Lightburn VS Inkscape/Glowforge

Hey Everyone!

I have a hat company (here), and to run it, we us a Glowforge Pro with Inkscape to manipulate our files. We have been thinking about upgrading our laser to a Thunderlaser, and as I understand it, I will have to learn Lightburn to do this.

Typically, I find the Glowforge software to be clumsy for file manipulation (hence the use of Inkscape). Inkscape has a “Trace to Bitmap” option that allows us to easily convert JPEGs to .svg files.

Does Lightburn allow for the easy manipulation of files in similar form to Inkscape, or is Lightburn similar in nature to the Glowforge software? Any advice for a newbie would be greatly appreciated. :slight_smile:

Thank you!

LightBurn allows for similar Trace bitmap feature that’s specifically tailored for laser use.

Also, note that nothing prevents you from continuing to use Inkscape for design and importing SVGs into LightBurn.

Native LightBurn functionality is more flexible and sophisticated than the pay version of GlowForge software from what I understand and is regularly updated with new features.

I would say LightBurn excels at quick manipulation of designs needed in preparation for burn jobs as well as creation of relatively simple new designs. However, with knowledge of the basic tools many very complex designs are very possible in LightBurn. It’s not as sophisticated as dedicated illustration software for complex designs involving transformations or as parametric as you’d find in a CAD package.

I’d suggest exploring the Trial version to get a real feel for how the software works.

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Wonderful information!!! This is what I was looking for. So essentially, although it is more powerful than the Glowforge Software, but will not replace the dedicated illustration software. I guess I didn’t waste my time learning Inkscape after all! :slight_smile:

Thank you again!

Definitely not for all functions. However, depending on your specific needs it could very well do everything that you need it to do. Essentially if you don’t rely on stroke width or any of the Path Effects in Inkscape it might very well cover everything that you need.

But overall, I don’t think there’s ever value lost in learning a program, especially when approached as a general class of application rather than as specific tasks.

There are a lot of great videos on YouTube by LightBurn and the users on everything it is capable of doing. Take a few minutes and watch a few videos and see the magic of LightBurn!

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If the Internet goes down, you can still use your laser…unlike Glowforge…

The key item is the machines controller… Lightburn works best with Ruida dsp controllers…


Your new machine, will come with its own software usually RDWorks 8 or similar, this is the proprietary software that works with the laser controller, so you don’t need to use Lightburn, but you should. Play with the fully functioning trial to see what it can do. I used to use Inkscape and import svg’s into RDWorks. But now I hardly ever need to go to inkscape now.

If you have anything other than Windows, the supplied software is useless… If it’s a Ruida, Lightburn is the only thing I know that will not only control the Ruida, but execute on a Mac or Linux box.


I use inscape for complicated designs but if im just manipulating an image light burn is what i use. they are both great and work together great

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