Importing DXF (padding, padding, title must be at least 15 characters)

Put “everyone gets a pony” on the Feature Suggestions list. I’d vote for that one.

Done! (padding, padding, post must be at least 10 characters)


From a cursory read, I think an answer to your issue is to write a small script that changes the files to what you wants.

I will acknowledge that I’m not too familiar with the inner workings of the DXF format, as Oz wrote that importer, but the base is an ASCII text file, and if you can simply add a color to each layer definition, that would solve the problem. You wouldn’t need to worry about all the complexities with NURBS and splines and all that head-bashing stuff.

file7 → file7_modified, then open the latter in LB and it all works without having to modify LB.

I imagine a larger solution could like like: which I am a fan of, and you can process your trove of existing files as such.

Thank you for replying. I understand your suggestion, but I want to reduce the number of intermediate steps, which this does not do.

I could just colour my layers in CAD, but I don’t want to. My layers already have names, but because they are all the same colour (black) they end up all together on the same layer in LB.


I’ve seen several messages now where people are trying to use layers in other software and LightBurn literally throws away the layer information.

Generally the explanations for this are mealy-mouthed and feeble. Sometimes it even seems that the person is apologising for this dismal state of affairs, as if things are this bad because of reasons, and there’s literally nothing that can be done to change it.

It’s pathetic.

I tried re-doing a couple of my files so that elements requiring different operations were different colours. Not only did it look garish, but my layer names have meanings (which is why I use them). Sometimes I want to run the same job but with different layers turned on or off. Unfortunately, when the layer names are lost then the information about what the elements are is also lost. I need a cheat-sheet with colours and what layer they used to be, but this is pointless and really should not be necessary.

Does nobody care about doing it properly?

Not really :slight_smile:

Thank you for your lovely message. It’s not pathetic - it’s the reality of software development. Decisions were made relatively early on about how the internals of LightBurn would work, and we followed the lead of most existing laser software so that people transitioning from those to LightBurn would not have to learn a completely new way of working.

Color is irrelevant to a laser, so it’s used to visually denote different types of operation. In software like Vectric Aspire, they have a “selection set” for each operation, and no colors are displayed at all. In LightBurn, the operation has a color, and each shape is assigned a single operation, and is displayed in the color assigned that operation. There are many, many things coded into the software knowing this is how it works, and we have about 80000 users who are used to it. Changing it to match the arbitrary whims of one user is unlikely.

What you consider “doing it properly” is your opinion. What you see as garish I see as a very quick way to determine what’s going to happen to any vector on my screen. The more negatively you present yourself here, the more likely you are to be ignored.

As I previously said, I could add an option to the software to make it ignore the colors and use the layers instead. The layers would still be colored when in LightBurn, but your layer names and groupings would be preserved.

Please do. That would be awesome. Thanks.

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About two months ago I asked why LightBurn does not handle imported DXF layers properly.

At the end of the thread it was suggested that a method of doing it properly could be implemented. I am wondering if this is present in v1.0?

Lightburn doesn’t use DXF as its native code. It is closer to XML code. Lightburn, could purchase the SDK’s from the Open Design Alliance. Many CAD companies and graphic software companies who import and export DWG/DXF files use the ODA. Lightburn could do it, but they are taking a different route, and I don’t think their target market much cares whether Lightburn imports DXF layer names. I showed you a technique that works in CAD to get the names you want in LB, but you don’t want to work in colors. That’s your choice. Lightburn isn’t tied to a proprietary format like AutoCAD DXF, but LB DXF import works pretty well for what I use it for. All of my designing is done in Draftsight CAD, and LB imports it good enough for me, but I design in colors. I used to have to design CAD files in one color, but that was in 1981 and I only had a monochrome monitor :slight_smile:

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We heard you the first 30 or so times you called LightBurn appalling bad.

Are you familiar with the phrase, “You catch more flies with honey”?