A little background to this project
I have a 130x90cm 100W CO2 cutter and my computer with Lightburn on it is a few steps away. Very often, I find myself clicking ‘Frame’ and running to the laser to see the framing of the work, only to arrive too late to see the actual framing in action. Also, I’d like to be able to Start etc. from the laser itself to keep a close eye.
So, I bought a very simple keypad (LogiLink ID0184) and used an app called ‘HID Macros’ to override some buttons to generate a key sequence like ALT+R for the Frame function. It works like a charm but but most keys on the keypad aren’t used and the text on the buttons themselves don’t make sense. So, owning a laser cutter and whatnot, I decided to make a mask/overlay for the keypad and its buttons.
Three layers of 3mm matte black acrylic for the panel body
4mm birch plywood for the buttons.
Two layers of double sided 1mm foam tape to stick the new wooden buttons onto the keypad buttons.
Elastic textile band to hold the mask onto the keypad.
Bonus question for the Lightburn developers
As you can see, I’ve added buttons for rubberband frame and focus, but they don’t work yet, because Lightburn doesn’t have keyboard shortcuts for them. Is there any chance these could be added?
Nice work! For those who aren’t interested in making this for themselves, remember there are free iOS and Android apps so you can turn your phone or tablet into a remote control. Also, Ruida sells the dedicated remote control module that plugs into the controller and then has a wireless handheld device.
The Ruida app works if you have your laser connected to a network that is also WiFi accessible, or you have their WiFi add on thing. It’s pretty cool, but it’s probably less useful than a dedicated hardware keypad sitting there. You end up fumbling with the phone a bunch to open it, find the app, etc, etc. I like this approach, and it would work for any laser, not just Ruida.
Would there be a way of creating a keyboard shortcut API of sorts? I’ve often thought of doing the above with a remote keypad but would potentially like to add things like moving to bottom left of drawing, centre of drawing etc. Having an API would allow people to configure up a keypad in the way they wanted to.
There may be an easy and obvious way of doing this already which I have missed.
For those interested, I’ve attached the .lbrn file with 3 shapes next to eachother.
This only works for the LogiLink ID0184, which is a cheap and widely available keypad.
Use two layers of 3mm (or ofc. 1 layer of 6mm) of the middle shape, put them over the keypad
On top of that, add a 3mm material of the left shape. Note that the holes/cutouts for the buttons have a 0.1mm outward offset to give the keys some extra space. I used matte black acrylic for these layers.
Keys (shape on the right) are best made from 4mm material that can be engraved, such as plywood/MDF.
If you are feeling creative, add a hole in each layer for the numlock-LED and fill it with opaque acrylic!
What you’re asking for is a way of editing the shortcuts in LightBurn - it would require a UI to manage them, and some would be uneditable because certain ones only work in certain contexts. I also don’t have shortcuts for all actions, so if you wanted to be able to assign “move to lower left” for example, that action doesn’t have a shortcut, so that makes it yet again more complex. It may happen eventually, but it would be a lot of work.
Nice! There’s a clear advantage we have from using a remote that controls Lightburn instead of a remote that controls the controller. For example: framing a design is possible with both the remotes but only with the Lightburn remote, it sends the selected design to the laser first, then frames it. The Ruida remote wouldn’t know what to frame…