Tried a new laser software, I like it


I purchased a cheap 2.5w diode laser because the makerspace is an hour+ from my house and it will do 90% of what I do with a laser.

The software it came with was not great, very limited and buggy, one of the scan modes even had gaps in the image.

I got in the Facebook groups and started looking for better software. I went through 3 other pieces of software, all very limited, and didn’t support many file types and weren’t able to do the basic things I wanted then to do. RDworks is only compatible with lasers using ruida controllers, most of these cheap Chinese lasers use an arduino running GRBL.

That’s when someone finally suggested LightBurn. The difference is night and day and it rivals RDworks. The Ui is much better and much more intuitive, the first and really only thing I noticed in my limited use of the software is that it’s missing the “reverse interval offset”. It seems their goal is to make a better RDworks, and I read the reverse interval offset is supposed to be added in the next update.

I believe someone has already looked into LightBurn for the makerspace and there was something missing,but I think we should keep an eye on this software for use at the makerspace.


Thanks for the great share.
Kudos to you for making it work so well.

May it bring you great joy. Joy that overspills and makes you want to visit us more at the Space.


Once little guy gets older I’ll be able to get away with frequent makerspace visits.


Probably have sibling or two by then.


I hear there’s a link between fertility and building CNC machines at home.


It is in the other thread too with @mattarmstrong.


I’m pretty sure I read it in an article somewhere.


I hear the developers are fairly responsive, too. :wink:


I guess the obvious question is whether it works with the Thunder Laser?
I don’t see anything on the web site specifically stating that it does.

Does the Thunder have one of these controllers?
•Ruida RDC6442G/S, RDC63344, LightObject R5-DSP
•Smoothieboard (including Cohesion3D Mini and Remix)
•GRBL and GRBL-LPC (Including Gerbil, X-Controller, and others)

It appears Thunder and Ruida have some kind of business relationship.
The Thunder Laser manual says that the controller is the DF212.
And I quote “Thunder Laser Controller will make your work easy and relax.”


Yes the thunders have ruida controllers.


There’s a strong chance that the controller is just a re-branded Ruida, as they do a lot of that. If the software doesn’t immediately connect with the laser, we have a simple way to recover the communication key and device profile from a UDisk file (RD file).

From the laser, set up a simple cut or engrave job with a small circle or square, then use “Save UDisk file” to save a file for the machine. Email that file to developer at and we’ll update the software to include the new device profile. (This is all assuming that it is a Ruida device)



Ok, that’s all good, but before everyone gets too excited, this software was released (in beta) 2 and a half weeks ago…

There’s also a question about licensing. One big benefit of RDWorks is that you can download and install it on a personal computer for free, work on your design at home, and then come in and cut immediately.

Would that be possible with LightBurn? Do you need a license to use it without a laser cutter, or just to interface with a laser at print time/


A normal LightBurn license comes with two seats - you can install and use it on two machines. For maker-spaces, we are offering bulk discounts, so the space buys a license for their laser, and users can get them for $20 for personal or off-site use. We would need to have proof of membership from the space to offer the discount, or the space could bulk-buy the licenses. Have them contact us to set it up.

And yes, the software is only 8 months old. Come have a look at our FB support page to get an idea of the update rate, and compare that with how often you get responses from Ruida.



I need to buy some extrusions so I can cut larger flitetest models. This one barely fits.


@pinewoodnut tested the software on our Thunder Lasers.

@LightBurn He prob has detailed feedback for you. David’s a diligent tester.


We welcome and encourage any feedback.


@LightBurn I am happy and grateful you joined us on this forum. Our four lasers (one Epilog Zing, 3 ThunderLaser Novas) get a lot of use from a great variety of members for so many different projects.

laser cam 20180202


We have a FB support group, and are hoping to transition to a proper forum soon, but I like to have a presence in other places if possible - We really do value feedback, as it helps us set new feature priorities and understand more about how people use their hardware and how we might make that easier. (that sounds like marketing speak, but it’s true).


The ability to import .SVG files and have more advanced editing ability is huge for me. Yours works great.

Rdworks has butchered too many files for me to count