LightBurn Tutorial 29 – Understanding LightBurn’s Different “Start From” Modes

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. In this LightBurn Tutorial Session, we learn about the three different LightBurn Set Origin or “Start From” modes, how they work and when you should use them. My thanks to the team at Lightburn for allowing me to embed their videos.

Contents

In this video we are taken through the three different “Start From” modes in LightBurn. These are; Absolute Coordinates, Current Position and User Origin. The best one to use can vary and will depend on your specific job. Having an understanding of how each works is incredibly important to ensure the success of your job. This LightBurn software tutorials video will take you through how each of them works, as well as how to set up your job for them on your machine and within LightBurn.


LightBurn Set Origin Modes
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If you enjoyed this series of Lightburn Software Tutorials. Why not try out one of our other video series such as:

The Tangerine Tiger Series where Russ has purchased a new 500 x 300mm, 50W laser machine from eBay with a view to modifying and upgrading it. In fact, he rips out the glass laser tube and high voltage power supply and replaces them with an RF laser source and PSU from Cloudray. Find out how the expensive RF laser source compares to a glass CO2 laser tube and prepare to get your hands dirty!

The Lightblade Learning Lab is a series of videos that Russ did for Thinklaser Limited based on using the Lightblade 4060 Laser Cutting and Engraving Machine. The Lightblade 4060 has a 400 x 600mm bed size and was supplied with a 60W EFR laser tube.

The Fiber Laser Series is all about Russ’s adventures and investigations with a 30 watt fibre laser, loaned to him by Dean at Lotus Laser Systems. If you are looking for a laser solution to engrave metal, without the fuss of using coatings such as Thermark, Cermark or Molybdenum Disulphide spray, then this is the series for you.

The Top 10 Ranked RDWorks Learning Lab Videos.

The K40 Xtreeem Laser Cutter Upgrade Series is a series of 6 videos covering how Russ, strips down a generic K40 laser. He then designs and builds a number of new components and completely upgrades and overhauls the K40 into a high specification K40 Xtreeem Laser cutting and engraving machine.

Why not check out The Concise RDWorks Learning Lab Series that condenses all of Russ’s work into an easy to follow encyclopaedia of laser knowledge.

Lightburn set origin modes
LightBurn start from modes

Transcript for for LightBurn Set Origin Modes

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0:03 in lightburn there are a few ways to

0:05 define how you would like to run a job

0:07 in relation to the coordinates of your

0:09 design in your workspace and the

0:11 location of your laser head these

0:13 methods are absolute coordinates current

0:15 position and user origin

0:18 the best option to use can vary by job

0:21 and it’s important to understand how

0:23 each works to ensure the success of your

0:25 job and its expected output in this

0:27 video we’ll go through each of these

0:29 modes covering what they are how they

0:31 work and how to set up each one in lightburn

0:33 as well as on your laser

0:35 timestamps will be in the description so

0:37 that you can jump to a specific mode if

0:39 needed

0:43 before we get started let’s enable the

0:45 fire button this will allow us to turn

0:47 the laser beam on or off from within

0:49 lightburn which will be useful when

0:50 we’re aligning and framing our project

0:52 to do this we’ll head up to the device

0:54 settings which is the wrench icon in the

0:57 top toolbar

0:58 in the device settings window you’ll

1:00 find this under other options you will

1:02 want to make sure the enable laser fire

1:04 button is enabled and starting with

1:06 lightburn 1.1.00

1:09 there is an additional option to have

1:10 the laser on by default when framing

1:12 that you can optionally enable

1:15 for this to take effect you will first

1:17 need to restart lightburn

1:20 upon restarting if you head over to the

1:22 move window you’ll now see a fire button

1:25 and a power text box

1:27 i typically set this to the lowest value

1:29 i can that will still allow my laser to

1:31 fire which is often one to two percent

1:34 now when we click the fire button the

1:36 laser will turn on and when we click it

1:38 again it will turn off additionally

1:41 depending on the setting you chose the

1:43 laser will also be on by default when

1:44 framing or you can hold down the shift

1:46 key when clicking frame to run the frame

1:48 command with the laser on

1:51 the first method we are going to look at

1:53 is absolute coordinates this is by far

1:56 the most commonly used and easiest to

1:58 understand when starting out for more

Transcript for for LightBurn Set Origin Modes (Cont…)

2:00 official documentation it is described

2:02 as the page grid you see in the main

2:05 editing window represents your machine’s

2:07 work area

2:08 anything you place in that area will be

2:11 cut in the corresponding place on your

2:13 machine

2:14 with this method you can expect that if

2:16 your design is in the middle of your

2:17 workspace it will be engraved in the

2:19 middle of your machine’s work area

2:22 anywhere you place a design in

2:23 lightburn’s workspace is exactly where

2:25 it will run in your machine’s work area

2:28 in lightburn the green square on your

2:30 workspace represents your job origin and

2:33 the red square represents the machine

2:35 origin

2:36 when running in absolute coordinates

2:38 mode these two squares will always be in

2:40 the same place

2:43 next we will take a look at setting up

2:45 and running absolute coordinates on a

2:47 machine with limit switches as well as

2:49 the machine without them starting off

2:51 with limit switches we’re going to use

2:53 the orter laser master 2 pro this

2:56 machine automatically homes to the front

2:58 left when it’s first powered on which it

3:00 is able to do because it has those limit

3:02 switches

3:03 we recently released a video on getting

3:05 the orter laser master 2 pro set up with

3:08 lightburn and in that video we enabled

3:10 auto homing on startup this is only

3:12 available on a machine like this one

3:14 that has limit switches and it ensures

3:16 that every time you run lightburn the

3:18 head of the laser will start in the very

3:20 front left which is its origin this

3:22 makes using absolute coordinates very

3:24 simple is all that we need to do is

3:26 select absolute coordinates in the laser

3:28 window and we’re ready to run our job

3:31 next we’ll take a look at the sculpt fun

3:34 s9 this machine does not come with limit

3:36 switches but can still be run in

3:38 absolute coordinates the key difference

3:41 is that before you power on the machine

3:43 you’ll need to physically move the head

3:45 of the laser to the front left corner

3:47 using your hand butting it up against

3:49 the frame on a machine without limit

3:51 switches the location the hand of the

3:53 laser is when powered on becomes its

3:55 origin which is why we needed to be

3:57 there before switching the power on we

3:59 did also do a setup video for the s9 and

Transcript for for LightBurn Set Origin Modes (Cont…)

4:02 the auto home on start-up must be

4:04 disabled for a machine without limit

4:06 switches or it will crash the head of

4:08 the laser into the frame since it

4:10 doesn’t know where home is once you’ve

4:12 moved the hand of the laser to the

4:13 origin which is typically the front left

4:15 on g-code machines and powered it on all

4:18 that’s left to do is make sure you

4:20 select absolute coordinates in the laser

4:21 window and you are ready to start your

4:23 job

4:24 next we’ll look at how to use current

4:26 position with current position your job

4:29 cuts relative to the current position of

4:31 the laser head when you hit the start

4:33 button

4:34 in this mode you’ll use the job origin

4:37 grid within the laser window to tell

4:39 lightburn how to position the job

4:41 relative to the laser

4:43 for example if you place the head of the

4:45 laser on the bottom left of your work

4:47 piece you’ll want to make sure you have

4:49 the bottom left selected in the job

4:51 origin grid

4:52 similarly if you have the laser head

4:54 centered on your work piece you’ll also

4:57 need to make sure that you have the

4:58 centre selected in that job origin grid

5:01 i like to use current position for

5:02 objects that i want to engrave in the

5:04 very center like coasters where aligning

5:06 the design might be more difficult i

5:08 find it easiest to make a small mark

5:11 using a pencil in the very centre of my

5:13 object to really help with speeding up

5:15 the alignment process then turning the

5:17 laser on i can quickly align the beam

5:19 with the mark before hitting start this

5:21 is a great way to ensure that the

5:23 engraving will be perfectly centered

5:24 with your workpiece

5:27 the third mode is user origin which

5:30 works very similarly to the previous

5:32 current position mode

5:34 the key difference is that in current

5:36 position the location of the laser head

5:38 is where the job starts from while in

5:40 user origin you’ll need to define the

5:42 origin location

5:44 on some larger dsp machines like

5:46 ruida-based systems there’s an origin

5:48 button on the controller panel that can

5:50 be used

5:51 on g-code machines like the diode lasers

5:54 we are using this will need to be set

5:56 within lightburn to do this we’ll need

5:58 to use the move window to jog the laser

Transcript for for LightBurn Set Origin Modes (Cont…)

6:00 head over to its starting location when

6:02 we’re happy with its positioning we will

6:04 need to select the set origin button to

6:06 apply that new origin

6:08 lastly we will want to double check in

6:11 our laser window that we have set the

6:12 job origin correctly in the grid the

6:15 grid option needs to match the location

6:17 that we just set the new origin too for

6:19 example if we jogged our laser to the

6:21 top left of our work piece and clicked

6:23 set origin the grid option for top left

6:26 would also need to be selected once

6:28 you’ve set the origin you can jog the

6:30 laser head around knowing it will return

6:32 to that origin position when you start

6:34 your job or select go to origin in the

6:37 laser window this has been how to use

6:39 the three different start from methods

6:40 within lightburn you should now have a

6:42 much better understanding of what the

6:44 different modes are and how to set up

6:46 your jobs correctly for each of them

6:48 links will be in the description of this

6:49 video over to our official lightburn

6:51 documentation covering each of these

6:53 modes be sure to check out our library

6:55 tutorial playlist on youtube for many

6:57 more guides covering the tools and

6:58 design features within lightburn

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Last updated April 25, 2024

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