Living Hinge Processing Observation & Suggestion

A project I’m working on requires a large living hinge. While testing, I noticed it takes MUCH longer to cut living hinges for two reasons:

  1. There is a lot of actual cutting length in living hinges.
  2. There is a lot of travel when cutting each line individually.

I know nothing can be done about the length of the cut, but I was thinking how much faster the cut would be if the GF would process each linear set of lines as one line with the divisions created by varying the power (to zero).

THEN, I noticed that the GlowForge actually does this!!! BUT, it only does this for the first line it lasers in the living hinge. Each subsequent parallel line is processed as an individual line for some reason. If the GF somehow does this for the first line, I would hope some tweaking could make it treat the subsequent lines like the first one. This would decrease cutting time drastically.

See video below for an example. The first downward cut on the hinge is one continuous travel with the laser turning off to create the separate cuts. Every single line after that was cut individually.

I used Inkscape to create the living hinge and have attached the SVG below.
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Has anyone else noticed this behavior with living hinges? Are some living hinge generators better than others? Thoughts?

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I had not noticed that. I get your point.

Thanks I too have never payed attention to this.

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My thoughts are that the cuts are optimized to reduce heat and flashback from lingering too long in one area, which can lead to over-melting in the case of acrylics, cut warping in woods, and potential fire situations in materials like cardboard. So I think they do it on purpose. (And no, it’s not as efficient, but efficient isn’t always best when working with fire.)

I’ve cut a few years worth of living hinges now, and in the early pre-release days, while the optimization patterns were still being developed, there were a lot of flashback problems with hinges, and many wound up damaged. It’s better now…the problems appear to be minimized. So the time savings might not be worth it in this case. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I wonder if you could convert the strokes to path and then set it up as an engrave instead as a cut. in theory it would start at the bottom and end at the top doing all the lines at the same time. i doubt this would save time tho and it could be hard to get consistent results.

An engrave at cut speeds would be painfully slow (for something this large).

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I agree especially they way the pattern is orientated above. I wonder if you had a smaller design where the lines where horizontal to the bed it could be the same speed as the cut but force the gf to do all the lines left to right at the same time. I think you would need each line to be its own png tho ( maybe not tho ). Complicates things for sure.

For horizontal with this type of single-line design, that would certainly speed it up significantly…

Interesting question. I have had some living hinges that seemed to do it efficiently, but it has been a while.

And it is a good thing you were watching the cardboard. Only fire I had in the bed was doing a living hing in cardboard. Good thing I was watching it at that time. Close sequential cuts in cardboard are not too safe.

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