LightBurn is being written as an alternative to the proprietary software that comes with imported laser cutters. I bought a Chinese machine with a Ruida controller, and found the user experience lacking even though the hardware is very good.
After doing a bunch of reading, I discovered that with very few exceptions they're all like this - badly translated GUIs, dialogs, and manuals, limited hotkeys, and often suffering from limitations that the hardware itself doesn't have. For example, the software for my laser cutter doesn't have a "number of passes" option when cutting. This cannot stand.
LightBurn is a C++ project, based on the Qt framework, being compiled and tested for both PC and Mac. The laser protocol and connection objects are abstracted, making it relatively easy to support new hardware. I currently support the Ruida RDC6442G, as well as lpc-based Grbl and Smoothie boards, like the Cohesion3D Mini.
It is designed primarily for layout of existing graphics and setting up cut parameters, but it does include a host of editing features as well, including an offset tool, grid array layout, node editing, full undo/redo, text entry, and much more.
I currently have import support for AI (Illustrator), PDF, and EPS files. As their file-specs are incredibly complex (850 pages for PDF!), I'm adding support based on exemplar files from users, so it's continually being improved. I will be adding DXF, SVG, and likely others as well. Image formats are JPG, PNG, and whichever others are handled by the Qt framework.
I support both vector and raster scanning of vector shapes, and raster scanning of bitmaps with either dithering or thresholding. The internal plumbing supports cutting full grayscale, but I haven't built the rasterizer for that yet.
The cut planner will order by any combination of cut type, inner-to-outer traversal for nested cuts, shortest traversal (greedy), reduced direction changes, and will optionally optimize the entry points to reduce travel.
I can export to GCode or Ruida RD format, and will be adding export support for SVG, and probably AI and DXF as well.
The software is at the point now where it's actually usable for most of what I do with my laser, though there are still lots of bugs and some pretty glaring holes in functionality. Work continues in pretty much any spare time I have.