Lightburn Material Test File Card

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:

New Style 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.




New Style Test Cards:

      Thunder Laser USA has expanded on the test card offerings for those that do not want to use the built in Lightburn Material Test generator. The expanded set of test cards will offer more options for the user to choose from based on the user's selected material. Each machine series will have its specific cards due to the differences between the series. Downloads are down below and additional information is offered for each series below as well. Due to the flexibility of the new style test cards, the files will appear to be more complex but in reality, they are still easy to use. Just pick the test group that you want to run and run it. You can run smaller test cards to save material or run some of the larger cards to get a wide range of information, the choice is yours.

Flat Material Cuts:

      Nova Series

      The Nova series cut files will actually use a Fill Layer for some of the 10mms and below speeds. This is because of the way the Min Layer and Power scaling us utilized for a regular Line Layer. As you can see in the preview shot, it will look like a Line Layer Cut more than a Fill Layer Engrave so do not be alarmed. There are 3 levels of cut files available, for thin, medium and thick type materials. Each file contains 10 small cut cards for specific power levels and 2 larger cut cards that will give a range of power and speed to choose from. Shown below is a sample of the Large Cut Card with the wide range of speed and power.

Sample Cut Card
Preview




      Odin Series

The Odin series cut files will actually use a Fill Layer for some of the 10mms and below speeds. This is because of the way the Min Layer and Power scaling us utilized for a regular Line Layer. As you can see in the preview shot, it will look like a Line Layer Cut more than a Fill Layer Engrave so do not be alarmed. There are 3 levels of cut files available, for thin, medium and thick type materials. Each file contains 10 small cut cards for specific power levels and 2 larger cut cards that will give a range of power and speed to choose from. Shown below is a sample of the small Cut Cards.


Sample Cut Card
Preview




      Bolt Series

The Bolt series cut files use line layers to do the test cutting. The Bolt does not utilize Min Power rules for corners, so the power scaling function is functional and not overridden. You should use the Bolt Specific Test cards only on the Bolt.  Each file contains 10 small cut cards for specific power levels and 2 larger cut cards that will give a range of power and speed to choose from. Shown below is a sample of the small Cut Cards.

Sample Cut Card
Preview




Flat Material Engraves:

      The engraving files for the 3 series of machines are very similar. The main difference will be that the ODIN is capable of 2000mms, which is faster than the other series. The engraving cards were set up to be in small sections, with varying power levels and ranges. You can pick which card based on what you are wanting to do. Like if you want a very light engrave on Leatherette, maybe choose the card that ranges from 3 to 30pct on a Nova so that you do not burn right through the material if you had chosen a card that went to 100% power and 100mms speed. Those power levels are more suited for deep and dark engraves on woods and maybe some repeated passes on hard surfaces to get depth.

     

Nova Series


Sample Engrave Cards
Preview




      Odin Series


Sample Engrave Cards
Preview




      Bolt Series


Sample Engrave Cards
Preview




Rotary Engraves:

For rotary engraves, the values for speed and power were selected for what would most likely work on the range of tumbler coatings out there. The file is set up to engrave in a continuous direction when using the default "Optimization Settings" in Lightburn. Be sure to preview and rewind the job so that you can confirm that the engrave looks correct.

      All Machine Series


Sample Engrave Cards
Preview




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
Preview



Lightburn Material Test Engrave Example

Basic Settings
Preview


File Download Links:


New Style Files:
Separate cut and engrave files

Type
File Link
Nova Series Cut
Nova Series Engrave
Nova Series Engrave Rotary
Bolt Series Cut
Thin, Medium, Thick
Bolt Series Engrave
Bolt Series Engrave Rotary
Odin Series Cut
Odin Series Engrave
Odin Series Engrave Rotary



Lightburn Material Test

Import these Preset files into the Lightburn Material Test Generator.

Type
File Link
Cuts Example
Engrave Example






















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