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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Video Transcript for LightBurn Tutorials – First Time User

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0:01 hi there welcome to lightburn this video is

0:05 going to walk you through setting up

0:08 your laser for the first time assuming

0:10 that you’ve never run lightburn before

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

0:14 launch the application after the splash

0:18 screen you’ll get a basic help

0:21 walkthrough that’s just you know what

0:23 the next steps are going to be read

0:25 through this click ok the next thing

0:28 that lightburn does is brings you to

0:30 the device discovery wizard this is the

0:33 automatic path for figuring out what

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

0:38 set up your machine manually you can do

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

0:42 through that in a moment but the easiest

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

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

0:49 and go through this process here to find

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

0:54 next and I have a couple of lasers

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

0:59 to scan for them see if it recognizes

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

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

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

1:12 board which is currently flashed with

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

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

1:20 going to start with the smoothy where

1:22 device your system will likely only have

1:25 one recognized controller select the

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

1:31 to choose this one because this is the

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

1:34 click Add

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

1:38 of your laser now with smoothie wear and

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

1:44 includes garble smoothie wear marlin you

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

1:51 your laser does have limit switches and

1:55 supports homing auto home on startup

1:58 should be selected if you have

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

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

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

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

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

2:12 want to turn this off you probably do

2:13 want to turn that off but for everybody

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

2:19 device like a Rueda system you will

2:21 probably not see this option click Next

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

2:29 found so with the automatic setup light

2:34 Byrne will query the device itself for

2:36 sizes and so this smoothie where device

2:39 in the configuration is set to 200

2:42 millimeter by 200 millimeter with a

2:44 standard k40 that should be 300 by 200

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

2:51 will be taken from that as well and

2:53 should show up here if this is incorrect

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

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

3:00 so now I have my smoothie where device

3:03 click ok the device is connected and

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

3:10 user interface this is the current laser

3:12 that I have selected

3:13 and this is the comport that I have

3:15 chosen and it’s automatic for many

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

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

3:24 telling you is that you have to choose

3:25 the comport manually once you’ve chosen

3:28 it lightburn will remember it for the

3:30 future so this is the user interface of

3:33 lightburn these windows can be dragged

3:37 and resized if you want to change the

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

3:42 undock these windows by grabbing their

3:44 title bar you can redock windows by

3:48 grabbing the title bar of the window

3:50 dragging it over another window until

3:52 you see the other window change color

3:54 and then release it and it will redock

3:56 you can also open up different windows

4:00 by clicking on these tabs you can move

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

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

4:05 a different order you can also go up

4:08 here to the window menu and this will

4:11 show you which wood

4:12 you currently have active down here and

4:15 I can select these to turn windows off

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

4:22 cut palette window the palette along the

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

4:27 back here make sure that is enabled a

4:29 common problem for some people is that

4:32 this window may end up being larger than

4:35 your screen and so the cut palette

4:37 window might be below the bottom of your

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

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

4:44 you can remove windows undock windows to

4:47 try to vertically shorten the display so

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

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

4:57 arranged so over here we have the basic

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

5:04 tool to draw lines I can use the

5:07 rectangle tool to draw rectangles the

5:10 ellipse tool to draw circles or ellipses

5:14 this is the polygon tool which will let

5:16 you draw multi-sided polygons and then

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

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

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

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

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

5:40 key and the Escape key first takes me

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

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

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

5:51 puts me back into selection mode when

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

5:56 Escape key it will unselect whatever the

5:58 current selection is so hitting the

6:00 Escape key multiple times in a row will

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6:19 can now draw

6:20 their line hit escape again takes me out

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

6:25 back to selection mode I can escape one

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

6:31 can also just manually click on the

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

6:36 can move between these various modes

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

6:44 creation tools this button here allows

6:48 you to position your laser head by

6:50 jogging our sorry position your laser

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

6:55 wanted to move my laser to wherever this

6:57 circle is roughly I can in this tool

7:00 click here and my laser jogs to that

7:04 location you can click on corners you

7:07 can click on object it will jog the

7:10 laser around for you these tools down

7:13 here are offset weld and then the three

7:18 boolean operators then grid array and

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

7:26 videos and they are covered fairly well

7:28 in other videos in fact but these will

7:31 highlight when certain conditions are

7:34 met so for example if I select this

7:36 shape and this shape now the various

7:40 weld and boolean operations become

7:42 active because they’re now valid the

7:46 things that I have selected can be

7:48 affected by those tools and so they will

7:51 light up along the top you have your

7:55 various editing options or menus so I

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

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

8:01 existing file import artwork save save

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

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

8:12 the Edit menu has a few special things

8:16 like undo and redo select everything a

8:20 bunch of others settings and device

8:23 settings those are important and we’ll

8:25 cover those shortly arrangement of

8:28 objects the window menu that I touched

8:29 on before language menu

8:32 if English is not your first language

8:34 you can change the language in lightburn

8:36 by selecting one from this and then

8:38 of course the help so quick help in

8:40 notes is the first menu that we were

8:43 presented with when lightburn ran

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

8:50 what came up when we started hotkeys is

8:52 the other page here that’s incredibly

8:55 useful and this shows you all of the

8:56 hotkeys that are not really covered

8:59 anywhere else and then online

9:03 documentation will take you to our

9:05 online website where the documentation

9:07 is hosted PDF documentation link will

9:10 download a PDF file of the documentation

9:12 and then our online video tutorials

9:15 which you’ve probably already found if

9:16 you’re watching this check for updates

9:19 is good if I click this button lightburn

9:22 will check to see if my current

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

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

9:28 one and then license management this is

9:33 the page where you enter your license

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

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

9:40 running the trial you will see this and

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

9:43 trial you can use this to deactivate

9:46 your current license on the current

9:48 machine enter your new license request

9:52 offline activation and so on so after

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

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

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

10:05 the devices button here and double-click

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

10:15 can pick again smoothie where how I want

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

10:20 how big it is I mentioned before that

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

10:25 millimeters by 200 millimeters change

10:29 the homing and so on click finish and

10:31 those changes are saved and now you can

10:33 see that my bed size is larger because

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

10:38 decent amount of that up here by going

10:41 into the device settings so if I click

10:44 on this

10:45 I can again change my width and height

10:49 origin and a bunch of other settings

10:51 that are specific to the device that

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

10:58 system you will have the option to

11:00 change the baud rate here you also have

11:03 options that are specific to how lightburn

11:06 works for example if I want it to

11:09 run through white space when I’m

11:12 engraving images quickly I can change

11:15 this to specify a speed for which it

11:17 will traverse through that white space

11:19 the laser fire button this is something

11:23 that is useful for people who have a

11:25 diode laser that want to turn the laser

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

11:32 beam for focusing if you have a co2

11:35 laser your beam is invisible do not use

11:37 this feature it is very dangerous and

11:40 then the return to finish position this

11:43 toggle and this setting lets you specify

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

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

11:54 through these objects light burn will

11:56 send my laser back to this position I

11:59 can turn it off which means that the

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

12:01 laser will just stay wherever it

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

12:05 enter a value here where I want the

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

12:12 the very very brief Cliff Notes version

12:15 of the lightburn UI and setting up your

12:19 device will cover a little bit more in

12:21 other videos thanks for watching

Video Transcript for LightBurn Tutorials – First Time User

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Last updated April 25, 2024


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