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

0:04to use some of the basic features of

0:05light burn and in the process we’re

0:07hopefully going to make something useful

0:09so I saw something recently that I

0:11thought was cool

0:12someone had printed a sticker with a QR

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

0:16password so that anyone visiting could

0:18just scan the code with their smartphone

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

0:22you’re not familiar with them is

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

0:26used to store information so they

0:27usually store a website address but they

0:29can store other things too I found a

0:32website that will take the name and

0:34password for your local Wi-Fi network

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

0:38format that modern smartphones

0:40understand and I thought this would make

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

0:44going to visit the QR code website that

0:46is qif i.org

0:49this is the generator that will make the

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

0:54going to enter light burn Wi-Fi as my

0:56network name use whatever your own

0:58network is called here as it appears on

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

1:03encryption method to use it’s probably

1:04wpa wpa2 and then enter your network

1:08password I don’t recommend using my

1:10password you should probably use the one

1:12that works for your network when you

1:15click the generate button here it will

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

1:20barcode if you hold your phone camera up

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

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

1:25now from here you can click the export

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

1:32light burn you can do something a little

1:33bit different if you right-click the

1:35image in your browser and choose copy

1:37image then switch to light burn

1:39right-click and choose paste it will

1:42paste the image directly into light burn

1:44without the need to save it in between

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

1:48this with most images from a web browser

1:52next I want to create the outer shape

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

1:57to drag out an arbitrary rectangle here

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

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

2:03next part make sure that the lock button

2:06up here on this toolbar is unlocked

2:08because we want to set the width and

2:11height of this rectangle independently

2:12this lock when

2:14enabled keeps the relative width and

2:17height of your shapes the same when you

2:20change the dimensions with the numeric

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

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

2:29thing by 50% keeping the original shape

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

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

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

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

2:45this is unlocked so these boxes here

2:49will let you edit the dimensions of a

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

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

2:58millimeter units so I could open a

3:02calculator and manually do the

3:03conversion or I can let light burn do it

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

3:10the UI to switch between millimeters and

3:12inches quickly and then I can just type

3:155 by 3 flip back over to millimeters and

3:18you’ll see light burn has done the

3:19conversion there is another way to do

3:21this without having to flip between so

3:24let me just reset this to something

3:26that’s different if you are in

3:29millimeter or inch mode and you type in

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

3:37burn will automatically convert that to

3:39your current measure I can also type in

3:41three and a single quote for inches and

3:44light burn will convert that to three

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

3:49inch mode or millimeter mode and you can

3:52also do simple equations as well so any

3:55of these numeric fields here will do it

3:57if I enter one millimeter or saved sorry

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

4:00one inch times 3 and hit enter light

4:04burn computes 3 inches for me so you can

4:07enter equations you can do division

4:09multiplication subtraction things like

4:11that and use mixed units inches

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

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

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

4:21sure the box is selected here right

4:24click and choose show properties to

4:26bring up the shape properties window and

4:28you’ll see

4:28the properties for this rectangle

4:30including the corner radius which is the

4:31one we were interested in

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

4:35the corners for me you can use the

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

4:39the mouse to change it to your liking

4:42let’s see I think this looks good

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

4:50make it a bit smaller when you resize

4:53you can grab any of these square handles

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

4:59grab the side you can squish or shrink

5:02if you grab the corners and move them

5:04around it maintains the aspect ratio of

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

5:12drag I can drag our scale from the

5:15middle instead of from the corners or

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

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

5:24width and height scaling independently

5:27so you can change the stretch and squash

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

5:32it to be the original aspect ratio so

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

5:37little bit about that big about there

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

5:46small label here with my network name as

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

5:52to use the text tool place the text

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

5:59going to change this to 10 millimeters

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

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

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

6:08adjust the size and position a little

6:11bit here get this roughly where I want

6:14it I want this text aligned or centered

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

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

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

6:25shift key and select the image and then

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

6:30click this to align their horizontal

6:33centers so if I click that the first

6:36item will be aligned to the second item

6:39the last item that you choose is always

6:41what we call the

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

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

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

6:51change the options for the image but

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

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

6:59click the preview button up here on the

7:02toolbar the preview window pops up and

7:04already we can see a problem my outline

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

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

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

7:17correct way to do things however I

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

7:21layer I normally use red for cuts just

7:24because it makes them very visible

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

7:29line and then clicking down on the red

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

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

7:35the black layer back to fill the black

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

7:40three layers here the image the fill and

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

7:46everything looks good therefore the

7:48settings these entries in the cuts

7:50window are called layers in light burn a

7:53layer is just settings to control the

7:55power and speed of the laser options for

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

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

8:00change the options for a layer you just

8:02double click the entry in the cuts list

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

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

8:09can see all of the settings for this

8:11image including the dithering modes that

8:13can be used for the image processing up

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

8:19power settings and so on dots per inch

8:22any other options that are available for

8:25this now for this specific image because

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

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

8:32on cutoff for black and white images

8:35images that are already black and white

8:38everything else here looks pretty good I

8:40want to change my interval to 0.1

8:43millimeters interval is the distance

8:46between lines that the image is going to

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

8:51setting dpi dpi and interval are two

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

8:58inch value is calculated from the

9:01interval and the interval is calculated

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

9:05the other one changes and you can see

9:07that reflecting here they’re both two

9:10ways of setting the same value it

9:13doesn’t matter which one you use

9:14everything else looks good so I’ve

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

9:19the settings for my fill layer which is

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

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

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

9:30cuts list and it will highlight the

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

9:34also select an item in the workspace and

9:38it will highlight the layer that is used

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

9:43find which layer is associated with

9:45something so if I select the text it

9:47highlights the fill layer for me

9:49double-click that to bring up the

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

9:54that there are no settings applied that

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

9:58to default that wipes out everything in

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

10:01the cut layer settings in this cut just

10:05for this layer two reasonable default

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

10:10values to something reasonable for this

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

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

10:18power and speed min power looks good

10:20everything else is fine and I click OK

10:23so if I preview again now by clicking

10:25the preview button I can see that

10:27already things look better the image and

10:29text are surrounded by my cut outline

10:31around the outside the preview will also

10:33show you the order that your operations

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

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

10:40grab the slider button over here and

10:43drag it backwards you can see my cut

10:45happening in Reverse dragging it forward

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

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

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

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

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

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

11:04then engrave the light print text if my

11:07piece were to drop

11:09my knife bed or something before it

11:10engraved the text that would cause me

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

11:14that I want so the order is clearly

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

11:18to do is check my optimization settings

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

11:24turn the optimization settings on and

11:26open up my optimization settings box

11:28just to check them

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

11:31inner shapes first the other options are

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

11:35the optimization settings turned off so

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

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

11:42is scanning first followed by the light

11:44burn Wi-Fi text and finally the cutout

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

11:48everything looks good next I want to add

11:53something to this empty space what I

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

11:58know what this thing is actually for so

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

12:01I found a website called clip art –

12:03library comm if you go to clip art

12:07library com

12:09go to the website bring up the search

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

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

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

12:23of different symbols now I think this is

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

12:27select that this guy here so again right

12:33click copy image click in light burn and

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

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

12:43is to copy if you learn the shortcut

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

12:48position this now you can just paste it

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

12:53actually a good idea to try to learn

12:54them you will also notice that this is

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

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

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

13:05click down here on the palette click it

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

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

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

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

13:15vectors so with this image selected

13:18right-click and choose trace image

13:23that will bring up the image in light

13:25burns internal image trace if you zoom

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

13:30see this purple line here is what light

13:34burn has chosen as the vector outline

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

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

13:42fade image button it makes it a lot

13:44easier to see light burn also will let

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

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

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

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

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

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

14:02drag a rectangle around the area that

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

14:07just capturing or tracing the logo

14:10within this rectangle and if I look down

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

14:14ignoring all of this down here so you

14:17can adjust the rectangle I could cut the

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

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

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

14:27double click will clear it in this case

14:30I do want the rectangle just around the

14:32Wi-Fi logo click OK light burn has now

14:34created the vectors and placed them

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

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

14:41just going to delete the image and

14:43position the vectors here and scale them

14:46to the right size so with this one

14:52positioned properly I’m going to switch

14:54back over to the clipart website and try

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

14:58like I specifically want a rounded one

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

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

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

15:08paste it into light burn you can see

15:10those watermarks on the logo and that

15:13would normally be a problem if I was

15:15engraving this as an image it probably

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

15:20I right click and choose trace image

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

15:26that watermark you can see the purple

15:28around the gray text however if I adjust

15:31the threshold point here that’s the

15:33cutoff where light burn is going to put

15:35that tracing line

15:37you can see that you can change where

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

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

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

15:48just a little bit it starts ignoring the

15:50lightest text or the lightest pixels and

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

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

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

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

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

16:07can tune which parts of the image you

16:10want to capture by adjusting this

16:12threshold so slide it back hit OK and

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

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

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

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

16:25going to adjust the sizing and

16:28positioning of these two items a little

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

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

16:41centers as I showed you before so now

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

16:47and line them up

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

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

17:05a look here check out the preview

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

17:13much white space on the side of this

17:14here maybe not quite as much on the

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

17:19might play with the spacing just a

17:21little bit

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

17:26with the cursor keys you can use the

17:29arrow keys on the cursor if you hold

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

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

17:36jumps and without any of the key

17:38modifiers it moves them in sort of

17:40regular sized jumps and you can change

17:43that in the settings here so I think

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

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

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

17:56in in the card check my settings make

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

18:01sure that my power and speed are correct

18:03for cutting this out maybe change this

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

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

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

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

18:17design bring up the preview it looks

18:23like everything is going in the right

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

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

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

18:32think everything looks good so we’re

18:35gonna take this to the Machine and cut

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

18:41Cassatt light burn and we’ll head over

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

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

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

18:58to the

18:59upper left corner of the object or the

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

19:04that origin on my laser in light burn I

19:08have the start from value set to user

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

19:14right corner so you can see the little

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

19:19where my laser head is relative to my

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

19:24right and below where the laser head

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

19:31click the frame button in light burn the

19:34laser should trace the outline of what

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

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

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

19:47and run this job

19:56[Music]

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

20:13you

20:44[Music]

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

21:00going to do a light sanding pass over

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

21:05shortly so after a bit of sanding here

21:10is the end result it looks nice and

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

21:16you get in the contrast and just the

21:18overall look if you just do a really

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

21:23about 200 grit sandpaper you can also

21:27use masking tape or something like that

21:29to mask the surface before you do your

21:32engraving that helps certainly but with

21:36something that’s complicated it would be

21:37very hard to weed the individual bits of

21:40masking tape out of that something like

21:42this not so bad something like this

21:44pretty terrible and if I bring up the

21:48result on my phone you can actually see

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

21:53light burn software Wi-Fi network and

21:55you can see the QR code being recognized

21:56in the phone the little yellow

21:59highlights so there you have it a little

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

22:08home with your guests

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