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LightBurn Tips and Tricks

This page will try to answer some of the most common questions that arise throughout the forums again and again. There are many professional but somewhat hidden functions in LightBurn, I will try to mention some here. Use the menu to the right to quickly browse through the available topics ⇒

RTFM
A LOT of questions that are asked about the software controls are already explained in the respective software documentation materials. I STRONGLY recommend taking the time and go through, you will get a lot of useful information and hints for your daily work. For LaserGRBL you find it here. LightBurn provides an online documentation and PDF version of its documentation. The LB PDF is about 240 pages, but don’t be afraid, I read it in one evening (not every single page is relevant). For example, did you know that it does matter if you draw a selection rectangle on objects in LB, that it does matter if you do it from left or from right? That function is GENIUS!

If you prefer watching, you can find the LightBurn YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/@lightburnsoftware7189/videos (make sure to follow it to get notified if they release a new video!)

How to connect text to a circle shape?

This is one of the most asked questions. This is straightforward, the only thing you need to take care of is that the two circles are joined as a group. Otherwise, there is no inside and outside the shape and the boolean operation can’t work. I also created a template to practice, it is available in the templates section.

I also created a short video on a similar task, opening a shape and using text to close the gap:

How to align text centered on a path?

This is taken from the discussion in LB-Forum. But I think it might get buried there. 🙂 The problem is how to align a text to a specific (middle) position of a shape. The issue is stated in the first picture. Here is the explanation from PY, one of the LightBurn gurus 🙂

Text position after being applied to a path is not based on geometric proximity to the original shape. It’s based on relative distance to the start node of the shape attached to. So either rotate the shape accordingly or redefine the initial position of the shape by breaking the shape where you want the initial position to be.

How to use the camera alignment feature?

There is a dedicated article explaining the full procedure here.

How to use the Slot and Tab resizer to change the projects’ thickness

This has been quite difficult and lots of work, and can also require manual adjustments. Meanwhile, however, LightBurn has developed a function for this that makes it straightforward to change the material thickness, at least for simple geometries: the Slot+Tab Resizer.

Here are two nice videos (one in German, but you can turn on translated subtitles)

Resizer-Tool does not recognize my slots / tabs!

It is important that the files or shapes are properly designed for this. If not all slots are recognized correctly, the following can help. The shape is repaired using the “Optimize Selected Shapes” tool, after which resizing also works:

Tracing a centerline / removing doubled lines

Short answer: not at all. LightBurn uses an edge tracking algorithm that does not allow detecting only the center line instead of the two edges. This cannot currently be integrated for licensing reasons.

LightBurn’s current trace feature is a licensed library called PoTrace, which is the same thing used in InkScape for their non-centerline mode. PoTrace doesn’t have a centerline mode, so AutoTrace is what InkScape uses for centerline mode, but it’s only available as open source, with no commercial licensing option I’m aware of, and as Adam says, it’s been abandoned for quite a long time. [Jason, LB developer]

So if you want to import a graphic and convert it to vectors that should be single lines in LightBurn, then you have to use Inkscape for that. Here you can do this with the autotrace function.

The procedure is shown in the following images. In Inkscape, the graphic is imported normally into an empty file. Then the graphic is marked and Paths ⇾ Trace Bitmap Trace is selected. In the following dialog, select “centerline trace (autotrace)”. Now you get the line drawing (be careful, it is under the imported graphic, you have to move it to the side). Afterward, save the whole thing as SVG. Now you can import it into LightBurn and you have the single line object in your project.

Aligning objects parallel to the floor

For a long time, I thought that the function did not exist in LightBurn, but it does. You can align objects not only parallel to the ground or perpendicular, but also 45 degrees. Depending on what is closer, is automatically selected. Select node edit mode, hover over the line you want to align, and then press the A key.

How can I specify different layers in my graphics tool already?

When LightBurn imports vector graphics, it automatically tries to assign a corresponding layer based on the color of the objects. You can use the entire list of layers in LightBurn by assigning the correct colors:

Source: LB-forum

So if you draw a line with the color RGB (160,0,0) in Inkscape, it will be imported into LightBurn as layer 10.

TO BE EXTENDED
Can’t find your answer? Let me know, and we’ll fill this section further. Leave a comment or drop me an email: diy@melvin-isken.de