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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0:03in light burn there are a few ways to

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

0:07in relation to the coordinates of your

0:09design in your workspace and the

0:11location of your laser head these

0:13methods are absolute coordinates current

0:15position and user origin

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

0:21and it’s important to understand how

0:23each works to ensure the success of your

0:25job and its expected output in this

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

0:29modes covering what they are how they

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

0:33burn as well as on your laser

0:35timestamps will be in the description so

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

0:39needed

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

0:45fire button this will allow us to turn

0:47the laser beam on or off from within

0:49light burn which will be useful when

0:50we’re aligning and framing our project

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

0:54settings which is the wrench icon in the

0:57top toolbar

0:58in the device settings window you’ll

1:00find this under other options you will

1:02want to make sure the enable laser fire

1:04button is enabled and starting with

1:06lightburn 1.1.00

1:09there is an additional option to have

1:10the laser on by default when framing

1:12that you can optionally enable

1:15for this to take effect you will first

1:17need to restart light burn

1:20upon restarting if you head over to the

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

1:25and a power text box

1:27i typically set this to the lowest value

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

1:31fire which is often one to two percent

1:34now when we click the fire button the

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

1:38again it will turn off additionally

1:41depending on the setting you chose the

1:43laser will also be on by default when

1:44framing or you can hold down the shift

1:46key when clicking frame to run the frame

1:48command with the laser on

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

1:53is absolute coordinates this is by far

1:56the most commonly used and easiest to

1:58understand when starting out for more

Transcript for for LightBurn Set Origin Modes (Cont…)

2:00official documentation it is described

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

2:05editing window represents your machine’s

2:07work area

2:08anything you place in that area will be

2:11cut in the corresponding place on your

2:13machine

2:14with this method you can expect that if

2:16your design is in the middle of your

2:17workspace it will be engraved in the

2:19middle of your machine’s work area

2:22anywhere you place a design in

2:23lightburn’s workspace is exactly where

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

2:28in lightburn the green square on your

2:30workspace represents your job origin and

2:33the red square represents the machine

2:35origin

2:36when running in absolute coordinates

2:38mode these two squares will always be in

2:40the same place

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

2:45and running absolute coordinates on a

2:47machine with limit switches as well as

2:49the machine without them starting off

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

2:53the orter laser master 2 pro this

2:56machine automatically homes to the front

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

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

3:02switches

3:03we recently released a video on getting

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

3:08light burn and in that video we enabled

3:10auto homing on startup this is only

3:12available on a machine like this one

3:14that has limit switches and it ensures

3:16that every time you run light burn the

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

3:20front left which is its origin this

3:22makes using absolute coordinates very

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

3:26select absolute coordinates in the laser

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

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

3:34s9 this machine does not come with limit

3:36switches but can still be run in

3:38absolute coordinates the key difference

3:41is that before you power on the machine

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

3:45of the laser to the front left corner

3:47using your hand butting it up against

3:49the frame on a machine without limit

3:51switches the location the hand of the

3:53laser is when powered on becomes its

3:55origin which is why we needed to be

3:57there before switching the power on we

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

Transcript for for LightBurn Set Origin Modes (Cont…)

4:02the auto home on startup must be

4:04disabled for a machine without limit

4:06switches or it will crash the head of

4:08the laser into the frame since it

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

4:12moved the hand of the laser to the

4:13origin which is typically the front left

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

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

4:20select absolute coordinates in the laser

4:21window and you are ready to start your

4:23job

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

4:26position with current position your job

4:29cuts relative to the current position of

4:31the laser head when you hit the start

4:33button

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

4:37grid within the laser window to tell

4:39lightburn how to position the job

4:41relative to the laser

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

4:45laser on the bottom left of your work

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

4:49the bottom left selected in the job

4:51origin grid

4:52similarly if you have the laser head

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

4:57need to make sure that you have the

4:58center selected in that job origin grid

5:01i like to use current position for

5:02objects that i want to engrave in the

5:04very center like coasters where aligning

5:06the design might be more difficult i

5:08find it easiest to make a small mark

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

5:13object to really help with speeding up

5:15the alignment process then turning the

5:17laser on i can quickly align the beam

5:19with the mark before hitting start this

5:21is a great way to ensure that the

5:23engraving will be perfectly centered

5:24with your workpiece

5:27the third mode is user origin which

5:30works very similarly to the previous

5:32current position mode

5:34the key difference is that in current

5:36position the location of the laser head

5:38is where the job starts from while in

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

5:42origin location

5:44on some larger dsp machines like

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

5:48button on the controller panel that can

5:50be used

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

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

5:56within light burn to do this we’ll need

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

Transcript for for LightBurn Set Origin Modes (Cont…)

6:00head over to its starting location when

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

6:04need to select the set origin button to

6:06apply that new origin

6:08lastly we will want to double check in

6:11our laser window that we have set the

6:12job origin correctly in the grid the

6:15grid option needs to match the location

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

6:19example if we jogged our laser to the

6:21top left of our work piece and clicked

6:23set origin the grid option for top left

6:26would also need to be selected once

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

6:30laser head around knowing it will return

6:32to that origin position when you start

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

6:37laser window this has been how to use

6:39the three different start from methods

6:40within light burn you should now have a

6:42much better understanding of what the

6:44different modes are and how to set up

6:46your jobs correctly for each of them

6:48links will be in the description of this

6:49video over to our official light burn

6:51documentation covering each of these

6:53modes be sure to check out our library

6:55tutorial playlist on youtube for many

6:57more guides covering the tools and

6:58design features within lightburn

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Last updated August 26, 2021

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