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Material Test

About the Material Test Generator

LightBurn has a built-in test pattern generator to help you find the best settings for your laser and any material you're working with. To open the Material Test Generator, go to the Laser Tools menu and select Material Test.

Video guide to using the Material Test Generator

Material Test Example

Material test sample

A material test showing different speeds and powers on black anodized aluminum

On the left side, each row is labeled with the engraving speed. Along the bottom, columns are labeled with the power level used. At the top, the sample shows additional universal settings — in this case, Interval, Passes, and Frequency — that are used for each box in the grid.

Using The Material Test Generator

Material Test Dialog

The Material Test dialog as it appears for a DSP laser

After opening the Material Test Generator, you'll be able to configure your test pattern. By default, the Material Test Generator will create a 10x10 grid of boxes with varying Power and Speed. Use the Param dropdown to select different parameters to test.


The output location of the test grid is determined by the Start From mode you select before opening the Material Test Generator. Current Position and User Origin work exactly as they do for all other output, while Absolute Coords location is controlled by the X/Y Center options in the Material Test configuration.

Test Configuration

Use the settings below to configure your test grid. The parameters tested can be Power, Speed, Interval, or Passes. Frequency and Q-Pulse width can also be tested, if your laser supports those settings.

Test Grid Settings Explanation
Count How many rectangles are in each row/column
Param The setting being tested along this axis
Min The lowest value to be used for this setting
Max The highest value to be used for this setting
Height/Width The height/width of each rectangle in the test grid
Y Center/X Center The position of the center of the test grid (if using Absolute Coords)

Cut Settings

The three buttons at the bottom of the dialog box open the Cut Settings Editor, where you can adjust the settings to use in your test. There are two switches to enable or disable the text labels and border.

Button Explanation
Edit Material Setting Base settings for the test — the two settings chosen in Param will be varied in the grid, but all other settings applied here will apply to every test box
Edit Text Setting Settings to use for the text labels
Enable Text This switch controls whether text labels are output
Edit Border Setting Settings to use for the border around the test grid — available in LightBurn 1.5 and higher
Enable Border This switch controls whether the border around the test grid is output

Running the Test

The buttons on the right side allow you to Preview the test grid, Frame to check output location, run the laser, and more.

Laser Controls Explanation
Preview Generate a preview of the test grid
Frame Frame the test grid to see its position on the material
Start Start running the material test
Pause Pause the material test
Stop Stop running the material test
Save RD File/Save GCode Device-dependent — if available, saves the test grid in RD or GCode format

Saving and Exporting

At the top are buttons allowing you to save, delete, export, and import presets. There is also a dropdown allowing you to select a saved preset. This is useful if you have custom settings you like to run frequently, such as a smaller test pattern you want to use on metal tags, or a range of settings you want to test on various woods.

To locate the presets saved on your computer, go to File → Open Prefs Folder. You'll find the material_test_presets.lbmt file inside the presets folder.