Burn correction

The burn correction – aka kerf – is integrated into the low level commands of Boxes.py. So for the most part developer do not need to care about it. Nevertheless they need to understand how it works to catch the places the do need to care.

Burn correction is done by increasing the radius of all outer corners. This moves all the straight lines outward by the same amount. This has the added benefit of not needing to change the length of the straight lines – making them independent of the adjacent angles. An issue arises when it comes to inner corners. If they do have a radius reducing it by the burn value does the right thing. But for small radii and sharp corners (radius zero) this results in a negative values. It turns out flipping over the arc for negative radii allows keeping the lengths of the straight lines unchanged. So this is what Boxes.py does:


This results in the straight lines touching the piece. This leads to overcuts. They are not as nice as proper dog bones as might be used by a dedicated CAM software. But as Boxes.py is meant to be used for laser cutting this is deemed acceptable:


Programmer’s perspective

For this to work it is important that outside is drawn in a counter clock wise direction while holes are drawn in a clock wise direction.

boxes.Boxes.corner() adjusts the radius automatically according to .burn. This propagates to higher level functions. Parts shipped with Boxes.py do take the burn out-set into account and execute callbacks at the correct position.

In case developers move to a feature inside of a part or executing callbacks while implementing a part they need to be aware of the burn correction. boxes.Boxes.cc() does correct for the out-set if called without an y parameter. But if a value is given one has to add self.burn to compensate. Note that the x value typically does not have to be corrected as the callbacks are executed from right underneath the part.

A similar approach is necessary when moving to a feature drawn inside the part without the use of callbacks. Here you typically have to correct for the out-set at the outside of the part and again for in-set of the hole one is about to cut. This can be done in x or y direction depending on whether the cut ist started vertical or horizontally.