Can I export frame button output directly to GCode?

The short version is that I’d like to be able to press either of the Frame buttons in the Laser pane in the LightBurn window and export the GCode for the resulting output to a file.

Long version: I use LightBurn on a Mac system for doing my design work, then save the GCode. I use a Pi to control my Shapeoko CNC. After I’ve save the GCode from LightBurn, I use UGS on the Pi to load the GCode and do the etching work.

One of the things I lose with this method is the Frame buttons on the Laser pane in LightBurn. Those can be real handy when positioning irregularly shaped wood for a project. Since a USB cable from the workstation is a problem, controlling the CNC from my Mac is not practical. I’d like, however, to find a way to use this feature by exporting code and loading it into UGS.

Is there any way to export the results of the frame button in GCode?

I can think of 2 potential ways to accomplish this:
Option 1 - I haven’t tried this but I think it should work.

  1. Enable “Show All” in Console.
  2. Push Frame
  3. Capture frame gcode in Console

Option 2

  1. Instead of relying on the frame button create actual shapes in LightBurn that represent the frame and encompass your design
  2. Put the shapes on a special layer that mimic frame-like power and speed settings
  3. Use a rectangle to mimic the rectangular frame and use Arrange->Create rubberband outline from selection to mimic the rubberband frame
  4. select frame shape and save gcode

This seems like the easiest way - but will it still send GCode if there is no laser connected to the computer? (I just realized that would be an issue!)

That would also let me taylor the outline shape I’m making so if I’m working with an irregular shape like this:
That way if I want to take advantage of the added height in the middle, the outline will show me how the shape fits into the material.

Is there an easy way to make the CNC repeat the shape until I hit “Stop?”

Good point. It didn’t occur to me you’d be completely off-line with the laser. And you’re right, a device would need to be connected. So don’t know if you have another laser nearby that could be connected.

Precisely. I use this technique if I have a very peculiar shape that I need really tight alignment on.

I can’t think of an easy proper way to do this. An easy hack would be to just set the number of passes to a high number so that you’ll never practically run out.

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