LightBurn Tutorial 17 – Cut Puzzle using “Cut Shapes”

The LightBurn Software Series

The Lightburn Software is probably the best generic laser cutting software available (I use it for almost all of my laser work). This series has tutorials, hints and tips as well as the occasional speed comparisons between it and RDWorks. In this session we use the LightBurn feature “Cut Shapes” to laser Cut and engrave a puzzle. My thanks to the team at Lightburn for allowing me to embed their videos.

Contents

Using the new ‘Cut Shapes’ feature in LightBurn, you can cut pieces too large for your laser by cutting multiple pieces and assembling them later.

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LightBurn: Using Cut Shapes Feature to make a Puzzle
LightBurn: Using Cut Shapes Feature to make a Puzzle

Transcript for LightBurn: Cut Puzzle using “Cut Shapes”

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0:00hey everyone in today’s light burn

0:02tutorial we’re going to go over

0:04the cut shapes tool again but today

0:07instead of utilizing cut shapes to maybe

0:10use a pass through

0:11with the print and cut feature in light

0:13burn what if you have a laser that

0:15doesn’t necessarily

0:16have a pass-through but you still want

0:18to be able to make project

0:20larger than the volume of your laser

0:22today i’m going to utilize

0:24a interlocking shapes vector like this

0:27puzzle piece vector

0:28to cut out a large version of this

0:32space aztec calendar now

0:35i’m going to have to do a few things

0:37with that but

0:38the cut shapes feature will allow me to

0:41do this

0:42quickly and relatively easily so let’s

0:44jump into it

0:46now the first thing we’ll know is the

0:50cutting tools that i’m using are four

0:52separate shapes

0:53they’re all interlocking but all these

0:55lines have some overlap

0:57they’re not perfect so you’ll see some

0:59artifacts

1:00when i do the cut but they’re good

1:02enough to get me what i need

1:04so first thing that we’re going to do

1:08is we’re going to resize my puzzle

1:10pieces to encompass

1:12four sheets of 300 by 300 or

1:1612 inch by 12 inch pieces of plywood

1:20so the first thing we’ll do is we’ll

1:22select them all

1:24and we leave the aspect lock on for

1:28just a second and i’m going to make them

1:32uh 460

1:36millimeters unlock that

1:40460

1:43and then re-lock it and i’m doing that

1:45because

1:46each puzzle piece is slightly larger

1:49than or slightly different sizes and i

1:53want to make sure

1:54that they all fit on my 300 by 300

1:56millimeter plywood

1:57so we’ll go through and we’ll select it

1:59make sure

Transcript for LightBurn: Cut Puzzle using “Cut Shapes” (Cont…)

2:01in our properties box

2:04that box of the shapes are all smaller

2:07than my piece

2:08of plywood looks like we’re good

2:11so now we’ll center this up in our

2:15workspace so it’s nicer to work on

2:18and the next thing i’m going to do is

2:20i’m going to make a duplicate

2:22of these puzzle pieces and this is

2:24because as light burn uses the cut

2:26shapes tool it actually

2:28deletes the cutting tool that it

2:30utilizes and i want to

2:32use these for layout later in my actual

2:35cutting

2:36process so i’m going to highlight all

2:38four shapes

2:40go to edit and duplicate and what this

2:43does is it creates an exact copy

2:45directly on top of the original copy and

2:48it automatically selects it so the first

2:50thing i’ll do

2:52while those are all selected is i’m

2:53going to put them onto a separate layer

2:56that is a different color that way as

2:59we’re going through this you can see

3:00that

3:01these are being deleted and the others

3:03are left behind

3:06now the next thing we’ll do is we’ll

3:08resize our calendar

3:10to fit in our wood so

3:13we made the bounding box of the puzzle

3:17piece is 460.

3:19let’s make these 455.

3:22notice the aspect lock is on so it will

3:26keep its aspect ratio and as i’m

3:29dragging this i grabbed

3:31the middle handle and what this will let

3:34me do is it will let me snap

3:36to the center points of these shapes

3:43now we have it nicely centered up in our

3:45puzzle pieces

3:47and we can start our cutting process so

3:51to use the cut shapes tool what we have

3:54to do

3:55is first select the objects to be cut

3:58so i’m going to group select those by

Transcript for LightBurn: Cut Puzzle using “Cut Shapes” (Cont…)

4:00dragging from the right hand side over

4:02to the left

4:03and that will select all of the objects

4:05in that

4:06group and then the next thing i’m going

4:09to do is i’m going to

4:11hold shift and select the top

4:14left puzzle piece and this tells light

4:18burn

4:18that the last thing that we selected

4:21that is going to be the tool to utilize

4:23to cut the shape so we’ll click cut

4:26shapes and a couple things happened

4:30one you’ll notice that the marching ants

4:33they shifted a little bit when that

4:35happened

4:36notice this one’s moving this way and

4:40these are moving this way on the red

4:41line the other thing that happened

4:43is our blue puzzle piece is gone that’s

4:45because light burn

4:47utilized it to do the cut and then it

4:49deleted it

4:51so now if i click out and i click into

4:55the puzzle piece

4:56it grabs this and we have this nice cut

5:00out shape here

5:02now there’s a couple things we could do

5:04with this

5:05we could just leave it as is but i want

5:07to do a fill operation on this

5:09now notice i have it selected as line in

5:11the cuts and layers dialog

5:14if i select fill it

5:17does what we expect it fills in all of

5:20the closed shapes

5:21and it leaves all the open shapes

5:24unfilled and this is because

5:26if we drop down window i have spilled

5:28smooth

5:29turned on i have a pretty fast computer

5:31so i can do this

5:33if you have a slower computer and you

5:35still want to use the field rendering

5:37filled course is a new thing that we’ve

5:38recently added and it

5:40makes the render time much much faster

5:44and it’s much smoother as you drag

5:45around if you have a slower computer

5:47it’s very useful

5:50but so we we have all these open shapes

5:54now

5:55we could um draw lines in to close them

5:59but light burn is smart enough to know

Transcript for LightBurn: Cut Puzzle using “Cut Shapes” (Cont…)

6:02that if

6:02it is a filled shape when

6:06it cuts it using the cut shapes tool

6:08it’ll automatically do all that welding

6:10for us

6:11so if we hit the undo button a couple

6:14times

6:15move that guy back and we’ll undo our

6:19cut

6:20so now our puzzle piece is back and our

6:24calendar is in one piece and notice that

6:26the calendar

6:27and the red line are not grouped

6:29together so i can drag them separately

6:32and then we will

6:37use the fill dialog and now it’s all

6:40filled rendered

6:43and we’ll select the calendar

6:46shift select our puzzle piece go to

6:49tools

6:52cut shapes puzzle piece goes away

6:56the marching ants change a little bit

6:59we’ll select out of it

7:01now when we drag it over

7:06all of those open areas are now filled

7:09as they should be and the other thing to

7:11note is when i drag this when i click

7:13this

7:14it’s now grouped with the red outline

7:17that i’m going to use to cut this out

7:18later so

7:20that’s an important thing to note when

7:22you use the cut shapes

7:24tool uh it will try to

7:27intelligently think about what needs to

7:30be grouped together

7:30and what will be ungrouped so if you

7:32have shapes that are already grouped

7:34plan on those groups being completely

7:36obliterated

7:38and if you have any uh thing turned on

7:41and shape properties

7:42like power scaling your power scaling

7:46probably got

7:47blown away too so if you’re doing

7:49anything like that with a

7:50object make sure you do it after you do

7:53the cut shapes not before

7:57so i’m going to undo a couple steps

Transcript for LightBurn: Cut Puzzle using “Cut Shapes” (Cont…)

8:01so that we can get our puzzle piece

8:03moved back

8:05and i’m going to repeat this process

8:08with the next

8:10three pieces so select the calendar

8:14shift select the puzzle to

8:19select them at the same time

8:23now that one’s cut

8:27and then we have to do it one more time

8:28so we’ll

8:32grab that

8:36shift select the puzzle piece tools

8:40cut shapes and

8:43our last piece is selected

8:48now for the last one i’m going to delete

8:51the blue puzzle piece

8:52because i don’t need it and we can

8:58pull these pieces apart

9:04so we can see what we’re left with

9:08now because my puzzle pieces weren’t

9:10exactly lined up

9:13i end up with a little bit of

9:14artifacting and this really isn’t a big

9:17deal

9:18but it is important to note that it is

9:20grouped with my last puzzle piece

9:22so the way we get rid of that is we hit

9:24ungroup

9:25and then we’ll probably need to ungroup

9:27it one more time

9:29and then we can just select

9:33and we can use the delete option

9:36in the edit menu or the delete button on

9:39our keyboard to delete these

9:41last little bits of overlap

9:48all right now

9:53let’s select all of this make sure we

9:56didn’t ungroup too far

9:59and then we’ll regroup these all

Transcript for LightBurn: Cut Puzzle using “Cut Shapes” (Cont…)

10:02together

10:04same with this

10:11and this will just make it easier to

10:13move things around later and make sure

10:14everything stays aligned

10:16because when i go to cut this out on my

10:18laser i want this red

10:19outline here to go through and

10:23cut out my puzzle pieces so they

10:24interlock we don’t necessarily need this

10:27outer line here

10:28we can make that go away if we want to

10:30but i’m going to leave it just so

10:32that i have that bounding box area

10:35for when i go to frame on my laser

10:39now to send this to the laser i’m

10:41actually going to save this out as four

10:42separate light burn projects so

10:46first step i’m going to go to file

10:49save as

10:53make a new folder space

10:58puzzle

11:02and

11:07call this individual pieces

11:12all and that way i have a project that

11:15has all the pieces in it in case i need

11:17to edit it

11:19and then we’ll do this four more times

11:21save as

11:24pieces one

11:30as to

11:36i’ll go through and edit all these files

11:40so they only have one piece in them

11:49okay now we’re in individual pieces four

11:54so let’s go ahead and delete three of

11:57the pieces

11:59and we’ll save this it will say open

12:04[Music]

12:08three

12:18that back center

12:21save open

12:36to

12:39save and open and then for the last

12:42piece

12:48select these and then this one and now i

12:52can send each of these to my laser

12:54to be cut out individually and we can

12:56line them all up

12:58so with that i hope you guys learned how

13:01to use the cut

13:02shapes tool to make your projects even

13:04bigger

13:05than the envelope of your laser enabling

13:08bigger better cooler ideas be on the

13:11lookout for more

13:12light burn features and tutorials in the

13:14future

13:15and thank you for watching

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