2D CAD program to work with Lightburn

Can anybody recommend a 2d cad program for designing cut profiles? I find LightBurn to be a bit limited and rather tortuous. I would like to design a profile and then input it to LightBurn for laser printing.

Free NanoCAD is a AutoCAD clone that is a few versions back. You don’t have to sign up for anything, and the only thing missing (for me) is drawing a circle tangent to 3 entities. Other than that, it is pretty good. Export DXF from it and import into Lightburn.


Have you done any searches using the terms you’ve provided? If so, what have you found objectionable with the programs that have appeared in your searches? If not, why not?

What do you find limiting and tortuous about LightBurn? Specifics regarding your discomfort with the program would enable answers to be more useful to you, rather than a blanket list of CAD type software.

Many CAD packages today will work fine in 2D and include 3D capability.

Do you require that the program be free? Will you be using the program on a Windows machine, a Linux computer or a Mac system?

Hi Fred
Thanks for your response. As an example if I wish to draw a horizontal line say 20mm long, I need to draw a line on the grid as best I can to horizontal and as close to 20mm as I can by following the grid line. I then need to input the precise length in the dimension box at the top of the screen. It would be nice if I could see the length and angle on the fly! Please excuse my ignorance if I am missing something. I’m pretty new to Lightburn.
Peter Smith

Another decent free 2D program is Solid Edge 2D. You have to give them some personal information to download it, but it is pretty powerful and parametric if you want. It definitely allows you to sketch lines with length and angle. I used to use it a lot about 10 years ago. Easy 2D CAD program to use if you don’t know the AutoCAD clone command line.


Hi Ralph
Thanks for your response. Unfortunately the program you suggest doesn’t work with Mac.

I have a MacBook Pro computer

If you are using Mac and don’t mind paying for a subscription, checkout Draftsight. The professional version has some nice features that the standard version doesn’t, and it runs on Mac

This is how Draftsight allows you to enter a length and an angle

I use CAMBAM quite a bit, it has a reduced drawing feature set as standard, but has a very active and responsive community that have written an extensive set of plugins to add a whole host of features and tools for drawing.
It is intended for outputting Gcode toolpaths for CNC machining, and for that you have to pay for a cheap license, but if you are just using the drawing and DXF output functionality it is free.

Alternatively , you can output DXF from ONshape, which you can still get a free account for, albeit all your files have to be opensourced.

Hover over most everything in LightBurn for a Tool-Tip, and hit F1 for more ‘Help’ in our documentation.

image - Creation Tools - LightBurn Software Documentation

Holding the Shift key while drawing a line will lock movement in horizontal, vertical or 45º increments.

Yes, you can enter the exact measurement(s) for a shape this way, but you can also rely on snapping and cursor placement to ensure your resulting drawing is what you are after. Look to the lower-left of the main LightBurn window where we report detailed information about the current task, in real-time.

Is this what you are wanting to view? :slight_smile:

Hi Rick
Thanks a lot for your response. This understanding makes me more confident in using LightBurn to create profiles rather than resort to another program with entailed learning curves, incompatibilities, etc. The only thing you mention in your reply that I am still a bit hazy about is when you say “hit F1”. I don’t have an F1 key on my MacBook Pro!

Somewhere you do, I am sure of it. Here is where I find mine… :wink:

Google returned a lot of info, but this should help you find your F1 key. :wink:

And the image I show is from the OS included ‘Keyboard Viewer’. You have a version as well.

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