Lost... doubling a single line?

Hi guys and gals…
so I’m new to ALL this. bare with me please!

I created a PNG image and imported it LightBurn. Can someone please tell me how to convert the PNG image in light burn to burn the image. The only way I can figure out how to do it is by selecting and “tracing” the image BUT when I do that my laser literally traces around a thin line. I do NOT want it to do that. I just want it to burn the line not actually trace around the thin line nor do I want it to fill anything. I just want it to go over the line a single time. Hopefully that makes sense.

Thanks in advance!!

Not really, but that is ok, we can start with working with an image. Read here to see the options available to process and run an engraving of the image. Image Settings - LightBurn Software Documentation

Please show what you are working with and an example of what you want the resulting job to produce, or how you want this job to look when lased.

Consider to post your png file so a better reference can be made with respect to your starting point, which will make accomplishing your goal easier to assist.

Here is the image. When I am burning the wood the laser is tracing around each individual line. Instead of just burning the line a single.

The format of your drawing causes everything to be interpreted as inner line and outer line. (simple explanation)
When I scan and trace your image and delete all inner lines I get something that can be engraved as a single line per object.

logotest.lbrn2 (95.6 KB)

is there an easy solution for someone new to this problem?

You could just run as an image? I would set to ‘Threshold’ and play with the ‘Line interval’ to get the desired look. What is the final output size? You may find a single line cut setting to be too “thin” of a line-weight look unless produced in a small version.

The image certainly clears things up. This is where the elusive centerline trace would be a solution, except there are so many difficulties in such a feature that it’s as-yet untenable for many programs.

You can perform your double trace and delete either the inner or the outer trace, except for those small sections which will require a bit more massaging.

Another option, which would be my direction, would be to load the image, reduce the opacity a bit and perform a manual trace over the key features. It’s almost less work than inside/outside tracing and deleting.

I just thought of something as I hit the post button. Please consider the following. If you have the original art in editable form, fill and trace each appropriate section, keeping an original in safe keeping, as you’d be loading it repeatedly.

For example, fill all of the top saw blade. It then looks like a half of a blade with no details within. Trace that and you’ll have a single line trace. Fill all of the letters, the arcs, etc, and the result is again a single line.

The handsaws and the crutches have crossing lines that complicate this process, but it’s a small collection.

I’m just funnin’, I know they are hatchets.

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Brilliant! I don’t know why i didn’t think of that. Seems like the easiest solution for me. Thanks.

You definitely got me with the crutches joke haha

You can do a centerline trace in Inkscape

Inkscape has the same trouble that any centerline trace has. When you have a t-shape intersection or one with more than two vectors at a single point, the algorithm used to determine the centerline tends to fail. I’ve also had zero success getting Inkscape’s centerline trace to work, but that could be operator error and general lack of enthusiasm.

I’ve had the same problem, and basically given up on tracing. It hardly ever provides a usable result, the best you can hope for is something that won’t take longer to fix than create from scratch. My use case is importing images of things I want to cut out, so a double line is no use to me. After a lot of experimenting my workflow now is to manually trace the part in another CAD package, then import the .dxf file it produces into LB. You can do manual tracing in LB too, but its CAD functionality is limited, and anyway I’m already familiar with my CAD package.
Can you burn the image as a straight image, without tracing it first? Like burning a picture or something? There are a couple of good instructional videos provided by LB about how to do this by adjusting the various controls.

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I’m a little confused about your reaction. Although I offer you a solution that only takes a few minutes to make, you consider it a “problem” or error of the program. - Centerline tracing is a function that is not currently supported. and not a problem. As mentioned, it takes less time to delete all inner lines after tracing, if the motif is as simple as yours, than finding it online. And if it has to be 100% precise, I will also trace it more accurately.


Thanks for the help. I think I just misunderstood what you were saying. After playing around with the software some more im understanding it a little more.

I agree. Some of the simple projects I do work fine with centerline trace, but I dropped the OP image into Inkscape and I couldn’t get it to centerline properly. I ultimately did a normal trace and deleted the lines that I wouldn’t want, effective and probably the fastest way to do it with current software.

I would like to go back to this statement and ask, how did you create this art? What software did you use and how did you construct it? As a bitmap or as a vector? If vector, you should be able to set the entire job to ‘Line’ mode and do exactly what you are after.

I appreciate everyone’s suggestion. I’m picking up things w everyone’s comments. I haven’t quite figured out how to delete the inner or outer line after tracing. The easiest solution I have come for MYSELF within my realm of knowledge with the software is to invert the image colors so instead going around the lines it goes around the larger white shapes of the image. It seemed to work that way. Hopefully they do an update for centerline soon! :sweat_smile:

This is going to take a significant amount of effort, many have tried, unsuccessfully. If ‘centerline tracing’ was an easy problem to solve, you would already be able to find good solutions available. :wink:

This may be an issue of not understanding all the options and how best to get the trace you want. Tracing Images - LightBurn Software Documentation Your task may require multiple traces of the same image, changing the settings each time to capture the desired sections. Would need to see an example to offer suggestions for your exact case, but here I use ‘Trace Image’, then remove some resulting traced elements, to isolate the outline of a dog to use as a mask.

I take, “It hardly ever provides a usable result, the best you can hope for is something that won’t take longer to fix than create from scratch.” as a challenge. I accept! :wink: So, what artwork are you trying to trace (share example), what settings did you try, and what results are you getting?