Feature Request: Simple alignment tool

As a premium member I see the new features going down a road that I am not following. I wish you guys had a formal feature request system that you could see the wants and needs of the GF community collectively. All I really want is some very basic tools as part of the UI. I need simple alignment tools. Here is the scenario. I place my wood face down because my project requires me to score the back which is part of my design file. When that is complete I need to engrave the other side. The design is loaded but I need to center multiple designs over multiple objects. I would love to see basic alignment tools such as align center, align top, align left, align right, align horizontal, align vertical, etc. to the object already loaded to the interface. Not having this simple capability forces me to eyeball it and with the wide angle lens on the lid camera, it is always deceiving. If you think about it, you all have provided ways for the user to create objects on the fly inside the interface like circles, squares, and shapes, etc. but no way to align them. Please consider this for your next release! Thank you.

2 Likes

I agree that the tool you describe would be helpful. Until we have this, however, I have found that the placement tool gives me the ability to align things quite well. I use it to align things precisely and ignore the camera.

2 Likes

Can you tell me how to use this placement tool? Are you talking about the ruler icon? How would I center one object on top of another object and center horizontally and vertically?

This is it. The company has said any feature requests should be submitted here, because this section is monitored.

Not sure I understand your workflow, but the way I engrave both sides of tokens is to have the design for both sides superimposed on each other in different colors, and a third color for the cut line. The material is registered to the crumb tray with tape so it can’t move. One side (color) is engraved and cut, ignoring the others color, and then flipped in the cutout and the second side is engraved ignoring the first color.
Having the two operations superimposed allows perfect alignment in the design software.

5 Likes

Thanks I will consider this approach. I cut the back of, let’s say circles and then flip using the cut board as a jig. Then I have one design file (logo) and then I need to cut and paste several and align perfectly on to the front of the circle.

1 Like

The system works well for me, I have made over 6,000 1-1\2" tokens like that.
I created a file with multiple examples numbering up to 80 units per sheet, so all copy/paste is done in Inkscape. All alignment is accomplished before the file is uploaded. Design programs are made to register features precisely, so I find it easier to accomplish there instead of the laser UI.

These are an example.

Google Photos

I cut a full sheet down so all the material can be used. These two pieces are a full 12 x 20 sheet.
Google Photos

This is not from the tokens, but you get the idea.

5 Likes

I did a lot of two sided work a few years ago–and at first a lot of cutting and pasting for each job, but found taking the time to create the file in Inkscape (importing the image to be etched) when doing multiple items saved a lot of time in the GFUI (and avoided weird copy & paste errors I often had). Also easier to optimize packing in Inkscape program, too.

You place BOTH the front and the back images over each other, aligning in the GFUI, and then to the material, when doing the front, Ignore the artwork for the back, and then flip the cutouts, then turn the Engrave back on for the back artwork, and Ignore the front’s and the cuts. (this helps take out trying to align the back artwork to the actual cut of the front, which unless you’re alignment is perfect, can be off if you don’t do the alignment to the artwork!).

And be sure your board is secured and ONLY move the cut out pieces… (I use fine tweezers to help me get cutout out without shifting the board).

4 Likes

Thank you. I will have to try this method.

Thank you for all of the suggestions @jfikar - I’ll make sure the team gets them! As @dklgood mentioned, the placement tool can be very helpful! You can find more information about in the April 2020 update - https://community.glowforge.com/t/draft-of-tomorrows-update/59286. Thanks again for all the feedback! I am going to go ahead and close this topic.