Legacy Lightburn Material Test File

Legacy Lightburn Material Test File

Preface: The article covers some pre-made material test cards and the built in Lightburn Material Test Generator for CO2 lasers like the Thunder Laser Bolt, ODIN and Nova machines

Quick Start Videos:

Legacy Material Test Cards

Lightburn Material Test

Video from Lightburn on how to use the built in Material Test Generator.

Click here to go to the File Downloads Section.

Complete Guide

      A test card is a good way to determine what cu or engrave settings you can use to get the desired result for your specific machine and material. Each series of machine will have different cutting and engraving abilities, so there is not a true "One Size Fits All" Material Test File. The tube wattage can vary from 30w to 130w which is over a 3x span from low to high. Also, materials can vary greatly from thin films all the ay up to thick wood boards. Also keep in mind that these are sample tests on small portions of material, as you start cutting larger items with material variation you may need to adjust your speed\power and as your DC Co2 ages, optics get dirty\fouled you may have to adjust your settings.

      The premade cards use the Power scale function that is built into Lightburn. The settings are controlled by the fill layer properties and the Shape Properties for each shape.  More information can be found in this reference video.

Legacy Test Cards:

      The Legacy Test cards were a simple One Sizes Fits most solution that was more geared towards robust materials from about 1/8th of an inch to half an inch for a Nova Series laser machine.  If the user was wanting to test on thin materials like EVA foam or Mylar films, the test card was not to useful. Also if the user only wanted to test Engrave or Test Cut, the file was not set up to isolate Cuts and Engraves.  You can certainly still use the Legacy Test cards, they still work and their simplicity makes them simple to use.

Cut and Engraves

Example Cut and Engrave File
Lightburn Preview

Note that for Cut Layers at 10mms or slower, individual layers are set up and configured due to how power scaling and min power work at travel speeds of 10mms and slower

Rotary Engrave

      Set up for a rotary (chuck or roller) that engraves in a single direction with powers and speeds that are in the normal range for Tumblers.

Example Rotary File
Lightburn Preview
(Note the shades of Gray indicating the Laser Power)

How to Use a Material Test Card:

1. Download the card you want to use for the machine you plan to run from the File Download Links section of this article
2. Open the File with Lightburn. Do not import into Lightburn. Open as project
3. Check your settings. We suggest using "Cut Selected Graphics", "Use Selection Origin" and a "Start From" that is set to User Origin.
4. Select the card that you want to run. Ungroup it and set the Material Name
5. Select the card that you want to run, and then use the SEND button to send the job to the machine
6. Run the job. (If the card does not cut out completely, go back to Lightburn, select only the Cut Border and Hole for the card, resend and run)
7. Evaluate the results. Which sections cut out or which sections give you the engrave look you need. Use that speed\power\LPI for your projects.

Lightburn Material Test Card Reference:

      For more information about the Lightburn Material Test Generator please see the Lightburn Documentation here.

Lightburn Material Test Cut Example

Basic Settings

Lightburn Material Test Engrave Example

Basic Settings

File Download Links:

Legacy Type files:

File Link
Nova Series Cut and Engrave
Nova Series Rotary Engrave
Bolt Series Cut and Engrave
Bolt Series Rotary Engrave
Odin Series Cut and Engrave
Odin Series Rotary Engrave

Lightburn Material Test

Import these Preset files into the Lightburn Material Test Generator.

File Link
Cuts Example
Engrave Example

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