If you ever tried to do projects with jointed designs, you will be familiar with the struggle of making sure that the tabs and slots are at the exact width and length that matches the material's thickness. If you wanted to use a different material thickness with the same design, you would have to painstakingly resize each tab and slot to accommodate the new material's properties - manually.
LightBurn's new Slot & Tab Resizer Tool is made to reduce this workload!
The Resize Slots tool searches for slots or tabs of a specific size, and let you choose a new size for them to be, taking a lot of the hard work out of it.
Keep in mind that this is a separate tool from the tabs/bridges tool, which can be used to leave a part connected to the material it is being cut from so it doesn't fall out immediately.
- You'll need to know the length of the lines you want to adjust. You can use the Measurement Tool to find it if you are unsure.
- Ungroup your shapes if necessary. Then select your objects and click Tools > Resize Slots in Selection.
- The tool searches for tabs or slots within the selected objects, and then searches within that geometry for lines with the length you specify in Old Material Thickness. Any slots or tabs identified by the tool are highlighted in red. The lines that will move are highlighted in blue and shown with an arrow indicating the direction and distance they will move.
- Click the 'OK' button to confirm.
This tool currently works on two main forms of geometry:
Slots - like those found in 3D puzzles or partitions in trays, somewhat similar to a traditional halved joint or dado.
Tabs - like a tenon or the fingers in a box joint, usually found in boxes and drawers.
- Old Material Thickness: The current length of the lines you want to adjust.
- New Material Thickness: The length you want to adjust the lines to.
- Tolerance: Allows you to 'fuzz' the Old Material Thickness slightly. This helps if the lines vary slightly in length. It also allows you to put in the measurement of the material the part was designed for, and use the tolerance to allow for any kerf offsets built into the existing design.
- Adjust Slot Depth: Adjust the bottom/innermost line of the slot. This allows you to keep the outer size of the assembled piece the same.
- Adjust Slot Width: Adjust the sides of the slot. This would typically be used when the slots are meant to intersect on the interior of a lasercut piece instead of on the corners, like boxes.py's tray insert
- Adjust Tab Height: Adjust the top/outermost line of the tab. This allows you to keep the interior size of the assembled piece the same, while making it bigger or smaller on the outside.
LightBurn made a video on this new feature, check it out to see it in action!