Optimization Settings (the Cut Planner)
The cut planner gives you a great deal of control over the ordering of your cuts - you can let LightBurn try to choose the best path for you, order it piece by piece yourself, or somewhere in between. The new options are powerful, and we'll have a video coming soon to demonstrate them. If you have "Order by Layer" as the only entry in the list at the top (the default), it will behave the way you're used to. After selecting your choices in the cut planner, use the Preview (Alt-P) to see how your choices have impacted things by using the slider at the bottom of the window.
Access these settings by pressing the Optimization Settings button shown here:
The settings are displayed in this dialog (and the defaults are shown here):
You can select what the initial ordering parameters will be. You have a choice of Layer, Groups or Priority. As well you can use a combination of these three choices in any order you wish.
Note that the order is important. If you order by layer, then groups, the list of shapes will be split into lists by layer first, then those lists will be sorted by group, and finally, the remaining optimizations will be applied. If you order by groups first, then by layers, the list of shapes will be first split by root-level groups, then the shapes within each set will ordered by layer, and so on. This is good for doing large projects where you want an entire multi-layer item to complete before moving on to the next, in case you have to interrupt the project, or something goes wrong.
Each 'Order By' option produces a set of outputs that is then fed into the next option (if any), and so on. Each resulting set is then optimized with the additional options (like inner shapes first, reduce travel moves, etc).
Order By Layer
If you choose Order By Layer, the cut planner will apply all remaining optimizations to the first layer, then the second layer, and so on.
Order By Groups
If you choose Order By groups the cut planner will apply all remaining optimizations to all the objects in a root-level group, then the next Grouped object, and so on. Objects not part of a group are treated as being in a group together.
Order By Priority
If you choose Order By Priority, the cut planner will apply all remaining optimizations to the objects with the highest priority (Assigned in the Shape Properties Window) first, then the next lowest and so on.
These optimizations are applied to each cutting set of outputs from the above ordering as a set.
Cut Inner Shapes First
As the name implies, if there is an object within another object, and both are being cut, it will cut out the inside object before the outside one.
Cut In Direction Order
This will try to cut the shapes in your project in the specified direction - top to bottom, left to right, etc.
Reduce Travel Moves
This will have the cut planner try to order the cuts in a way that it will choose objects beside each other to try and reduce non cutting travel moves.
Reduce Direction Changes
The cut planner will try to choose nearby cuts that allow it to keep moving in the same direction, which keeps the laser moving faster.
This option is similar to the 'backlash repay optimize' setting found in RDWorks - It produces a cutting order that reduces or eliminates the misalignment between the start and end points of a cut caused by loose or flexing belts, or other forms of play in the mechanical parts of the laser. Enabling this option will force some of the other options to give it the most flexibility when planning the cutting path.
Choose Best Starting Point
Allows the system to start a cut at any point within a shape, not just the first point. Works best when "reduce travel moves" is also enabled.
Choose Corners, If Possible
The cut planner will attempt to start a cut at a sharp corner to minimize burning or staining on the surface of an item.
Choose Best Direction
The cut planner will attempt to choose the best direction to cut in.
Remove Overlapping Lines
The cut planner will remove lines that overlap each other that would cause the laser to cut in the same place twice. This will remove any line fully covered by another line, but will not yet remove partial overlaps, like this:
(the lines are offset from each other slightly here to be able to see them)