Visicut + Affinity Designer

Hi, I had my laser cutter induction today with Jim (Thanks Jim!)

One thing I noticed is that Visicut supports SVG files which means I can use Affinity Designer to create designs for it. Inkscape works just fine, but Affinity is a bit more polished and something I already had a licence for.

After doing some testing I found that there were some scaling issues with the SVGs that came out of Affinity and how Visicut interpreted them.

Based on this GitHub issue I found that Affinity doesn’t play nicely when exported SVGs to be used for other software.

The settings that they recommended were

  • 90 dpi
  • Flatten transforms - Enabled
  • Set ViewBox - Disabled

I also found setting Export text as curves to enabled means I don’t have to convert them on export.

With this, things seem to work. Just thought I’d share this in case anyone else uses Affinity and doesn’t want to hop between that and Inkscape.

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What we used to have or recommend is a plugin inside inkscape which would auto transfer the svg across to visicut but also do some processing / magic on it at the same time as part of the transfer.

I think part of that processing was to handle converting certain object types to paths (such as text) which I think visicut might have had an issue with. Although it sounds like you’ve already got that covered as part of exporting text as curves.

I’m not sure if there’s anything else the plugin does as part of it’s processing etc
(I think this might be the right plugin it’s been ages since I used it)

The current control board for the laser cutter uses a command set called Laos under the hood. Which is why we have to use visicut.

Maybe at some point in the future we could investigate swaping it out for a g-code board such as a duet wifi or something. But it would be it’d still need to remain compatible with visicut (I think visicut does support g-code as well)

The reason I mention it is that one or two visitors from oldham hackspace mentioned recently that they use lightburn (which needs a licence not free), but that I suspect would only work with g-code.

I haven’t tried the Inkscape extension myself, like I say I only had my induction today. I have used other software previously and had some issues getting the Affinity exports into it, but I was pleased to find a solution that works with Visicut since Affinity is the software I use for most other things that need vectors. I was more sharing this in case anyone picked it up and may want to use it for the laser cutter.

Just to add, I know a couple of people that have used Lighburn but I haven’t used it myself. It certainly looks nice although Visicut seems to work reasonably well (Aside from old version running into issues). Maybe my opinion on that one will change after using it for a bit!

I’ll see how things go using Affinity Designer for my projects, and try and make a note of anything I hit. The scaling issue is with Affinity’s implementation of SVG, not Visicuts.

I’ve tried affinity myself and it’s pretty good, it’s also pretty cheap compared to the adobe software (although I don’t really know how to use it properly yet).

One thing to be aware of if you aim for dimensionally accurate cuts is the kerf or the gap left by the burn / cut
It shows up as the burn correction setting on the below box generator page.

Something else that might be of interest is plans laser cut tanks on thingiverse

I’m quite happy with it to the point where I dropped my Adobe subscription for photography and any light design work I needed to do. I think I paid £25 each for them on offer.

I guess burn correction comes into play for some projects, I don’t think I’ve ever given it much thought before. SVG is also one of those brilliant formats that is so configurable that it is really being used for something it shouldn’t be in the form of dimensionally accurate work.

Laser-cut tanks certainly look interesting, didn’t realise they did laser-cut plans on Thingiverse