)
  • Move button sizing cleaned up for all platforms
  • Snap to point lightly takes precedence over snap to line
  • Check if rotary enabled when starting camera alignment
  • Improved text bending - now bends straight lines too
  • Turning off 'Fade' for the camera background now dims the grid
  • Auto-select text on creation
  • < and > (Shift held) rotate by 45 degrees
  • Visual indication of start/end of paths, making it easier to find open shapes
  • "Cut Through" may now be set on start and end pauses individually
  • 'Choose Corners' optimization now prefers points where direction changes on circle/ellipse (top, bottom, left, right)
  • Custom camera system compatibility improvement
  • Extend now works when selecting line instead of node
  • Write multiple axis calibration at once
  • Added a setting to rotate captures by 90 degrees for flatbed (narrow) lasers
  • Fixed start direction when using kerf offset
  • Added camera lens calibration presets for all official LightBurn cameras
  • Major speed increase for Filled/Smooth rendering
  • Fixed a little UI weirdness in Radial Array dialog with steps / end values
  • Added a bunch of 'status tips' - helper text displayed in the status bar
  • Clear Print & Cut mode when file is closed


Editor bug fixes:

  • Bugfix: text shapes with Order by Group and Fill+Line enabled would order strangely
  • Bugfix: bug in Trim function when intersecting thin shapes with close to straight curves
  • Added missing VC2015 redistributable to installer
  • Bugfix: Double-clicking a file with international characters in the name could fail to open
  • Bugfix: Copy/Paste of bent text didn't always keep the bend
  • Bugfix: Correct button sizing for mm/in button when font size is changed
  • Bugfix: Fixed crash when changing font display size
  • Bugfix: Fixed omitting shapes that touch the bottom edge of the page
  • Bugfix: Fixed an issue importing PLT files that ended with a pen-up command
  • Bugfix: Rotary test displayed an error when there wasn't one
  • Bugfix: Keep proper start point when applying kerf offset, even in the middle of a line
  • Bugfix: kerf offset + power scale would lose the power scale on Line mode
  • Bugfix: Ensure lead in/out is not outside of preview view box
  • Bugfix: Frame was incorrect when using Print & Cut


DSPs:

  • Added 'Overcut' support for TopWisdom and Trocen
  • Added 'Delete all files' command for Trocen
  • Enabled PPI setting for vector fills on Trocen controllers
  • Bugfix: TopWisdom machine setting for rotary / normal mode didn't work
  • Bugfix: TopWisdom step length settings were scaled incorrectly and not written properly
  • Bugfix: Trocen devices connected with USB would frame in the wrong place
  • Bugfix: Framing on TopWisdom in 'User Origin' mode (and all others) now works correctly
  • Added 'Go to Origin' button for TopWisdom to jog to the current user origin
  • Added Vank Laser Ruida protocol support
  • Enabled dual-tube support for Ruida RDLC320A controller


GCode:

  • Add ability to set Start/End gcode to output
  • Added homing speeds to GRBL machine settings
  • Added option to enable faster pausing for Smoothieware
  • GCode systems now display layer & pass info in the status bar
  • Made 'Return to Finish Position' optional for Emblaser 2
  • Enabled air assist commands on Marlin (M8/M9, optional M7)
  • Bugfix: pause/resume on GCode controllers could get stuck
  • Bugfix: pressing 'Stop' on a GRBL device when idle could sometimes lock the communication channel
  • Bugfix: GRBL homing invert flag is a single switch, not a per-axis mask
  • Bugfix: writing GRBL $20 setting before $22 setting could error ($20 needs $22 to be set first)


Import/Export:

  • Added support for 1-bit images embedded in PDF files
  • Added support for ICC_profile RGB images in PDFs
  • Added handling of text style property for MTEXT in DXF files, improved font matching
  • Bugfix: vertically centered DXF TEXT positioned incorrectly
  • Bugfix: SVG polygon with no coords would crash
  • Bugfix: Fixed a crash in PDF when the file ends with a carriage return without newline
  • Bugfix: DXF export would sometimes position shapes incorrectly if grouped