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How to use Lightburn

  1. Add the laser to the software

The software cannot control every laser, but can communicate with many different types of laser controllers, all of which use different communication methods and have different functions and settings.

This step tells you what you have.

If you configure your device from no software, it will automatically bring you here when you run the software. It's important to choose something because the interface in the software changes depending on the capabilities of the laser you choose.

If you have done this before but want to change the laser or add a new laser, click the Devices button in the Laser Window to display the list of devices.

The software can also be configured to control multiple lasers, and settings are stored for each device. If you don't select either, we have nowhere to put these settings, and many features in the software won't work until they're set.

Device page:

You will see a list of all laser devices in "Device" page of the software that have been added to the software, or an empty list on first launch.

The easiest way is to click Find My Laser and let the software try to figure out what you have. If that doesn't work, either your laser is ethernet connected, or you have a Marlin device, you need to use "Manual Create".

  1. Find My Laser

Make sure your laser is powered on, connected to the computer via a USB cable, and has completed any boot sequence it needs (such as homing). When the laser is ready, click Next.

After a brief scan, the software will list the devices it is able to recognize:

Is your laser a GCode or DSP device? What if you can't find it?

GCode equipment:

If you have a GCode controller, you will be asked if your computer is an X-Carve or Shapeoko, as some specific settings need to be configured for these computers. If you have one, click the appropriate button, if not, click Other. You may be asked where your computer came from and if you want to go home when it starts up. Almost all GCode systems use the front left as the origin.

If your machine has a homing or limit switch, enable homing at startup, otherwise turn it off. If you see "Error: 9" in the console later, you have this feature enabled, but the computer is not configured to be homeable.

For some GCode devices, additional configuration of the software or controller may be required.

DSP equipment:

If you have a DSP controller, the next screen will ask you the country of origin of the machine. This is the corner to go through to find the home switch when the machine is turned on. Click the home corner. If you get it wrong, things can go backwards or upside down, but don't worry, you can easily change it later.

After adding the laser, click OK on the Devices page to exit.

What if I can't find my laser?

If the software cannot find your laser, it may be due to several reasons:

Missing driver - if your laser came with its own software, please install it. Even if you don't plan to use it, sometimes they contain necessary drivers that the software doesn't come with.

Can't connect - only one app can talk to your laser at a time. If you run other software such as RDWorks, Easel, Carbide Create, AutoLaser, LaserCAD, etc., make sure that software is not running.

Networked Devices - LightBurn cannot automatically configure networked lasers. To do this, you have to click on 'Create manually' and follow the steps.

Marlin Controllers - If you're using Marlin controllers, they have a variety of baud rates and configuration options, and they take much longer to reset than most other controllers, so they are automatically searched for and Not realistic - click "Manual Create" and follow the steps.

  1. Manually add laser

If the software cannot add the laser automatically because it is not connected to a computer or is connected via a network, you can click Manually Create on the Devices page.

Equipment type:

The software will open the "New Device Wizard" and you will first see a list of controllers supported by your version of LightBurn:

Select the entry that matches the type of controller or firmware in your laser and click Next.