LightBurn is a software used to control laser engravers, cutters, and markers. It offers a camera feature that allows users to easily align and preview their designs on the work material. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to set up and use the LightBurn camera:
Acquire a compatible camera: Purchase a LightBurn compatible camera, preferably one with a wide field of view and high resolution. The LightBurn website offers a list of compatible cameras.
Mount the camera: Mount the camera to your laser machine, aiming it towards the work area. Ensure the camera has a clear view of the entire work area without any obstructions. Most people mount the camera on the inside of the lid or on the gantry.
Install camera drivers: If your camera requires specific drivers, install them on your computer before connecting the camera.
Connect the camera to your computer: Plug the camera into a USB port on your computer. If your camera requires an external power source, ensure it is connected.
Launch LightBurn: Open the LightBurn software on your computer.
Camera setup: In LightBurn, go to the "Window" menu and select "Camera Control" to open the camera control window. In this window, click the "Update Overlay" button. This will allow you to choose your camera from the list.
If your camera isn't listed, you might need to restart the software or ensure the drivers are correctly installed.
Calibrate the camera lens: To accurately map your camera's view to the workspace, you'll need to calibrate the lens. In LightBurn, go to the "Tools" menu, select "Calibrate Camera Lens," and follow the instructions.
You'll need to print the calibration pattern provided by LightBurn and place it in different positions on the work area while capturing images. The software will then calculate the necessary corrections.
Align the camera: After calibrating the lens, you'll need to align the camera with the work area. In LightBurn, go to the "Tools" menu, select "Align Camera to Laser," and follow the instructions.
This process involves cutting or engraving the alignment markers on a piece of material and then capturing images with the camera. LightBurn will use these images to calculate the precise alignment.
Using the camera overlay: Once the camera is calibrated and aligned, you'll see a live preview of your work area in the camera control window. You can now use the "Update Overlay" button to refresh the view, which will overlay your design onto the camera's view.
Move and resize your design on the work area, and it will be accurately positioned on your material. This feature is helpful for aligning designs on pre-existing cuts or engraving on irregularly-shaped objects.
Remember that lighting conditions can affect the camera's performance. Ensure your work area is well-lit and free of shadows or glare for the best results.