Introducing Heavy Fish Design (HFD)

Introducing Heavy Fish Design (HFD)

Since I got my Glowforge a few years back I found that most of my designs seemed like they should be reusable, but weren’t because of minor variations of material thickness, or slight dimension changes etc. Additionally it would take too much effort to lay out the designs if they did not fit on a single piece of material. Being an engineer, I started writing code. I’ve been working on Heavy Fish Design (HFD) – (Thanks to my daughter for the name) for a couple of years now.

I’ve been using HFD for all my designs for the past few months and I think I finally got it :). I think (hope) you all will have a lot of fun with this. The project still needs some work, but I thought now would be a good time since many of us are stuck at home.

What is HFD?

A JSON based design language specifically built for designing for laser cutters. Code is written in golang, and it has permissive MIT license. I’ve added a bunch of designs which demonstrate the various functionality.

Some Highlights include:

  • easy to use offsetting (i.e. adjusting for kerf).
  • Automatic layout of parts within the size of your material.
  • Splitting across multiple files if parts do not fit within the material.
  • Full featured expression language for easy scaling of components.
  • Easy to compose your designs into reusable custom components.

Feel free to ask me anything. I’m hoping you all are safe during these tough times.

Here are two candle holder designs my kids did this weekend using the Lathe ( transformers.


WOW! This looks very interesting! I am not a programmer and everything that is command line driven I sort of shrink at, but I will have a close look and give it a try. Thanks for sharing it and making the community better. Something to consider, maybe move it ot Everything Else or TIps and Tricks. I see it can fit in this category, but the others might be better. Lets think about it.


This looks amazing!


Wow! Sounds awesome! Will definitely check it out.

Welcome to the forum!!!

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Your feature list sounds amazing! I will definitely give it a try.


This looks like a really useful tool! Thank you so much for sharing it!

This reminds me in some ways of OpenSCAD, and I imagine the two programs will complement each other nicely.

I will definitely give this a try.


Very interested in looking at this! Thanks for sharing and welcome to the Forum!


You’re probably the first to share not just a design; not just a free design; but a program to make designs - and all in your first post. Welcome to the forum!!! I’ll definitely will check this out.


Intrigued, color me.

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