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LightBurn 0.9.17 - Tool layers, single line fonts, image masking, and much more

This is a fairly large release, so we'll go over the big things first:

Tool Layers

These are layer colors that will never be sent to your laser, and are designed to be used as rulers, guides, alignment tools, paths for text, image masking, and so on.  They will never be sent to the laser, have no cut settings, and you can decide whether or not they are using when calculating job origin.  For example, if you often draw a frame around your design so you can center it properly, but set that layer not to output, you'd now make a tool layer set with 'Frame' enabled.

Tool layer example

The new tool layers are T1 and T2, at the end of the color palette.

Single Line Fonts

SHX fonts are quite old, and came from AutoCAD where they were originally made for plotters.  Some SHX fonts are truly "single line" while others are more complex, but the single-line versions are perfect for when you want text, but you want it drawn quickly.

Single-line font example

In the settings, under File Settings, there's a new button to choose the location of your SHX fonts folder.  Download some SHX fonts and tell LightBurn where to find them and they'll show up in the fonts drop down.  We have a video tutorial for this here: https://youtu.be/-Uj6Dz8g0ko

Image Masking (live crop)

We've added the ability to mask an image using another shape, but it's 'live'.  You can manipulate the mask shape and the image updates on the fly.

Live image mask example

Select an image and a shape (or group), right click and choose 'Apply mask to Image'.  We have a video tutorial for this feature here: https://youtu.be/1q4WyVMfhXg

Re-start a job part way through

If you open the Preview window in LightBurn, you'll notice a new button:

If you have a file that was stopped before it finished, you can drag the time slider in the preview window to the point where it stopped, then click the 'Start here' button to tell LightBurn to begin running the job from wherever you are in the preview.  This works on all controllers - GCode or DSPs.

Other notable changes

  • The font list in LightBurn now has 'favorite' and 'recent' fonts
  • Stuttering at the start of image engraving for GCode devices has been greatly reduced or eliminated
  • Illustrator users can now set SVGs to import at 72 DPI instead of the InkScape standard of 96 DPI

There's a lot more in here, so the full list of changes is shown below.  As usual, use the 'Check for Updates' feature in LightBurn to download, or you can download from our Trial / Download page.  Make sure your license is not expired if you download manually.

 

Full change log:

Editor:

  • [AH] Added tool layers (never output, used for labels, alignment, text on path, etc)
  • [Oz] Added shape smoothing to Optimize Shapes dialog
  • [AH] Added Font Favorites and Most Recently Used
  • [AH] Added image masking (live crop)
  • [AH] Added Mask Flatten option to "bake in" mask/crop operation
  • [Oz] Added 'Start here' option to preview (allows starting a job part-way through)
  • [Oz] New Cut Settings editor with Common / Advanced settings tabs
  • [AH] Support for SHX Fonts
  • [AH] Support for Right-to-Left text
  • [Oz] Shape Properties now properly multi-edit (select 5 circles, change width/height all at once)
  • [Oz] Added 'Offset Fill' mode (use sparingly - can be very complex to compute)
  • [Oz] Bitmaps with transparency now work with Enhance Amount / Enhance Radius
  • [AH] Added tabs enable/disable without destroying tabs or tab settings
  • [Oz] Added WIFI & Contact (MECARD) editors to QR Code creator
  • [Oz] Added snapping to shape intersection points
  • [Oz] Added support for ramp mode with threshold images
  • [AH] Added partially cut tabs
  • [Oz] Adding an entry to the Art Library with an existing name will ask if you'd like to replace it
  • [Oz] 5X faster snap-point search (speeds up user interaction on slower computers)
  • [Oz] Auto-choose a COM port if there is only one candidate port available
  • [AH] Performance fix for large amounts of generated tabs
  • [Oz] Time-based merging of multiple undos for shape or node movement
  • [Oz] Frame & O-Frame now respect "Discard out of bounds shapes" setting
  • [Oz] Offset dialog now allows units/equations in distance field
  • [Oz] Start points tool can now change selection while active
  • [Oz] Right-click paste now puts the pasted shape wherever the right-click was
  • [Oz] Added 'Create rubber-band outline' function
  • [Oz] When using 'Discard out of bounds shapes' you'll now get a warning if shapes are discarded because they cross the machine bounds
  • [Oz] Added a hotkey for 'Offset' (Alt+O), changed 'Optimize' to (Alt+Shift+O)
  • [AH] Updated tab generation with more accurate placement and better tab merging
  • [Oz] Fixed a couple bugs with tab generation that could cause shapes to disappear entirely
  • [Oz] Bugfix: Rotary check in Camera Alignment code was incorrect
  • [Oz] Bugfix: Drag-select in Edit Nodes mode didn't work when zoomed in
  • [Oz] Bugfix: crash when trying to auto-join grouped shaped highlighted by 'Show Me'
  • [Oz] Bugfix: images were placed incorrectly using Print & Cut
  • [Oz] Bugfix: Changing from mm/sec to mm/min would set the wrong Z-speed in the UI
  • [Oz] Bugfix: Art libraries with decimal points in the name were displayed incorrectly
  • [Oz] Bugfix: Fixed shortcut translations for Polish language
  • [Oz] Bugfix: don't allow bitmaps when using 'Cut Shapes'
  • [Oz] Bugfix: Alignment & distribute functions now properly skip locked objects
  • [Oz] Bugfix: Variable Text cut setting interval showed wrong layer setting

DSPs:

  • [Oz] Move to cut start first, then do Z move (Ruida / GCode)
  • [AH] Add option to disable Start button for machines with upload capability.
  • [Oz] Fixed corrupted file list on Trocen/AWC with large numbers of files (more than 60)

GCode devices:

  • [Oz] Fixed stuttering on GCode job start with Windows systems
  • [Oz] Better messages for gcode devices not being connected
  • [Oz] Added built-in translation for GRBL error and alarm messages
  • [Oz] Added 'Synchronous' transfer mode for GCode devices (Edit > Device Settings)
  • [Oz] GCode stream time now displayed as HH:MM:SS if long enough
  • [Oz] SnapMaker profile now uses M106 / M107 for air assist
  • [Oz] Improved handling of pause/resume and preserving correct laser state
  • [Oz] GCode macros with $ commands are now sent line by line in the gcode sender thread (more robust, no UI lockup)
  • [Oz] Query GRBL for buffer size on startup to help improve streaming performance
  • [Oz] Forced GCode cursor jog commands to wait for completion
  • [Oz] Bugfix: When doing really slow, small moves, gcode emitter could mis-track rounding errors
  • [Oz] Bugfix: M2 command is now emitted after any user GCode trailer
  • [Oz] Bugfix: Smoothieware reports positions in inches when in inch mode (not documented behavior)
  • [Oz] Cleanup for Z handling on GCode systems using relative moves. Z now returns to start height properly.

Import/Export:

  • [Oz] Improved robustness of AI / PDF importing
  • [Oz] Added a setting for SVG import DPI (96 or 72, for InkScape or Illustrator)
  • [Oz] Added parsing for DXF MText height, color formatting fields
  • [Oz] Added support for CCITT-Fax encoded images in PDF files
  • [Oz] Bugfix: SVG export of Polygon objects and QR codes did not work if in a group that was scaled/offset
  • [Oz] Crash fix: Ignore invalid viewBox in SVG files