LightBurn Tutorials 01 – First Time User

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


New device setup for first time users, device configuration, basic usage.

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LightBurn Tutorials - The Main Screen
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Video Transcript for LightBurn Tutorials – First Time User

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0:01hi there welcome to labor this video is

0:05going to walk you through setting up

0:08your laser for the first time assuming

0:10that you’ve never run light burn before

0:11so the first thing we’re going to do is

0:14launch the application after the splash

0:18screen you’ll get a basic help

0:21walkthrough that’s just you know what

0:23the next steps are going to be read

0:25through this click ok the next thing

0:28that light burn does is brings you to

0:30the device discovery wizard this is the

0:33automatic path for figuring out what

0:35type of laser you have if you want to

0:38set up your machine manually you can do

0:40that as well and we’re going to go

0:42through that in a moment but the easiest

0:44way to setup a machine is to connect it

0:47by USB make sure that it’s powered up

0:49and go through this process here to find

0:52my laser process so I’m going to click

0:54next and I have a couple of lasers

0:55plugged in to my computer so it’s going

0:59to scan for them see if it recognizes

1:01them and it’s found two so one of them

1:04here is my Rueda 6 4 4 2 it is a DSP

1:08device the other one is my cohesion 3d

1:12board which is currently flashed with

1:13Smoothie where that device is a g-code

1:16device and it’s found them both so I’m

1:20going to start with the smoothy where

1:22device your system will likely only have

1:25one recognized controller select the

1:28controller and hit add device I’m going

1:31to choose this one because this is the

1:32one I want to focus on for the moment

1:34click Add

1:36it will now ask me where is the origin

1:38of your laser now with smoothie wear and

1:41in fact with most g-code devices that

1:44includes garble smoothie wear marlin you

1:48should pick front-left as the origin if

1:51your laser does have limit switches and

1:55supports homing auto home on startup

1:58should be selected if you have

2:00an ELYX maker device or a 3d printer

Video Transcript for LightBurn Tutorials – First Time User (Cont…)

2:03that doesn’t have limit switches one of

2:06the open frame machines that’s just a

2:08diode laser if it doesn’t home you may

2:12want to turn this off you probably do

2:13want to turn that off but for everybody

2:15else leave this on if you have a DSP

2:19device like a Rueda system you will

2:21probably not see this option click Next

2:26and so here it’s telling me what it

2:29found so with the automatic setup light

2:34Byrne will query the device itself for

2:36sizes and so this smoothie where device

2:39in the configuration is set to 200

2:42millimeter by 200 millimeter with a

2:44standard k40 that should be 300 by 200

2:48if you have a Rueda device the bed size

2:51will be taken from that as well and

2:53should show up here if this is incorrect

2:55you have the option to go back and fix

2:58that for now I’m going to click finish

3:00so now I have my smoothie where device

3:03click ok the device is connected and

3:08home and you can see down here in the

3:10user interface this is the current laser

3:12that I have selected

3:13and this is the comport that I have

3:15chosen and it’s automatic for many

3:18things for some g-code devices you will

3:21see the word choose here and what that’s

3:24telling you is that you have to choose

3:25the comport manually once you’ve chosen

3:28it light burn will remember it for the

3:30future so this is the user interface of

3:33light burn these windows can be dragged

3:37and resized if you want to change the

3:40layout you are free to do so I can

3:42undock these windows by grabbing their

3:44title bar you can redock windows by

3:48grabbing the title bar of the window

3:50dragging it over another window until

3:52you see the other window change color

3:54and then release it and it will redock

3:56you can also open up different windows

4:00by clicking on these tabs you can move

Video Transcript for LightBurn Tutorials – First Time User (Cont…)

4:03the tabs around if you want the tabs in

4:05a different order you can also go up

4:08here to the window menu and this will

4:11show you which wood

4:12you currently have active down here and

4:15I can select these to turn windows off

4:19and on if you for example ever lose your

4:22cut palette window the palette along the

4:24bottom there if you can’t find it go

4:27back here make sure that is enabled a

4:29common problem for some people is that

4:32this window may end up being larger than

4:35your screen and so the cut palette

4:37window might be below the bottom of your

4:39screen make sure that you don’t have too

4:41much stacked over on this side if you do

4:44you can remove windows undock windows to

4:47try to vertically shorten the display so

4:52we’re going to do just a quick overview

4:54of what is in the UI and how its

4:57arranged so over here we have the basic

5:01tools for drawing so I can use the pen

5:04tool to draw lines I can use the

5:07rectangle tool to draw rectangles the

5:10ellipse tool to draw circles or ellipses

5:14this is the polygon tool which will let

5:16you draw multi-sided polygons and then

5:20we can create text as well I can’t spell

5:25don’t mind that whenever you are in a

5:32tool and you want to get out of the tool

5:35for example when I was in the text tool

5:37and I was done typing I hit the Escape

5:40key and the Escape key first takes me

5:43out of the active mode that I’m in here

5:46so I’m no longer typing and if I hit the

5:48Escape key again you’ll see over here it

5:51puts me back into selection mode when

5:54you are in selection mode if you hit the

5:56Escape key it will unselect whatever the

5:58current selection is so hitting the

6:00Escape key multiple times in a row will

Video Transcript for LightBurn Tutorials – First Time User (Cont…)

6:02get you out of whatever it is that you

6:05were into that’s also true for example

6:07if I’m creating a line so I’ve drawn one

6:10line and now it’s expecting me to draw

6:12the next one if I if this was the only

6:14line that I wanted hit escape to end the

6:17current line I’m still in line mode so I

6:19can now draw

6:20their line hit escape again takes me out

6:23of the line mode now if I want to go

6:25back to selection mode I can escape one

6:27more time and it brings me back here you

6:31can also just manually click on the

6:33selection button to do that as well so I

6:36can move between these various modes

6:40let’s see what else so that is the

6:44creation tools this button here allows

6:48you to position your laser head by

6:50jogging our sorry position your laser

6:52head by clicking on the page so if I

6:55wanted to move my laser to wherever this

6:57circle is roughly I can in this tool

7:00click here and my laser jogs to that

7:04location you can click on corners you

7:07can click on object it will jog the

7:10laser around for you these tools down

7:13here are offset weld and then the three

7:18boolean operators then grid array and

7:22radial array we’ll cover those in other

7:26videos and they are covered fairly well

7:28in other videos in fact but these will

7:31highlight when certain conditions are

7:34met so for example if I select this

7:36shape and this shape now the various

7:40weld and boolean operations become

7:42active because they’re now valid the

7:46things that I have selected can be

7:48affected by those tools and so they will

7:51light up along the top you have your

7:55various editing options or menus so I

7:59can create a new file I can open an

Video Transcript for LightBurn Tutorials – First Time User (Cont…)

8:01existing file import artwork save save

8:06as export all of the tools that are here

8:11on this side are also in the Tools menu

8:12the Edit menu has a few special things

8:16like undo and redo select everything a

8:20bunch of others settings and device

8:23settings those are important and we’ll

8:25cover those shortly arrangement of

8:28objects the window menu that I touched

8:29on before language menu

8:32if English is not your first language

8:34you can change the language in light

8:36burn by selecting one from this and then

8:38of course the help so quick help in

8:40notes is the first menu that we were

8:43presented with when light burn ran

8:44that’s this the general usage page was

8:50what came up when we started hotkeys is

8:52the other page here that’s incredibly

8:55useful and this shows you all of the

8:56hotkeys that are not really covered

8:59anywhere else and then online

9:03documentation will take you to our

9:05online website where the documentation

9:07is hosted PDF documentation link will

9:10download a PDF file of the documentation

9:12and then our online video tutorials

9:15which you’ve probably already found if

9:16you’re watching this check for updates

9:19is good if I click this button light

9:22burn will check to see if my current

9:24version is up-to-date it is if it’s not

9:27I’ll have the option to download a new

9:28one and then license management this is

9:33the page where you enter your license

9:36key so you’ve probably already used this

9:38page or at least seen it if you’re

9:40running the trial you will see this and

9:41it will say how long I have left in my

9:43trial you can use this to deactivate

9:46your current license on the current

9:48machine enter your new license request

9:52offline activation and so on so after

9:58you’ve created your device if you need

Video Transcript for LightBurn Tutorials – First Time User (Cont…)

10:02to make changes to it you can go back to

10:05the devices button here and double-click

10:09on your device in this list and then I

10:15can pick again smoothie where how I want

10:17to connect to it what I want to call it

10:20how big it is I mentioned before that

10:22because this is a k40 it’s actually 300

10:25millimeters by 200 millimeters change

10:29the homing and so on click finish and

10:31those changes are saved and now you can

10:33see that my bed size is larger because

10:35I’ve made that change you can also do a

10:38decent amount of that up here by going

10:41into the device settings so if I click

10:44on this

10:45I can again change my width and height

10:49origin and a bunch of other settings

10:51that are specific to the device that

10:54I’ve chosen if you have a Marlin based

10:58system you will have the option to

11:00change the baud rate here you also have

11:03options that are specific to how light

11:06burn works for example if I want it to

11:09run through white space when I’m

11:12engraving images quickly I can change

11:15this to specify a speed for which it

11:17will traverse through that white space

11:19the laser fire button this is something

11:23that is useful for people who have a

11:25diode laser that want to turn the laser

11:29on at low power so they get a visible

11:32beam for focusing if you have a co2

11:35laser your beam is invisible do not use

11:37this feature it is very dangerous and

11:40then the return to finish position this

11:43toggle and this setting lets you specify

11:47where you want the laser to move to when

11:50you’ve finished a job so after engraving

11:54through these objects light burn will

11:56send my laser back to this position I

11:59can turn it off which means that the

Video Transcript for LightBurn Tutorials – First Time User (Cont…)

12:01laser will just stay wherever it

12:03finished or I can turn this on and I can

12:05enter a value here where I want the

12:07laser head to go when it’s done that is

12:12the very very brief Cliff Notes version

12:15of the light burn UI and setting up your

12:19device will cover a little bit more in

12:21other videos thanks for watching

Video Transcript for LightBurn Tutorials – First Time User

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Last updated August 26, 2021


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