I’m a long-time graphic designer that’s just started to get my feet wet with lasers–my GF basic being my first, which I’ve had for about 2 weeks.
I love the possibilities and have been having fun testing out settings and materials. In my time doing so, I find myself wishing the GFUI had just a couple (seemingly simple) enhancements that could exponentially increase the usability of it. I didn’t see a forum category that was clearly ideal for this post, so thought putting it here would be best.
Since I’m new, it’s entirely possible that some of these requested features exist and I’m simply unaware of how to access them. If that’s the case, I thank you in advance for setting me straight. Without further ado, here’s my current feature wish list:
The ability to add instructions (or notes). The section is already there for purchased designs–it’d be nice for us to be able to add them to our own (such as “Layers 1 & 2 cut in 1/8”, 3 & 4 in 1/4"). This ties into…
The ability to name (or color) layers for reference.
[*EDIT Thanks to JB I know this is possible currently] The ability to change a setting (specifically material depth) DESIGN-wide that doesn’t adjust other manual settings. For instance, if I have a very involved design (25+ layers), and I want to cut it on a different depth material than the design was originally used on, I need to re-customize each of the layers just to tell it to do 1/4" now instead of 1/8". I have a test design I’m working on w/power, speed, and lpi variables that has over 300 layers, which is useless to do anything with currently, as manually adjusting settings for over 300 layers each time I use it on a different material (rather than just the one time) is unreasonable.
[*EDIT I’ve discovered that you can draw a bounding box around an area, selecting all layers within the box so you can move and resize. The ability to group without selecting all art in the same area would be nice, still)] The ability to group layers (for resizing). I know layers within a single SVG file stick together when resizing, but there are situations when using separate files is more appropriate. Being able to resize and move multiple layers at the same time to keep them synced would be great. This could help complex tightly-controlled designs with lots of layers to be more manageable as well. This could also work in conjunction with the request above–allowing the adjusting of settings (such as material width) by group.
Of course, the ability to save our own manual settings as a custom material for default use on future projects.
I know a couple of the requests above are geared towards designs with way more layers than it seems like most people would use, but most people shelling out the money for a cool tool like this plan on making at least a bit of money with it, which means efficiency is important. To be as efficient as possible (with both time and wear & tear on the machine), controlling each individual line’s direction and order can make a huge difference. Currently the GFUI doesn’t appear to be meant for designs with more than a handful of layers, especially that may be cut on different materials throughout the life of the design.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for dreaming up such a cool tool!