Laser with Lightburn: The Best Laser Engraver Software!

With OMTech creating the best laser engravers in the game, it’s only natural that we use the best laser engraving software to go along with it! Creating with OMTech has never been easier thanks to intuitive laser engraver software like Lightburn

If you’re new to the laser engraving field, you might be wondering, “What is Lightburn?” In this article, we will answer this question, along with any other questions you might have about using Lightburn software

What is Lightburn Laser Engraver Software?  

Lightburn is an essential part of your laser engraving journey! OMTech products utilize Lightburn software because of its user-friendly interface that allows users to import, edit, and create designs that are then turned into directions for your laser machine. With Lightburn, you’re able to control every step of the creation process! 

How Much Is Lightburn Software

Luckily, Lightburn only incurs a one-time cost, meaning that you won’t have to pay a monthly or yearly subscription like other software for laser engraver machines. 

OMTech has several options for Lightburn. Software costs range from $59.99 to $149.99, depending on the power and type of laser machine. We offer Lightburn software for our CO2 laser engravers and fiber laser engravers. 

Lightburn laser engraver machine software

How To Use Lightburn 

If you’re interested in learning everything there is to know about Lightburn and your laser engraver, take a course on Lightburn with Brandon from the Make or Break Shop. Here, you’ll get insider knowledge on how to use Lightburn from a veteran laser hobbyist who knows his way around our laser machines. Find out how to operate Lightburn with ease through our courses!  

Set up your laser in Lightburn 

The first step to using Lightburn is to connect your OMTech laser engraver to your computer using a USB cable. While you do have the option of using Ethernet IP connections or even loading the files onto a USB flash drive and plugging them in, utilizing a USB connection is the easiest solution. 

Opening laser dialog window in Lightburn

Once you are connected, open Lightburn and click Laser in the Windows menu option. This button will open up a Laser dialog window on the right. 

Click Find my laser on Lightburn window

After, select the Devices button. Click on Find my Laser when the new window opens—this will open a pop-up ensuring your USB cable connection. Don’t forget to turn your laser machine on! Click OK, and Lightburn will find your new laser. 

Recognizing Ruida in Lightburn software

The system should automatically recognize the Ruida laser controller, and you can name the item and specify the laser-cutter bed size. The Lightburn software works on the metric system, so measurements will need to be in millimeters instead of inches. 

You will also be asked where the origin of the laser is. This is typically located in the right rear of the bed, although you can change it later down the line. After you are presented with the confirmation of your settings, setup will be complete! 

Setting origin of laser in Lightburn

Navigating the Lightburn workspace 

Lightburn's workspace is comprised of various features—including shortcut icons, menus, and color-coordinated layers. For beginners, it's helpful to start by paying attention to the left-side toolbar and the 'Cuts/Layers' dialog window. This side houses the main design icons like square, circle, and hexagon drawing tools, as well as the text tool.

Navigating Lightburn workspace

These icons allow you to quickly add basic shapes and text to your designs. Remember that objects created with these tools are primitive shapes and haven't been converted into paths yet. Maintaining these primitives in their original form allows for easier manipulation later.

Understand layers

Learning to use layers is crucial in mastering Lightburn and controlling your laser cutter. Each layer contains all the lines and design elements that share the same laser settings—or the same speed, power, and mode. To differentiate between the 30 available layers, each is assigned a unique color. 

Understanding layers in Lightburn

Layers T1 and T2 are for drawing layout guide shapes or adding notes, as they are not sent out to the laser. You can change the speed, power, and mode of the layers in the Cuts/Layers window, or even hide them as well. Using the layers window, you can instruct the laser to turn the air assist on while cutting or off while engraving if you have automatic air assist. 

Editing vectors

Lightburn operates using vectors made of nodes and paths. By manipulating these elements in your design, you can create intricate design details. Select any object on the workspace to scrutinize its nodes. By stretching or curving these lines, you can make intricate design adjustments, making Lightburn a powerful design tool.

Designing images in Lightburn 

Lightburn gives you the flexibility to create designs within the software itself. On the left-hand side, there are a series of tools you can use to create shapes, patterns, and text. All these objects are classified as “primitives,” meaning that they have not been converted into paths. 

Practice creating shapes by clicking any of the shapes, placing your cursor on the bed, and dragging out a square, circle, or any other shape. When you have drawn out the object, you will notice a black layer in the Cuts/Layers dialog window that matches your shape. Click that layer box to change the layer of your object. 

Changing object layer in Lightburn

The A icon on the left side indicates a text box. Just like with the shapes, click the icon and click the bed to start typing. You can control the text settings at the top of the screen. 

An important tool in designing images is the Offset Shapes tool. This tool can be used to create outlines for shapes. Select a shape using the Select tool on the top left. When you select the shape, it will turn into “marching ants.” 

Creating outlined shapes in Lightburn

Select the Offset Shapes tool and decide whether you want the offset to be inwards or outwards, the distance from the original and whether you want to keep the original shape. Control all these settings in the dialogue window that appears after selecting the tool. 

Completing Your First Project

Ultimately, the best way to learn Lightburn is by using it. One basic starter project could involve writing your name and engraving it onto a small piece of plywood. Try out several tools like the text tool, layer configurations, and design tools. This will teach you how to operate the Lightburn laser engraving machine software

Get Started with Lightburn Today! 

At the end of the day, Lightburn is a dynamic software for laser engraving that combines design and control features into one user-friendly interface. The Lightburn laser engraver software provides a cost-effective solution for laser hobbyists and professionals, allowing you to utilize your laser engraving machines without a software subscription fee. 

OMTech laser machines utilize Lightburn technology, resulting in the perfect blend of technology and software. With an extremely capable machine like our OMTech Polar Desktop Laser Engraver operating under Lightburn software, there are virtually no limits to what you can create! 

Wood cutting with laser cutting machines

Remember: the best way to understand and get familiar with Lightburn is to use it. So, start experimenting with the laser cutting machine software and our laser machines today, and watch as your designs come to life!