In most CAD/CAM software when creating a profile tool path there are options to make the cut Outside, On or Inside the profile. The tool path knows the tool size (kerf width) and automatically adjustes the tool path accordinately. This would be a great feature to add to the drop down menu when making cuts and would greately facilate making inlays.
There are a ton of threads about this idea. Unfortunately the difficulty is that kerf isn’t always the same from material to material. (Or even from batch to batch of the same material)
Therefore it’s really hard for Glowforge to make a feature like that that would work reliably. Personally I’d rather have no feature than one that is unreliable.
Just search the forum for “Kerf” and you can see the huge array of discussions. Here’s one particularly useful thread:
All it needs is a text box to enter the kerf defaulting to zero. Then you measure the kerf and put the figure in the box.
It was an advertised super power feature when I bought it. Now it has been replaced with “Cloud Simplicity” as a feature. A lot of the other features have been watered down as well.
I agree that would be slick but it gets tricky when you advertise it as “one click and done” and so many svgs have issues that would torpedo the whole thing. And if you know the kerf and are able to contextualize offsetting it in the ui, then you can probably offset your paths in your editor of choice? (Inkscape, illustrator and F360 all have pretty well documented ways to do this)
I guess I’m saying that if they ever get it done great, but in the meantime and maybe even if they ever do it, I’ll stick to the fine control of a dedicated editor.
Yes I could do it in my favourite editor too but I have many other types of machine where the CAM stage does it so that the design file accurately represents the finished article. And then I bought a very expensive CNC machine that said it could also do it but doesn’t. It means you can’t publish a file that other people can use unless they have the original design software.
Hmm, that’s a good point about transferability of the files. Like I said it would be nice to have but it’s a challenging feature to get right so I bet it’s not coming out soon. Maybe GF will surprise us, who knows?