Cut Settings Window
The cut settings window in LightBurn is presented when you double-click an entry in the Cuts / Layers window, or in the Material Library list.
The window you see may look different than this one, as it will vary based on which laser controller you have, the type of cut you have selected, and whether or not you are in 'Beginner Mode'.
There are four different 'modes' in LightBurn that choose how the laser will render your design:
- Line mode - traces along the outlines
- Fill mode - fills the design with parallel lines
- Fill + Line mode - does a fill, followed by an outline
- Offset Fill mode - fills the design with lines that follow the original shape
- Image mode - Works similar to fill, but with specific settings for images
Where 'Line mode' traces along the vector lines in your design exactly as they appear, 'Fill mode' behaves differently - it scans back and forth with the laser, turning off and on, filling the interior of the shape with straight lines, much like you would do if you were trying to fill an area with a pen. Given a simple hexagon, 'Line mode' is on the left, and 'Fill mode' is on the right:
Here is an example of what the cut settings window looks like for a 'Line' layer:
In all variations of this window, the most basic settings are displayed at the top of the window (speed, power, output toggle, air assist, and mode). The lesser used, more specialized options follow below, and are split into two panes - Common and Advanced.
We'll go through the different settings used in each mode, and explain their use.
Shared / Basic Settings
All layers have a few settings that are the same, regardless of the type of layer.
Speed: how fast the laser will (ideally) move when tracing your design. Depending on your laser, its firmware settings and limits, and the design, it may or may not actually achieve the speed you request.
The next two require a small amount of explanation:
Max Power: The power level to run the laser at
Min Power: The power value used for corners, or when moving at low speed (DSP only)
Note: On GCode based systems, you only get "Max Power" - the power the laser will use when running at the chosen speed. On DSP systems, you have the additional 'Min Power' setting, which is used when traveling at low speed, or when cornering.
If you are cutting at a low overall speed (for example, 10 to 20 mm/sec on a CO2 machine) the laser might only ever use the 'Min Power' setting, so it is recommended when cutting at very slow speeds to set these both the same. If you are doing 'surface marking' you ideally want Min Power to be just above the firing threshold of the laser, so corners still produce a burn, but without scorching.
For the settings specific to each of the different modes, click a link below: