I believe that was the error.
You have a point about the duration. I seem to remember that one instance of the business card (remember, the first file I uploaded to this forum thread was named “Business card r7”) now takes 10:21 to engrave @ 225 LPI (that duration also includes the cutting). A full sheet (16 business cards) would therefore take almost 3 hours to engrave & cut at that number of lines-per-inch. (We haven’t engraved-&-cut a full sheet yet because the design is still at the “draft” stage & we don’t want to waste a whole sheet of material on unfinished artwork. Also, there is room to put about 4 more business cards at the bottom of the sheet, rotated 90 degrees, but we haven’t chosen to do that.) Since the movement speed of the laser head depends on the material, a different material may take a different length of time, but many materials will likely be similar in duration.
There seems to be a tradeoff between editing effort & the duration of the “burn” (burn = operation of the Glowforge machine). I will elaborate on this for a few paragraphs:
Letting the laser cutter run for 3 hours isn’t a lot different than many 3D-printer designs that may take 12 hours to finish in our makerspace. (Some of these 3D-printer designs are almost simple enough to do on a laser cutter!)
I strongly disagree:
- If you refer to my reply to jeffreyp above, you’ll find that the only “step” that requires any thought, after the
rasterizefilter is initially set up, is to make sure that items to be rasterized have the filter applied to them. (At the bottom of that posting, I also mentioned the “export to PDF” step, because that’s different than the process for uploading the design to GFUI in SVG format, but the PDF step takes only a couple of mouse clicks and, in my opinion, doesn’t really require any thought once you’re used to it.) If you separate your design into layers in Inkscape, then making sure the
rasterizefilter is applied can be as simple as selecting everything on your “engrave” layer and selecting the
rasterizefilter from the top of the Filter menu. (You can even use a keyboard shortcut for the submenu if you want. Also, you might have named the layer something like “raster_engrave” if you also have a “vector_engrave” layer.)
- Just now, I was revising the design in question, and indeed I found that use of the
rasterizefilter didn’t noticeably add any complexity to the editing process. I did find it valuable, when about to edit a component of a group, to double-click on the group to “enter group,” rather than Ungrouping the group. Using “enter group” keeps the
rasterizefilter applied to the group, whereas if you Ungroup and re-Group the group, you would have to re-apply
- When I explained the
rasterizefilter to the makerspace director yesterday, she was visibly surprised, which means she hadn’t thought of it before, just like many readers of this thread - but she immediately understood the process, even before we successfully laser-engraved & -cut a business card for the first time without the failure messages that had happened before, or the manual resizing & alignment that we’d been doing in GFUI.
Also please be aware that our design in question includes vector clipart:
On the one hand, suppose I’m going to use a 100% vector output process, so that I want to correct the kind of vector-graphics style issues pointed out by marmak3261. Then I have to edit vector clipart which was drawn by someone else and which could easily be very complex. Vector clipart that looks fine onscreen could have
… that keep the clipart from rendering properly on the laser cutter.
On the other hand, with the
rasterize filter, the thought process that replaces that is to plan what things in my design should be engraved & what things should be cut, which is a thought process I should do anyway. As long as the Inkscape screen looks like what I want, I’ll very probably get what I want from the laser machine, without having to reverse-engineer the structure of someone else’s vector drawing.
I definitely agree that standardizing the structure of a vector drawing, and outputting that drawing to GFUI in vector form, can pay off in letting the laser machine take less burn time. That is a point that I hadn’t thought of before.
(I am intentionally not @ “mentioning” users unless I want to alert them that they particularly should read or reply to the discussion. I think those who’ve posted to this thread will automatically be notified of all traffic on the thread anyway.)