Lightburn Software Tutorial 04 – WiFi QR Code Project

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 tutorials, hints and tips as well as the occasional speed comparisons between it and RDWorks. My thanks to the team at Lightburn for allowing me to embed their videos.

Contents

This tutorial walks you through using a simple project from start to finish, in this case, an engraved card with your WiFi network name and password embedded, so your guests can scan it for access.

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Lightburn Software Project - WiFi QR Code
Lightburn Software Project – WiFi QR Code

Transcript for LightBurn Software Tutorial 04 – WiFi QR Code Project

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0:01 in this video we’re going to learn how

0:04 to use some of the basic features of

0:05 lightburn and in the process we’re

0:07 hopefully going to make something useful

0:09 so I saw something recently that I

0:11 thought was cool

0:12 someone had printed a sticker with a QR

0:14 code on it that encoded their Wi-Fi

0:16 password so that anyone visiting could

0:18 just scan the code with their smartphone

0:19 to get onto the Wi-Fi a QR code if

0:22 you’re not familiar with them is

0:23 basically a 2d barcode and it can be

0:26 used to store information so they

0:27 usually store a website address but they

0:29 can store other things too I found a

0:32 website that will take the name and

0:34 password for your local Wi-Fi network

0:35 and turn it into a QR code in a special

0:38 format that modern smartphones

0:40 understand and I thought this would make

0:41 for a good learning project first we’re

0:44 going to visit the QR code website that

0:46 is qif i.org

0:49 this is the generator that will make the

0:51 QR code image we’re going to use so I’m

0:54 going to enter lightburn WiFi as my

0:56 network name use whatever your own

0:58 network is called here as it appears on

1:00 your router if you don’t know what

1:03 encryption method to use it’s probably

1:04 wpa wpa2 and then enter your network

1:08 password I don’t recommend using my

1:10 password you should probably use the one

1:12 that works for your network when you

1:15 click the generate button here it will

1:17 create your QR code image this is the 2d

1:20 barcode if you hold your phone camera up

1:22 to this it will read it and it’ll ask

1:24 you if you’d like to join the network

1:25 now from here you can click the export

1:28 button and save this as a PNG or with

1:32 lightburn you can do something a little

1:33 bit different if you right-click the

1:35 image in your browser and choose copy

1:37 image then switch to lightburn

1:39 right-click and choose paste it will

1:42 paste the image directly into lightburn

1:44 without the need to save it in between

1:46 which saves you a little time you can do

1:48 this with most images from a web browser

1:52 next I want to create the outer shape

1:55 for our finished card so I’m just going

1:57 to drag out an arbitrary rectangle here

Transcript for Lightburn Software Tutorial 04 – WiFi QR Code Project (Cont…)

2:00 and then I’ll adjust it after so for the

2:03 next part make sure that the lock button

2:06 up here on this toolbar is unlocked

2:08 because we want to set the width and

2:11 height of this rectangle independently

2:12 this lock when

2:14 enabled keeps the relative width and

2:17 height of your shapes the same when you

2:20 change the dimensions with the numeric

2:21 edits so for example if I go up here and

2:25 change this to 50% it resizes the entire

2:29 thing by 50% keeping the original shape

2:32 or ratio of sizes if I unlock this lock

2:36 and enter 50% it just affects the width

2:39 it doesn’t affect the height as well so

2:42 we want to edit both so make sure that

2:45 this is unlocked so these boxes here

2:49 will let you edit the dimensions of a

2:52 shape so I want this shape to be 5

2:55 inches by 3 inches and I’m currently in

2:58 millimeter units so I could open a

3:02 calculator and manually do the

3:03 conversion or I can let lightburn do it

3:05 for me I can click this button here on

3:10 the UI to switch between millimeters and

3:12 inches quickly and then I can just type

3:15 5 by 3 flip back over to millimeters and

3:18 you’ll see lightburn has done the

3:19 conversion there is another way to do

3:21 this without having to flip between so

3:24 let me just reset this to something

3:26 that’s different if you are in

3:29 millimeter or inch mode and you type in

3:32 for example 5i n as in five inches lightburn

3:37 will automatically convert that to

3:39 your current measure I can also type in

3:41 three and a single quote for inches and

3:44 lightburn will convert that to three

3:46 inches now this works whether I’m in

3:49 inch mode or millimeter mode and you can

3:52 also do simple equations as well so any

3:55 of these numeric fields here will do it

3:57 if I enter one millimeter or saved sorry

Transcript for Light burn Software Tutorial 04 – WiFi QR Code Project (Cont…)

4:00 one inch times 3 and hit enter lightburn

4:04 computes 3 inches for me so you can

4:07 enter equations you can do division

4:09 multiplication subtraction things like

4:11 that and use mixed units inches

4:13 millimeters and so on so now I have a

4:16 box that’s 5 by 3 inches and I want to

4:19 round the corners so I’m going to make

4:21 sure the box is selected here right

4:24 click and choose show properties to

4:26 bring up the shape properties window and

4:28 you’ll see

4:28 the properties for this rectangle

4:30 including the corner radius which is the

4:31 one we were interested in

4:33 I can type a number and it will round

4:35 the corners for me you can use the

4:37 up/down arrows or the scroll wheel on

4:39 the mouse to change it to your liking

4:42 let’s see I think this looks good

4:46 I also want to move this over here and

4:50 make it a bit smaller when you resize

4:53 you can grab any of these square handles

4:56 on the sides or edge corners now if you

4:59 grab the side you can squish or shrink

5:02 if you grab the corners and move them

5:04 around it maintains the aspect ratio of

5:08 the shape if I press the control key and

5:12 drag I can drag our scale from the

5:15 middle instead of from the corners or

5:17 edges and if I press the shift key when

5:20 I drag from this corner I can drag the

5:24 width and height scaling independently

5:27 so you can change the stretch and squash

5:29 of the shape in my case I actually want

5:32 it to be the original aspect ratio so

5:34 I’m going to just drag scale this down a

5:37 little bit about that big about there

5:43 the next thing I want to do is put a

5:46 small label here with my network name as

5:49 confirmation for my guests so I’m going

5:52 to use the text tool place the text

5:56 cursor here this is too large so I’m

5:59 going to change this to 10 millimeters

Transcript for Lightburn Software Tutorial 04 – WiFi QR Code Project (Cont…)

6:01 type the text that you want so in my

6:04 case just my network name I’m going to

6:08 adjust the size and position a little

6:11 bit here get this roughly where I want

6:14 it I want this text aligned or centered

6:19 with the image above now the best way to

6:21 do that is to use the alignment tools so

6:23 I’m going to select the text hold the

6:25 shift key and select the image and then

6:28 with both items selected I’m going to

6:30 click this to align their horizontal

6:33 centers so if I click that the first

6:36 item will be aligned to the second item

6:39 the last item that you choose is always

6:41 what we call the

6:42 and so all of the other items will be

6:44 moved to a line to that so I have my

6:48 image the text and an outline I want to

6:51 change the options for the image but

6:53 first I’m going to run a quick preview

6:56 just to see what it looks like so if I

6:59 click the preview button up here on the

7:02 toolbar the preview window pops up and

7:04 already we can see a problem my outline

7:08 is filled and it’s supposed to be cut so

7:10 now what I need to do is change this

7:13 from fill to line now this would be the

7:17 correct way to do things however I

7:19 actually want to put this line on a red

7:21 layer I normally use red for cuts just

7:24 because it makes them very visible

7:26 they’re easy to see so by selecting the

7:29 line and then clicking down on the red

7:31 palette entry at the bottom I’ve changed

7:32 it to a different layer then I can set

7:35 the black layer back to fill the black

7:37 is used for the text and so I can see my

7:40 three layers here the image the fill and

7:43 then the outline cut all in a row and

7:46 everything looks good therefore the

7:48 settings these entries in the cuts

7:50 window are called layers in lightburn a

7:53 layer is just settings to control the

7:55 power and speed of the laser options for

7:58 a fill or an image and so on so to

Transcript for Lightburn Software Tutorial 04 – WiFi QR Code Project (Cont…)

8:00 change the options for a layer you just

8:02 double click the entry in the cuts list

8:05 to bring up the Settings box for it so

8:08 if I double click the image layer here I

8:09 can see all of the settings for this

8:11 image including the dithering modes that

8:13 can be used for the image processing up

8:17 here at the top I can see speed and

8:19 power settings and so on dots per inch

8:22 any other options that are available for

8:25 this now for this specific image because

8:28 it’s simple black and white we just want

8:29 threshold so that’s just a straight cut

8:32 on cutoff for black and white images

8:35 images that are already black and white

8:38 everything else here looks pretty good I

8:40 want to change my interval to 0.1

8:43 millimeters interval is the distance

8:46 between lines that the image is going to

8:48 be scanned at you can also set it by

8:51 setting dpi dpi and interval are two

8:55 ways to set the same number the dots per

8:58 inch value is calculated from the

9:01 interval and the interval is calculated

9:02 from dots per inch so if you change one

9:05 the other one changes and you can see

9:07 that reflecting here they’re both two

9:10 ways of setting the same value it

9:13 doesn’t matter which one you use

9:14 everything else looks good so I’ve

9:16 clicked okay I’m also going to adjust

9:19 the settings for my fill layer which is

9:21 used for the text here so if I wasn’t

9:24 sure which layer my text was on I can

9:27 right click on the cut list entry in the

9:30 cuts list and it will highlight the

9:32 artwork that’s using that layer you can

9:34 also select an item in the workspace and

9:38 it will highlight the layer that is used

9:40 by that item so that’s a quick way to

9:43 find which layer is associated with

9:45 something so if I select the text it

9:47 highlights the fill layer for me

9:49 double-click that to bring up the

9:51 options now in here I want to make sure

9:54 that there are no settings applied that

9:56 are strange so I’m going to click reset

9:58 to default that wipes out everything in

Transcript for Lightburn Software Tutorial 04 – WiFi QR Code Project (Cont…)

10:01 the cut layer settings in this cut just

10:05 for this layer two reasonable default

10:07 and then I can set my power and speed

10:10 values to something reasonable for this

10:13 layer but now I’ll know that there

10:15 aren’t any other options on so set my

10:18 power and speed min power looks good

10:20 everything else is fine and I click OK

10:23 so if I preview again now by clicking

10:25 the preview button I can see that

10:27 already things look better the image and

10:29 text are surrounded by my cut outline

10:31 around the outside the preview will also

10:33 show you the order that your operations

10:36 will happen in so you can watch the path

10:38 that the laser is going to take if I

10:40 grab the slider button over here and

10:43 drag it backwards you can see my cut

10:45 happening in Reverse dragging it forward

10:48 you can see it’s going to scan the image

10:50 first then when the image is done it’s

10:53 going to do the cutout that’s actually

10:55 wrong and then it’s going to do my lightburn

10:59 Wi-Fi text now this isn’t what I

11:01 want if I do this cut outline second and

11:04 then engrave the light print text if my

11:07 piece were to drop

11:09 my knife bed or something before it

11:10 engraved the text that would cause me

11:12 problems and I wouldn’t get the result

11:14 that I want so the order is clearly

11:16 incorrect so the first thing I’m going

11:18 to do is check my optimization settings

11:20 they’re off that’s my first problem so I

11:24 turn the optimization settings on and

11:26 open up my optimization settings box

11:28 just to check them

11:29 I can see order by layer is here cut

11:31 inner shapes first the other options are

11:33 set so that was my problem that I had

11:35 the optimization settings turned off so

11:37 I’m gonna click preview again and double

11:39 check this now I can see that the image

11:42 is scanning first followed by the lightburn

11:44 Wi-Fi text and finally the cut-out

11:46 path and so that’s what I want so

11:48 everything looks good next I want to add

11:53 something to this empty space what I

11:55 want is a Wi-Fi logo to let my guests

11:58 know what this thing is actually for so

Transcript for Lightburn Software Tutorial 04 – WiFi QR Code Project (Cont…)

12:01 I found a website called clip art –

12:03 library comm if you go to clip art

12:07 library com

12:09 go to the website bring up the search

12:13 I’ve put a shortcut here so I’m going to

12:15 back up in the search field enter Wi-Fi

12:19 symbol and hit enter you’ll see a bunch

12:23 of different symbols now I think this is

12:26 the one that I want so I’m going to

12:27 select that this guy here so again right

12:33 click copy image click in lightburn and

12:36 hit paste now in this case I used the

12:39 shortcut key ctrl V is to paste ctrl C

12:43 is to copy if you learn the shortcut

12:45 keys it’s a little faster so scale and

12:48 position this now you can just paste it

12:51 the shortcut keys are quicker and it’s

12:53 actually a good idea to try to learn

12:54 them you will also notice that this is

12:56 currently on the red layer that’s not

12:59 what I want I want it on the black layer

13:01 it’s got a red outline right now if I

13:05 click down here on the palette click it

13:07 to black now it has a black outline so

13:09 it’s on the correct layer now in this

13:11 case I don’t actually want to leave this

13:13 as an image I’m going to convert this to

13:15 vectors so with this image selected

13:18 right-click and choose trace image

13:23 that will bring up the image in lightburns

13:25 internal image trace if you zoom

13:28 in with the normal zoom and pan you can

13:30 see this purple line here is what lightburn

13:34 has chosen as the vector outline

13:37 for this shape it’s a little bit tough

13:40 to see at the moment so if you click the

13:42 fade image button it makes it a lot

13:44 easier to see lightburn also will let

13:47 you choose a rectangle so you’ll notice

13:52 down here on the bottom there is a small

13:55 black line on the image and it’s picking

13:58 some of that up and we don’t want that

Trans cript for Lightburn Software Tutorial 04 – WiFi QR Code Project (Cont…)

14:00 we just want the logo so if I click and

14:02 drag a rectangle around the area that

14:05 I’m interested in now the software is

14:07 just capturing or tracing the logo

14:10 within this rectangle and if I look down

14:13 at the bottom you’ll notice that it’s

14:14 ignoring all of this down here so you

14:17 can adjust the rectangle I could cut the

14:19 image in half if I wanted to you can

14:22 also clear it by double clicking so if I

14:25 drag a rectangle and I didn’t want it

14:27 double click will clear it in this case

14:30 I do want the rectangle just around the

14:32 Wi-Fi logo click OK lightburn has now

14:34 created the vectors and placed them

14:36 where the original was so if I drag the

14:38 image out of the way you can see it I’m

14:41 just going to delete the image and

14:43 position the vectors here and scale them

14:46 to the right size so with this one

14:52 positioned properly I’m going to switch

14:54 back over to the clipart website and try

14:57 to find one of these Wi-Fi logos that I

14:58 like I specifically want a rounded one

15:00 like this however this one you’ll notice

15:03 has watermarks on it so it’s got the

15:06 iStockphoto thing on it if I copy it and

15:08 paste it into lightburn you can see

15:10 those watermarks on the logo and that

15:13 would normally be a problem if I was

15:15 engraving this as an image it probably

15:17 wouldn’t work so let’s try a trace so if

15:20 I right click and choose trace image

15:23 you’ll see that the trace is picking up

15:26 that watermark you can see the purple

15:28 around the gray text however if I adjust

15:31 the threshold point here that’s the

15:33 cutoff where lightburn is going to put

15:35 that tracing line

15:37 you can see that you can change where

15:39 that line goes so if I put it all the

15:41 way to the bottom here you get all of

15:44 those stock logo texts if I slide it up

15:48 just a little bit it starts ignoring the

15:50 lightest text or the lightest pixels and

15:54 catching the gray if I slide it up a

15:58 little bit more you’ll see it starting

Transcript for Lightburn Software Tutorial 04 – WiFi QR Code LightBurn Project (Cont…)

16:01 to ignore that gray as well and so now

16:04 I’m getting outlines of the gray so you

16:07 can tune which parts of the image you

16:10 want to capture by adjusting this

16:12 threshold so slide it back hit OK and

16:15 now I’ve got a nice trace so I can

16:17 delete this image and now I have my nice

16:19 Wi-Fi logo scale this down and position

16:23 it here above this one and I’m just

16:25 going to adjust the sizing and

16:28 positioning of these two items a little

16:30 bit here to try and get them to fit

16:34 properly so I’m going to align their

16:41 centers as I showed you before so now

16:45 I’ve got both I can grab the two of them

16:47 and line them up

16:56 so this is all pretty much what I want

16:59 I’m going to select this logo let’s have

17:05 a look here check out the preview

17:09 preview looks ok there’s a little too

17:13 much white space on the side of this

17:14 here maybe not quite as much on the

17:17 other side of the QR code there so I

17:19 might play with the spacing just a

17:21 little bit

17:22 grab the logo I’m gonna nudge it over

17:26 with the cursor keys you can use the

17:29 arrow keys on the cursor if you hold

17:31 shift it moves them in big jumps if you

17:34 hold the ctrl key it moves them in small

17:36 jumps and without any of the key

17:38 modifiers it moves them in sort of

17:40 regular sized jumps and you can change

17:43 that in the settings here so I think

17:47 that’s about where I want maybe move

17:51 this light bar and Wi-Fi logo over just

17:53 a touch again just to kind of Center it

17:56 in in the card check my settings make

Transcript for Lightburn Software Tutorial 04 – WiFi QR Code Project (Cont…)

18:01 sure that my power and speed are correct

18:03 for cutting this out maybe change this

18:06 to two passes just to make sure that it

18:08 cuts so it will do one pass and then

18:11 another pass around that line I’m going

18:13 to hit OK take one final look at my

18:17 design bring up the preview it looks

18:23 like everything is going in the right

18:24 order so it’s doing the scan first then

18:27 the text and the Wi-Fi logo and finally

18:30 the cutout is doing its two passes so I

18:32 think everything looks good so we’re

18:35 gonna take this to the Machine and cut

18:37 it I’m going to save the file here as

18:41 Cassatt lightburn and we’ll head over

18:46 to the machine and run this job so we’re

18:51 over at the laser now and I have a piece

18:54 of wood loaded in I’ve moved the laser

18:58 to the

18:59 upper left corner of the object or the

19:02 shape and I’ve hit the origin key to set

19:04 that origin on my laser in lightburn I

19:08 have the start from value set to user

19:11 origin and I’m using this same upper

19:14 right corner so you can see the little

19:16 green dot over here is telling me that’s

19:19 where my laser head is relative to my

19:22 job so my job is going to go to the

19:24 right and below where the laser head

19:27 starts so you can actually see this if I

19:31 click the frame button in lightburn the

19:34 laser should trace the outline of what

19:37 it’s going to cut and so you can see how

19:42 it’s lined up on the material everything

19:44 looks good so I’m going to close the lid

19:47 and run this job

19:56 [Music]

Transcript for Lightburn Software Tutorial 04 – WiFi QR Code Project (Cont…)

20:13 you

20:44 [Music]

20:56 and it looks like we’re all done so I’m

21:00 going to do a light sanding pass over

21:03 that and we’ll see the finished result

21:05 shortly so after a bit of sanding here

21:10 is the end result it looks nice and

21:13 clean there’s quite a bit of difference

21:16 you get in the contrast and just the

21:18 overall look if you just do a really

21:21 light bit of sanding over top of it with

21:23 about 200 grit sandpaper you can also

21:27 use masking tape or something like that

21:29 to mask the surface before you do your

21:32 engraving that helps certainly but with

21:36 something that’s complicated it would be

21:37 very hard to weed the individual bits of

21:40 masking tape out of that something like

21:42 this not so bad something like this

21:44 pretty terrible and if I bring up the

21:48 result on my phone you can actually see

21:50 it asking if I would like to join the

21:53 lightburn software Wi-Fi network and

21:55 you can see the lightburn QR code being recognized

21:56 in the phone the little yellow

21:59 highlights so there you have it a little

22:05 way to share the Wi-Fi network in your

22:08 home with your guests

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