Layers in Carbide Create

We just uploaded a big new update to Carbide Create that includes new layer functionality and a couple of bug fixes. Check out the details at:

Layers in Carbide Create

Download it on the beta page


(blog talks about Motion not Create :wink: )

I’ll eventually be able to write a blog post and get the product name right.

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Nice feature!

Do you have other release notes? Was anything else updated?

anyway very happy to see layers… will play with that for this weekends cuts.

@robgrz I played a bit with the layer function. Very cool. Here is my immediate feedback / ideas / issues:
1. It would be good to have the Layer dialog remember its position when its closed. You don’t want to have to move it out of the way of the diagram each time you open it.
2. For consistency with other dialogs, allow right click to bring up the layer menu (the same as the ‘…’) within the layer dialog
3. Also for consistency, support drag and drop for the up down functions
4. I think that clicking and highlighting on a layer ought to activate that layer. It’s actually confusing that the layer highlights when you click on it - but isn’t actually activating the layer. The bold name isn’t really prominent enough to be the only indicator. The highlight is so much more prominent, that it’s confusing!
5. If you create a new layer, that layer should be the active layer automatically…because you’re going to want to add objects to that new layer, likely
6. Have some indicator as to which layer is active on the design page (maybe on the status bar at the bottom, by the cursor position?) - since the layer dialog isn’t up all the time, it would be helpful to know which of the layers you’re working on.
7. Don’t allow us to pick a layer color that’s the same as the “selected object” color…or even close. That’s just flat out confusing! It also turns out that blue is an issue - because toolpaths are blue. That limits your options. At a minimum, please change the order of the default colors/layer to push blues and reds to the end.
8. DONE> There ought to be an indicator for when a layer is locked
9. DONE> What are the ?'s next to the layer color for?
10. Add Deselect All on Layer
11. Add tooltips for the icons on the dialog|
12. It would be great to be able to dock the dialog, rather than having it being modal|
13. When clicking on “Select all in this layer” things that were selected before remain selected, even if they’re not on the layer. This is not “standard” behavior for selections in CC (or any other product, really). You would expect this if you were pressing CTRL or SHIFT…but in general, when you select something without the modifier, it is the only thing selected. I would consider this a bug. If CTRL or SHIFT click is not available, then I would suggest an “Add all to selection” option, in addition to “select all”
14. New to 524: The new feature added to NOT offset a copied object is too subtle. You press CTRL-C and there is no visual acknowledgement that the object is copied successfully. This may lead you to press multiple times - creating multiple copies on the new layer. Perhaps a Status Bar message that says, “Object Copied Successfully” could appear at the bottom and then disappear on next click or keypress?

  • Gary

EDIT: This list remains valid as of build 524


We just posted a new version to the beta page that fixes items 8/9 in your list plus a couple of bugs.

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Thanks @robgrz I edited my list, marked 8 and 9 done and added a couple more ideas (10,11,12)

Another suggestion - in the tool path creation process, allow ‘all items on this layer’ as a selection which might alleviate some people’s reported ‘too many clicks’ whilst tool path-ing an array of repeated objects (such as waste board designs)

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@robgrz While you’re actively working on CC again and have debuted a new drag engraver could you fix the issues with the texture feature introduced in V5.xx? Using the texture tool for hatch and cross hatch fills is very efficient way to get nice shading effects. The patterns formed when using a pocket tool path don’t look right in many designs.

I’m now going to make myself (more) unpopular…

Please, I’ve seen a lot of Feature Requests for CC, but not many for layers. They’re probably useful for some people, but my guess would be anyone who needs the layers function already has software that can do it, or will buy professional, fully featured software that does.

Could the developers of CC and CM please look at the prolific list in Feature Requests and, at least, tell us if they’re being considered and, if not, why not?

Thank you.


This is such a useful feature!

Nearly all my designs, albeit simple, involve different workpieces or different orientations of the same workpiece. So far, I’ve tried just stacking all shapes on top of each other, which gets confusing quickly. I’ve also tried moving the groups for the different jobs around, but this is very dangerous as you are tempted to group them and you’ll mess up your toolpaths when accidentally editing a toolpath. I also tried keeping several c2d files, but keeping them in sync if one measurement changes is very error-prone (for me at least). Now I can get much more done in Carbide Create itself, without switching between CC and Inkscape all the time.

In my opinion this is an addition that has potential to make Carbide Create the Lightburn of CNC (if you keep it cloud-free and subscription free).

Edit with some feedback:

  • Inconsistency in that some icors are clickable (colour), while some are just indicators (lock, visibility). If the lock and eye icons were also clickable toggles, that would speed up interaction I think.
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Personally, I never asked for layers…never considered the need for them - but now that they’re there, I can see MANY uses for them. So, I’m grateful for the new features.

That said, I have to agree with folks above - that it would be REALLY helpful to know what the roadmap for this product looks like - and, in particular, what the disposition for the requests is (will be considered for inclusion, working on including it, will never be included). I have asked for features, some of which I consider to be defects, that I consider to be more important than layers (even though I really like layers), but I recognize I’m just one client. The issue is that all of them go unrecognized until they show up in the product. Not that my ideas are so great, but acknowledgement and disposition would be helpful and make the experience of trying to help improve the product more fulfilling.

@smokesout I’m afraid that’s not going to happen without a major paradigm shift…Lightburn is a software company looking to profit from writing software; Carbide is a hardware company writing software to support their hardware. The motivation to provide top-quality, ever-evolving, powerful software is very different for the two companies. Think about IBM getting into software…worked a bit, but failed in the long run.

The licensing model for Lightburn works well for them because they dedicate themselves to upgrading many times a year with richly packed, client-driven features. You can buy lightburn for $40 and never pay another penny - but you won’t get upgrades after the first year. It costs $30/year (after the first year) to get the upgrades (all year long). The thing that discourages people from not paying the $30/yr and just re-buying the $40 license every two or three years (which would give you the features at a substantially lower cost), is that the features are useful and frequent. They are putting their money where their mouths are with regard to listening to their clients and focusing on the quality of their software. You put up the $30 because it’s worth it to you to get the features as soon as they’re available.

As Carbide crosses the chasm into charging for their software (the Pro version), they will have to consider what it means to have folks paying for software - and really up the game in terms of usability/consistency, software control, feature management, roadmap, etc. As an x-shrinkwrap software developer, I can tell you it’s a completely different ball game!


Playing with this (hope to write a tutorial tomorrow or so for the forum)

  • I’d love to have a “duplicate layer” function where a layer and all objects in it get copied to a new layer
  • If you try to copy (ctrl-C) a text object from not-the-active-layer, it gets put in the top layer, not in the active layer. That is neither what I wanted, nor is it consistent with the concept of the active layer
  • If you do a pocket operation with an outside box from an inactive layer, something really weird happens. Will attach file below
  • Would be nice to have a radio button or something for the active layer, rather than having to click into the submenu
  • There is a lot of vertical space on the left side below the icons… would like to just see the layers there rather than as a separate dialog

Problem file:
yourtexthere.c2d (1.4 MB)


hmm I cannot reproduce the weird pocket behavior by doing the work from scratch so probably discard that was some weird fluke


Also, within 1 minute of playing with layer colours, I picked “orange” as the layer color, and oh boy that’s a good way to confuse oneself :slight_smile:

Yup…that was my #7 above

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another nit… Ctrl-A keybinding… I’d really would like to consider that to be changed to “select all on the current active layer”… it’s more intuitive in the workflows that I’ve done so far. I’ve always wanted to select-all-in-the-current-layer and never “select really all except from locked layers” :wink:

one more request; on Ctrl-C from an object selected from not-the-active-layer… (after the bug gets fixed that puts it in the wrong layer)… maybe do NOT apply the offset that was done for objects in the same layer. The use case for me to do those copies is always to have them in the same spot. WIthout layers, I get that no-offset was confusing… but now with layers, that’s not the case anymore.
(Simplified use case: Layer 1 has a piece of text, Layer 2 will also have its own text but I need to do a boolean operation on that layer 2 text with the text from layer 1 to make multi layered text plaques. I’d like to just copy the Layer 1 text with layer 2 active, and join the original text. Now I first need to carefully align it back to overlap with the original… error prone)

one more: Default color of the layer. RIght now it’s always black, I would suggest to change that to be the next color out of a sequence each time you add a layer… it’s a better user experience. And you can pick colors that are not-orange-or-pink to not confuse Julien or Gary.

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