Can I Use Lightburn Bridge with USB?

I’m thinking about buying a laser engraver and am trying to do my due diligence beforehand.

My shed gets terrible WiFi reception, but I do have internet access out there thanks to the miracle of “Ethernet Over Powerline”. So I have Ethernet, but not reliable Wi-Fi.

So if I connect the Lightburn Bridge to the network, it has to be via Ethernet. Unfortunately it looks like it wants to use the Pi’s Ethernet port to connect to the engraver.

Is there any way of connecting the bridge to the engraver via USB and using the Ethernet port to connect to my network?

The Lightburn bridge is specifically for a Ruida controller. It has a layer of software specifically designed for that controller and doesn’t support usb in the stock configuration.

Some users have had success with Ethernet to USB converters, but I have slim knowledge about the workings.

Why do you wish USB over Ethernet?

I have a China Blue 50W co2, I connect via the bridge, but I did have it wired to my switch. Ethernet is much more dependable and eliminates problems with drivers…

It would help if you clued us into what type of laser… led, fiber, co2 or?

Good luck


This is not going to be plug-n-play. What are you doing with the Raspberry Pi (I have several of them)? It would have to run in a pass-thru mode. Ethernet on the ethernet port and USB to the engraver. I know of no one that has written Ethernet-to-USB software.
AND… I just read a 20 page diatribe saying unattended lasers are a <really bad> idea. If you take your PC/Laptop to the shed, you do not need internet, right? Lasers burn stuff. That is how they work.

This won’t work?


So reading this topic I already realize I have a boatload more to learn. I’ve been having fun with 3D printing and want to move on to cutting acrylic, wood, and being able to engrave stuff. I don’t own an engraver yet. So here’s some info:

1.) This is the engraver I’m thinking about buying:

2.) This is how I get internet to my shed, because it has terrible WiFi:

3.) I didn’t think about it, but I suppose I could try a USB to Ethernet adapter on the Pi.

I have a Pi 4 sitting around collecting dust, so I’d rather use that than buy another computer if possible.

one way you could do it is to get a router in the shed at the end of the ethernet. just a thought?

The led laser is a grbl machine, so the Lightburn bridge isn’t going to help you there… it’s for the Ruida controllers on larger machines.

If the connection isn’t stable you will lose connection to the device and lose your project.

Most grbl machines ‘stream’ the data to the machine, whereas the dsp machines (like the Ruida) store the complete ‘program’ or code on the device before it executes.

Many of these led machines have the option of using an SD card and running it stand alone… it’s still streaming the data off the sd card.

If you get half the data or 99% of it to the machine and the connection fails, the machine stops. You will have no idea where the grbl machine left off. It’s more difficult if not impossible to restart it after a failed communications problem.

There is a ‘mesh net’ that expands the coverage of your wifi. There are also wifi extender… looked at these options?

@MikeyH is correct, you need to be present when it’s operating. Lightburn doesn’t support ‘remote’ use because of the many dangers of it operating without supervision.

I have a larger Chinese co2, but I keep a co2 extinguisher right next to the machine…


Got it… Thanks for answering my (in retrospect) extremely dumb question. What I’ve learned it:

1.) This is not like my 3D printer where I start it and then walk away. I need to babysit it.

2.) I should add a fire extinguisher to my budget.

3.) If I don’t want to carry my laptop back and forth I need to add a small computer to my budget as well. Looks like I can get a mini pc off Amazon for a hundred bucks or so.

Thanks for all your help! :slight_smile:

I use a co2 type extinguisher because there is no damage to the machine or it’s electronics like what is caused powder types. They are much more expensive. I paid about $120 US for a 5lb co2 type.

I thought I saw some down around 1.5lb which is much lower cost… It also won’t cover your entire work room with powder…

The decision is yours :thinking: … take care and good luck

When you figure out how to combine the 3d printer with the abilities of your laser you’ll really be stoked… then add a little cnc for making pcb and such… :face_with_spiral_eyes:

The sum of the parts (3d printer + laser + cnc mill) is greater than the parts alone… I have a few cnc3018’s relatively low cost.

Here is a flow meter housing that is 3d printed and the ‘top’ was exported to a dxf file where I cut the lid out of acrylic… The led laser won’t cut clear acrylic, but the same idea applies…


Very cool stuff! Great tip on the C02 extinguisher. I didn’t even think about that. :slight_smile: Also a CNC machine is on my wishlist for someday. I’ll need a bigger shed though. lol!

I never even thought about combining parts from the different machines. I will say that my enjoyment of the 3D printer sky rocketed after I taught myself the basics of Fusion 360.

So you’re saying the machine I have picked out won’t cut acrylic? I don’t mean to completely derail this thread, but what type of laser should I be looking at for that?

Ah, I looked at the Amazon Q&A for this laser and it looks like it can’t cut through clear acrylic (colored works though). That makes sense.

When thinking of a laser, the beam frequency or wavelength determines what types of material that can be damaged by that laser.

Co2 run in the ir range of the electro magnetic field (emf), natural material along with acrylic and glass absorb (or block) the emf field of the laser, that excites molecules and causes what we call heating. No different than sunlight, an emf field that you skin blocks causing heating… Sunlight is not ‘warm’ so to speak as a laser beam is not ‘hot’…

Glass and acrylic will allow visible light, like the led laser to pass through it so you can’t damage the material directly.

In many ways a 3d printer and a laser are similar, much in the same way a cnc milling machine is like them. Both are ‘machining’ operations, 3d is additive machining and a cnc or laser is subtractive machining.

It’s more than a steep learning curve but the bennifits are well worth it…

Take care – Good luck


Wow! That makes sense. Thank you so much for your help.

It’s going to be a couple more months of saving before I can get everything I need, but at least I have a better idea of what I’m getting into now. I really appreciate your kindness and taking the time to point me in the right direction. :slight_smile:

No perspiration…

Take care + have fun


I have read that chromebooks do not work. So check it out if that is the way you were heading. I personally am looking for a decent windows tablet.

I would think anything that runs under windows would work on a chromebook, but I am far from a windows fan.

Drop Lightburn on one and see if it runs…

Where did you read this? It would be a ‘good to know’…


I would be surprised if it ran on a Chromebook. My understanding is that those pretty much just run web apps.

I was looking at something like this:

I stand corrected. Looks like you can run Linux apps on a Chromebook. So as long as it’s got x86 architecture instead of ARM it should, hypothetically, work.

I need to do some research. :slight_smile:

I think it’s an arm architecture… :sob:


Not necessarily. This one has a Celeron, which is a low end x86 processor.

It looks like you’d need to install Ubuntu via Crouton, then install the Linux distribution of Lightburn.

I haven’t tried it, but I think when I pull the trigger I’ll try to see if I can make it work. If I can, I’ll make a video about it and share the procedure. I’m willing to take a $65 gamble. :slight_smile: