After initial setup, you can access device settings under the Edit > Device Settings menu. Click on the images to expand to full size.
This is the working size of your laser bed. Set this to the maximum X and Y travel for your laser. Note that this setting on GRBL & DSP devices does not affect the laser itself, it's just to tell LightBurn how large the work area of the laser is.
The Device Origin controls the orientation of what gets sent to your laser. If it is set incorrectly, your job will be flipped, mirrored, reversed, inverted, upside down, or reflected when comparing the workspace in LightBurn to the real-life cut/engrave.
The Device Origin is also known as the 'origin corner', 'home', or '0,0 location' for your laser.
For GCode controllers (GRBL, Smoothieware, etc) the Origin is almost always front-left (regardless of the location of your limit switches), but in rare cases may not be.
For DSP controllers, (Ruida / Trocen / TopWisdom / etc) the Origin setting for the device should match the corner that your laser homes to when first powered.
If your laser output is mirrored horizontally or vertically when compared to the view in LightBurn, move the Device Origin to the opposite corner to correct it.
If your laser has a red-dot pointer that is not aligned with your beam, you can enable the Laser Offset value to compensate for this when framing and positioning. Adjust the offset value to shift the position of the laser's output relative to the red dot.
As a simple way of adjusting this value:
- Mark a location on a piece of material to use as a reference.
- Make sure Start From in the laser window is set to Current Position, and line up the red dot with the location you marked.
- Burn a small dot or intersecting lines at this location. Make sure you have an easily identified point at the job origin. You may need to change the Job Origin setting in the Laser Window.
- Measure the distance between the reference point you originally marked and the actual point you marked to determine what offset you need, and enter those values for the Laser Offset.
- Check that your adjustment is correct by repeating the process.
Z Axis Controls¶
Enable Z Axis: turn this on to allow LightBurn to control the Z axis of your machine, IE the height of the laser above the workpiece.
Enabling Z control means that LightBurn will always emit Z values for a running job, and therefore requires that you set either the "Relative Z moves only" toggle below, or a material height value on the main cut panel. If you do not set relative mode, and do not set a material height, the default of 0 may cause LightBurn to raise your bed to a point where the workpiece could contact the head of your laser.
Reverse Z Direction¶
Most DSP systems have "0" as the highest point, with positive numbers moving the laser head further from the bed, however some systems reverse this. Toggle this switch to change the overall direction for Z moves.
Relative Z moves only¶
This setting tells LightBurn to read the height of the machine when the job starts, and uses that height as the starting point for all Z moves, ignoring any specified material height. This is the simplest way to work, as you just set your focus manually, and LightBurn will perform all moves relative to whatever height your machine is at when the job starts. Note: for DSP systems this requires that you are connected to the machine.
Optimize Z Moves¶
By default, LightBurn will always retract the Z back to the initial height (the material height) after completing a shape with a Z offset. This is done for safety. Enabling 'Optimize Z Moves' will prevent this constant retract / plunge behavior, only issuing Z moves when the Z changes. If you know your material is flat, and none of the Z moves will position the laser low enough to run into anything on your work table, this can save a lot of time.
Scanning Offset Adjustment¶
Scanning offset is useful when doing raster or vector scanning at high enough speeds that delays in your power supply cause the firing point to be a little behind where it should be. See the help for Scanning Offset Adjustment here.
Export buttons allow you to create, edit, and manually import & export your scanning adjustments with user users, or explicitly make a backup before making changes.
Note that this section will appear differently depending on the type of controller you have, and not all settings will appear for all controllers.
Fast Whitespace Scan¶
When engraving an image, LightBurn normally moves at the same speed across the entire image. If you are engraving slowly to get a good burn, but the image contains a lot of empty space (white space), this takes a long time. With the Fast Whitespace switch enabled, LightBurn will boost the speed through blank areas to the speed you indicate, if it is faster than the current engraving speed. This can save significant time.
Since Marlin treats G0 and G1 moves identically, this value is used to specify the speed for rapid moves. If you do not set this value, LightBurn will use the same speed as the G1 moves.
Enable $J Jogging¶
On newer versions of GRBL (1.1 and later) $J is a custom jogging mode that has several benefits over normal jogging, which just sends simple G0 or G1 moves. The new jog format does not affect the GCode parser state, and if soft limits are enabled, any jog command that would go out of bounds is simply ignored, without trigging an error or alarm.
This setting also allows cancelling a jog move, which LightBurn uses for Continuous Jog - You press and hold a move arrow to begin jogging in a direction, then release the button to stop (cancel) the jog move. Continuous Jogging is enabled in the Move Window. The switch to enable Continuous Jogging will not appear unless $J jogging is enabled.
Enable DTR signal¶
Standard serial ports have a pin (Data Terminal Ready, or DTR) that the host enables to tell modems that software is ready to receive data, and some devices require this signal to begin communication. Many programmable hobby-level controllers, like Arduino based systems, use the DTR pin to reset the controller. LightBurn usually sets this value for you, but if you find your GCode controller won't communicate, toggling this setting might help.
Use G0 moves for overscan¶
By default, all scanning moves emitted by LightBurn are G1 moves, where only the power value is varied, for consistent speed and power output. Some controllers, like FabCreator Smoothieware boards, have a non-zero power value for their minimum output, and can end up burning during the overscan portion of an engraving. Turn on this setting to use G0 moves for overscan to eliminate this.
Enable laser fire button¶
Diode lasers often don’t have a red-dot pointer like CO2 lasers do, so it is often useful to enable them at low power for focusing or framing. (Please do NOT do this if you have a CO2 laser, as the beam is invisible and this could blind you or start a fire). Turning on this setting will enable a button and a power setting on the Move Window that allows you to turn on the laser at low power for focusing and positioning.
When the 'Fire' button is enabled, you can hold the Shift key when framing to enable the beam.
Laser on when framing¶
This triggers the active laser to run when running the "Frame" operation on GCode based devices. This is useful as a test button.
This will use the laser's tube when otherwise a user may not have been expecting this behavior. Use caution when changing this setting.
Enable Out of Bounds warning¶
DSP controllers automatically check for out-of-bounds conditions, but GCode controllers do not have advance knowledge of the data being run, and therefore can't do this. Enabling this flag will tell LightBurn to warn you if a job will cause your system to travel out of bounds. Note that this requires your system to have been properly homed, reporting coordinates correctly, and with the workspace size set properly.
Return to Finish Position¶
When running jobs in 'Absolute Coords' or 'User Origin' mode, enabling this flag tells LightBurn to send the laser to the specified position after a job is run. This is a convenience to move the laser head out of the way for unloading material.
GRBL and Smoothieware use the S-Value (spindle speed setting) to control the PWM power output to the laser. This setting is the number that corresponds to 100% power in LightBurn. Smoothieware typically uses a value from 0 to 1 and supports fractional numbers in between. GRBL defaults to 0 to 1000 for newer versions of GRBL, or 0 to 255 for older ones. The S-Value Max setting in LightBurn must match your controller setting, or you'll either get not enough power output (if LightBurn's setting is lower) or very small power numbers will set your laser to full power (if LightBurn's setting is higher). The corresponding setting in GRBL is $30 for the firmware versions that support it.
Not all controllers communicate at the same rate. The default in LightBurn for GRBL controllers is 115,200 baud (bits per second), and for Marlin it's 250,000 baud. Some Marlin controllers use 115,200, and some GRBL controllers go as low as 9600. If you are having difficulty getting your controller to communicate, and you're sure the firmware is supported, contact the manufacturer to see if they can tell you the correct baud rate for the board - it might be different than the default.
Some devices (Ruida) may show an "other options" category of the Device Settings window. In this, you'll find laser 2 controls, file increment options, bounds when framing check, and more.
Increment File Name on Send¶
This option will automatically increment file names when sending jobs to your laser to make identifying separate runs easier and maintain your file history.
Tab Pulse Width¶
A configurable width of your tab pulse when using the tab setting in a layer or sub-layer.
Enable Job Checklist¶
This tickbox, and the associated
Edit button, shows the user a text box with a list of items when starting a laser job. This may be useful to remind the user of things like exhaust fans, aligning the origin of a device, and more.
Start / End Delay¶
Start Delay and End Delay allow you to configure the specific offset before the job begins cutting. On some Ruida setups, this permits the exhaust fan to start up / spin down after the job is "done cutting".
This feature is only present on Ruida controllers, and only functional on controllers with compatible wiring. Your results may vary.
The Additional Settings page contains settings used by the preview simulation engine to calculate acceleration timing, traversal speeds, and enforce speed limits when computing the time it will take to complete a job, and when simulating the job. These must currently be set manually by the user to match your controller settings, though our goal is to handle this automatically if possible.
New in V1.3: For DSP controllers only, we have a button to sync the laser's overscan settings with the preview, providing much more accurate time estimates.
This tab will only be available if you've created a Custom GCode device. Please go to Custom GCode for more info on how to use this tab.