Creating a Poll for the Reading of the LightBurn Documentation

I’ve looked around on the site here for a means to set up a poll for viewers/members.

It’s so obvious that many questions here stem, IMHO, from the lack of reading the documentation. Maybe folks don’t know it’s available online as well a PDF version.

My proposal is that a “badge” or whatever is tied to the individual wanting to ask a question. This would mean they would need to read the documentation to search for their answers themselves prior to having the ability to ask.

While this may seem harsh, at some point the forum database is going to be inundated with repeated questions and repeated answers. Then, who will pay for the extra needed space?

I’m totally onboard with their policy on not publishing their phone numbers, and honestly can see why. Leaving it to the end users to help answer is a great business plan.

I found the time to read the whole thing. Yes, I did. Plus, it truly helped me with terminolgy, etc.



Seems to me that would tag a lot of people that are asking a question that is not in the doc’s. Example, how did you get that to fit in your working area, or how did you get that tumbler to burn that way. Way to many variables.

And, if they can find the “Help” on the menu bar at the top of the screen… I will leave it at that.

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I can understand what you mean and believe that many “old” users of the forum feel in a similar way. But, it’s always a balancing act. On the one hand, LightBurn has the policy of providing the best possible service to everyone, and on the other hand, this forum is a gold mine for their development work. The LightBurn staff has expanded significantly and their presence and expertise is very present here. So all the questions that have been asked 100 times before and others no longer bother to answer, are still “processed”.
I personally feel this way, I basically try to help everyone as best I can, as long as the question is not posed provocatively or offensively. Sometimes I just post a link to “our” help pages along with the answer.
I do not (anymore) answer questions in languages other than English. I consider it rude not to translate your help request. (my original language is not English either and spending my free time translating several times back and forth, I don’t mind.) That the LightBurn people do that is perfectly fine with me, it is part of the service they have chosen to provide.

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If someone has the ability to post, they have the ability to ask, so this seems to imply J. Random Newbie must be locked out until they (say they) have RTFM.

Unfortunately, lasers are sold in the same way 3D printers were a decade ago: pushbutton appliances that magically Just Work™.

Given the myriad problems that instantly crop up, from incomprehensible (or missing) setup / use instructions to crappy USB implementations to buggy firmware to simple misunderstandings, those despairing pleas for help come from folks who have no clue what just went wrong and no idea how to formulate a question.

I have no idea what the “support” sites for the hardware look like, because all the posts here comes from folks who just installed LightBurn. Because many (most?) of the problems have nothing whatsoever to do with the LightBurn software itself, the LB doc generally doesn’t have much to say on the subject.

What would help immensely is a set of bite-size solutions:

If you have this specific laser and have this specific problem, then do this

One might expect OEMs to do that, if only from self-preservation, but it’s painfully obvious no such thing exists. @misken has a wonderful resource, but somebody with a new Ortur will bounce right off a site defined in terms of a Sculpfun, because all the nouns are either wrong or incomprehensible.

Obviously, most of the solutions will be the same across all the myriad laser varieties, because all desktop lasers are basically identical, at least in terms of their failure modes. However, being able to find a particular solution given only the laser you have is the vital part of getting there.

Maintaining that database / site / FAQ would be a full-time job for somebody with an unlimited toy budget, but the contents are ready for the sorting and organizing …

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Is it me being dam stupid, lazy, or to old for this game. I’ve been a Lightburn user for 3 plus years and have always thought how nice it was to have this forum with such helpful members. Then there was also YouTube where I learnt most of what I know now. I, until a few weeks ago, was not aware there was anything like a manual for this software. I have always asked for help and 99% of the time got the info I required from the sources mentioned. I enjoy reading other members problems and learning from the good advice they get from this forum. Now I know there is very informative documentation I will try to make more use of it. I personally believe the documentation and videos need to be made more prominent. Perhaps a note to posters when they start a thread should ask HAVE YOU READ THE FAQ. (with a link to help etc.) I for instance have only, after 3 years, found out that my laser machine has a known manufacturing fault and that Lightburn has a image improvement preset in the adjust image panel. This software is so powerful and capable of far more than most of the users appreciate, it seems only natural that members will ask for help from those who know where to find the answers before finding out their question has already been discussed in depth previously.


Please don’t shoot the messenger, but here’s a picture of my screen as I type this reply… :wink:
Maybe that’s a preferences setting for this forum, I don’t know.

I appreciate all the input!
That’s really what I intended this to do, start a dialog of sorts to vet out a better means of getting the same old recurring questions and answers.

This is my forum front page. I only get that message when I click reply. That’s to late.

Thank you Bernd,

Agreed, and further to this, the forum allows the Developers to explore what they call ‘Esoteric Workflows’. When folks are given a tool, software or otherwise, they occasionally innovate or intuitively expect a different behavior. It’s not always approached with the intended methods in mind. When things don’t work as expected we see questions and confusion - This helps the team make things smoother. Several adjustments have been made to the software over the last few years to help new users adopt it. I feel the Boolean Helper tool is likely the clearest example.

Unread or unschooled users share insights from their own perspectives - and there are many different perspectives on the Forum. We’re here for the journey and we’re here to cultivate a resource for everyone.

The odd upside is, when folks set out to Google a thing that they’re having trouble with, and if they don’t have the terminology down pat, a search-result may land here matching a new user’s first questions - because their perspectives are similar.

Many struggling users are working in a language that isn’t English with software that doesn’t align with their life experience so far. We’re not going to insist that the English grammar or spelling is top notch on the forum either. We don’t scrub the other languages, we append our best understanding and proceed to help. We’re moving to a professional translation service this quarter for the User Interface and hopefully that eliminates some of the confusion caused by Transliteration errors on our part.

LightBurn does, and LightBurn did… I believe we just re-upped to 50 Gb.

We do have canned answers and several one and done answers for several common questions - in the FAQ section. Most of these are more than a year or two old and should be revisited.

In the mean time have fun, post schematics, finished projects, innovative ideas, rookie questions, advanced math, source code, firmware hacking techniques and whatever else you feel you might want to bring. If it gets in the way of someone else’s journey please flag it and we’ll intercede as soon as we can.

Thanks as always for your constructive input, understanding and your appreciation for the space and what we’re doing here.

We couldn’t do this without you; all of you!


I believe it is most important for all users to understand that there is no way the Lightburn staff can test their creations on all the machines that use their software. We the end users are their test bed, and they rely on us to tell them of any problems we encounter. They do a fantastic job putting things right and very promptly too. What we get here for our licence money is extremely good value and I personally thank all of them for their dedication to what must be a very challenging task.


When I see something on TV that I don’t like I just change the channel.

All good unless you’re forced to scroll past a couple of hundered repeating channels to get to what you want to see. Just sayin’

Some people seem to forget that they too were once a newbie.
I can’t help but wonder if they were looked down upon by people that were doing CNC or lasers long before they got started.

I’m not here to start a pissing contest.
Just saying that people need to be more tolerant of the newbies asking questions.
They are only trying to learn.
Like I told my kids many years ago, there is no such thig as a stupid question, just stupid answers.
And with that, I’ll get down off my soapbox.


Which is not to be sniffed at!

What we need is a way to make common answers more easily found and instantly usable, so providing a quick pointer will solve the problem.

Nobody was born knowing this stuff!


Whoa! I’m not here to put down anyone. I only asked the question to stem some thoughts on a better means of disseminating answers to repeated questions. Yes, we’re all newbies in some sort of manner, myself included.

When I come here to read to gain further insight to the software and its nuances, I just keep stumbling over the same questions. Now that there’s been some input from some folks, I too suggest there’s must be a better way. That’s all I’m asking to be thought about.

In a previous career of software development, I’d put together a SharePoint with simple drill down questions. Sort of like picking up a plant identification book and picking the best likeness to the situation, answer that question which then stems another question until the answer was obtained. Very welcomed and received. It added much needed time for the developers to get the software updates out the window instead of poring through repeated questions.

Never intended this to turn into a contest.

It is completely correct and that is also why I try my best to give back what I got a few years ago.

But - it would be nice, if everyone with a question/problem could at least operate their own machines and familiarize themselves with LightBurn’s basic functions. If the search function is then used before asking for help, there will not be as many similar and already answered questions.

I know of only one other forum that is as tolerant as LightBurn. The tone is mostly still pleasant and friendly and is only broken once in a while by unreasonable and rude new users who think they have bought all LightBurn assets with their license. But these few are always handled by the LightBurn people themselves, in a manner that I can only admire.


While I do very often see questions asked that a simple Google search would answer (and I’ll admit, this bugs me a bit) in many cases users are asking questions they’re not even sure are the right question - they’re not sure what terms to use, which resources are accurate, etc.

It’s frustrating occasionally when we answer the same things over and over, but that’s also a useful cue to us that maybe the information should be presented better, more accessible, or in some way made more obvious for new users, so there’s value in this repetition for us, and we try not to see it as a burden, but an opportunity to improve.

It’s also important to put yourself in the shoes of a new user with alien hardware & software. If the first response they get is RTFM, even if that’s accurate, it sets a tone I honestly dislike.

I don’t want anyone to feel bad for asking a question. I’d love them to get comfortable looking first, and then asking, but I think there’s an expectation that docs and support is generally terrible, so it’s easier to just ask. If we can change that perception by pointing them to the right resources, great, but we should try to be nice about it, because that tone is what they’re going to remember.

It’s cliche, but you only get one chance to make a first impression.


Thank you Oz. I have spent lots of time looking for an answer, say a half an hour to an hour trying different search words, phrases, etc. I learn a lot of interesting stuff, but after 40 minutes I give up and try again later. Sometimes I find the answer in several places. You are so correct in noting that some easier method to find answers is needed. However, your are trying to get it done. If you get a methodology that could be applied to old posts that works then you could require it for new posts and questions. I have found the questions to be interesting when I am looking for my queries. I really like the program. Thank you. Warren

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I have used the search box and downloaded the PDF manual. Neither was a good experience. But I attribute that to the complexity (power) of Lightburn and the vast variety of machines and controllers out there. Sometimes I get lucky in a search, sometimes not. Same with Google. I am a database programmer and web developer, so I see this issue in a different light than a laser user. By the way, I am mostly a newbie myself.

The forum search spits out too many results not relevant to my question. Maybe because I don’t know what to ask, or maybe how to ask. In any case, a pre-filter of sorts would be useful. Maybe a couple of input list boxes, one for controllers and one for manfacturer. The default would be “ALL”. Of course, the forum software used by Lightburn may make any of this impractical.

Just remember, if we never had Newbies, we would never have Gurus!

FROM db.users