LightBurn Demo 15 – Speed Comparison: LightBurn vs RDWorks

The Lightburn Software Series

The Lightburn Software is probably the best generic laser cutting software available (I use it for almost all of my laser work). This series has LightBurn tutorials, hints and tips as well as the occasional speed comparisons between it and RDWorks. This session shows the differences in speed: let’s bring it on… LightBurn vs RDWorks!

My thanks to the team at Lightburn for allowing me to embed their videos.

Contents for Speed Comparison: LightBurn vs RDWorks

A brief demo comparing processing and interaction speed between LightBurn and RDWorks. LightBurn is fast, but how fast? Is it important? We think so, and show you why.

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Speed comparison lightburn vs rdworks
Speed Comparison Lightburn vs RDWorks

External Resource Links for Speed Comparison: LightBurn vs RDWorks

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Transcript for Speed Comparison: LightBurn vs RDWorks

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0:01 something we get asked a lot is why

0:05 lightburn why should I pay for software

0:07 when software came with my laser what

0:10 makes light burn different or better

0:12 than for example Rdworks that comes

0:14 with Ruida controllers we get asked this

0:18 a fair bit the broad answer is that

0:22 lightburn is a responsive development

0:24 team we’re by no means perfect and we’ll

0:28 never claim to be however we do try very

0:31 hard to listen to and respond to

0:32 concerns of our users produce new

0:35 features that people want and and we

0:39 focus a lot on things that improve the

0:42 overall user experience and so I what I

0:46 mean by that is anything that gets in

0:50 your way while you are trying to use the

0:52 software are the kinds of things that we

0:54 want to address and fix so had an

0:57 interesting example recently we had a

1:00user send us a file that he said was

1:03 causing lightburn to freeze so this is

1:06 that file this is a vector traced

1:11 tree-stump

1:12 converted from a bitmap into vectors

1:15 when the user ran this file he said it

1:18 was freezing up when he tried to send

1:20 the job to his controller I have a

1:24 fairly beefy gaming system that I use

1:26 for development so when I run this file

1:29 on the currently deployed version of

1:32 life were in the shipping version 9.0 7

1:34 and it takes about one minute 31 seconds

1:37 sorry pardon me it takes 3 minutes and

1:39 10 seconds to process this file 3

1:42 minutes and 10 seconds for it to

1:44 generate from the moment that I click

1:46 the preview button until it shows the

1:49 preview so I can see why the user

1:52 thought that it had frozen the timing

1:55 bar that pops up for the progress bar

1:57 was fairly non-responsive so I took a

2:00 look at the content of this file and

Transcript for Speed Comparison: LightBurn vs RDWorks (Cont…)

2:02 what it was doing where the work was

2:04 going or where the time was being spent

2:06 and it’s fairly heavy

2:09 I’m going to set this 2.1 interval so

2:14 the biggest thing causing the slowdown

2:17 in this file is this this single line

2:20 runs all the way around the outside of

2:23 this shape and in order to path plan

2:27 this or to do raster scanning of this

2:29 shape the software has to figure out

2:32 what is inside and what is outside

2:34 shapes so as an example if you have the

2:38 letter O the software needs to scan the

2:43 inside and outside curve of this in

2:46 order to produce a solid filled letter O

2:48 it needs to do them at the same time the

2:51 only way that it can figure out to do

2:53 that is if it knows what is inside what

2:57 it has to know that this inner circle is

3:01 inside that outer circle so that it can

3:03 scan them together if you had more than

3:05 one for example this one is inside this

3:09 one this one is inside this one you

3:12 might have one larger shape surrounding

3:14 the whole thing and so on and so the

3:16 software needs to go through the content

3:19 of your file and figure out what is

3:21 contained within what so that it can

3:24 plan the job accordingly this is also

3:26 used when you are cutting when you say

3:29 cut inner shapes first the software has

3:32 to know what is an inside shape what is

3:34 an outside shape to plan the cutting

3:37 path accordingly so if we set all of

3:40 this back to the original single color

3:43 and I hit go we’re going to time this so

3:48 you can watch how long this takes now

3:50 I’m timing this in real-time I’m going

3:51 to hit the preview button and a little

3:53 stopwatch that I’ve got here go this is

3:58 going to be in the next version of

Transcript for Speed Comparison: LightBurn vs RDWorks (Cont…)

4:01 lightburn so we found a bunch of places where

4:05 some work was being done that we could

4:07 reuse and some things that we could do

4:12 that we’re a little bit more clever and

4:13 so that took 18 seconds

4:18 to do that from start to finish that is

4:23 considerably better than the three

4:25 minutes that it used to take you’ll also

4:28 notice that I mean in general lightburn

4:30 user interface is quite responsive

4:33 this file just this one line on the

4:37 outside contains over 30,000 nodes and

4:40 they are quite heavy they’re all splines

4:43 so they have to be subdivided and you

4:46 know drawn as smooth curves and so on so

4:49 it’s it’s a fairly heavy piece of

4:51 geometry that’s being processed so to do

4:54 all of this in 18 seconds is a fairly

4:58 significant feat I’m not going to show

5:00 you RDworks trying to do this

5:02 because it takes too long but I have

5:05 another file that is similar that I’ve

5:07 prepped for this and this is a piece of

5:11 a Florida map and it has a very similar

5:14 problem in that it has this one outline

5:19 if I highlight it in red here you can

5:21 see it this one shape is one single

5:24 continuous line that’s quite complex and

5:27 runs all the way down here doubles back

5:30 over on itself goes up and around and so

5:32 on the software has to figure out that

5:37 all of these small shapes are inside

5:41 that outer line this red line and doing

5:46 that takes a reasonable amount of time

5:48 in fact running exactly this file in our

5:52 RDworks takes about five minutes and 20

5:56 seconds to process this using these

5:58 settings so and by these settings I mean

Transcript for Speed Comparison: LightBurn vs RDWorks (Cont…)

6:01 0.1 millimeter interval set to fill

6:04 nothing special in the overall planning

6:07 or optimization options and because

6:09 we’re doing a fill there’s no real path

6:11 planning involved here it’s just a

6:13 straight fill so in lightburn I’m going

6:16 to run this again and I’m going to time

6:18 this one as well so here we go

6:30 so that took about seven and a half

6:32 seconds now you can run this same file

6:38 if you could find it in RDworks I

6:41 promise you that it takes the time that

6:43 I say it does RDworks took five

6:46 minutes and twenty seconds to process

6:47 this file now the previous release of

6:50 Leiper and the 907 release took one

6:52 minute and 31 seconds to process this

6:55 file which is better than RDworks

6:57 but certainly not as good as what we’ve

7:00 gotten what we’ve gotten it down to so

7:02 the new version of lightburn will run

7:05 this in about seven and a half seconds

7:07 significantly better I’ll show a couple

7:10 of other small demos you’ve probably

7:13 seen this file before we’ve used this in

7:17 a couple of video demonstrations before

7:19 so I’m going to show you this one in

7:22 light burn so watch that’s how long it

7:26 took to scan path plan do all of the

7:29 inside-outside sorting and produce the

7:32 preview simulate the preview and draw

7:34 the final picture and so that all

7:36 happened in this amount of time right

7:39 there if I go to RDworks and import

7:44 that same file just opening the file

7:48 takes you know a little bit of time

7:51 you’ll notice that navigating if I click

7:53 and drag the view navigating this file

7:56 is not very fast if i zoom out or zoom

7:58 in

Transcript for Speed Comparison: LightBurn vs RDWorks (Cont…)

8:00 once you’re zoomed in things move a

8:02 little bit quicker but if you’re looking

8:04 at the file overall if you’re looking at

8:06 the full file it goes about this fast

8:08 compare that to the view in lightburn

8:11 things move much faster and much more

8:13 fluidly if we go back here I’ve got this

8:17 set to scan set to 0.1 millimeter

8:22 interval I’m going to click the preview

8:24 button and time this

8:33 so that took about five and a half

8:36 seconds and if we drag this out just a

8:41 little bit you’ll notice even painting

8:44 the preview takes a reasonable amount of

8:47 time you know it’s not terrible but it’s

8:50 not instant and you can actually watch

8:53 it painting and if I drag the view and

8:56 move it around you know as soon as I let

8:58 go it finishes its repaint now this gets

9:00 better as you zoom in closer you can see

9:02 things move a little quicker and that’s

9:04 good but five seconds five and a half

9:07 seconds for it to plan the job so when I

9:11 click preview it takes this long and

9:14 that’s how long it takes for the preview

9:17 to come up if I go and do the exact same

9:19 thing with the same file in the same

9:21 settings in lightburn it takes that

9:24 long and moving and navigating and

9:26 zooming is this fast so when people ask

9:31 me why lightburn what makes it better

9:34 and is it worth money and so on the

9:37 simple answer that I have is that lightburn

9:40 is responsive and it’s fast and

9:42 ultimately your time and my time is

9:45 worth money if it takes you 30 seconds a

9:49 minute 5 minutes 10 minutes for you to

9:53 compute a job to send to the laser

9:55 before the laser even starts working

9:57 that’s time that you’re wasting that you

Transcript for Speed Comparison: LightBurn vs RDWorks (Cont…)

10:00 could be more productive and so that’s

10:03 one among many reasons why we think you

10:06 should consider labour thanks for

10:08 watching

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Last updated April 25, 2024

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