Raster engraving vector lines not an option?

Hopefully y’all can help me out.

Is there any ability in lightburn to raster engrave a vector line. Fill will raster engrave by filling the vector boundary but in some cases I want to just have it engrave the line only. I know I can use “Line” with high speed / low power to do a vector engrave but this is not nearly as clean(for me) as you have excess power put into corners, where scanning and pulsing on the line gives the same finish as the normal fill engraves.

A program I used on a k40 in the past handled this wonderfully (k40 whisperer) where the options were vector cut (line) vector engrave (line) and raster engrave (fill + would do just vector lines in a scanning fashion) all from a vector file (not having to convert to an image). A lot of my work is etching acrylic and usually there’s some line work mixed in my designs that is just a vector line and running it all in a single raster engrave operation worked perfectly with a clean result as it would do both the fill and line work in a raster fashion. Having switched to lightburn, it seems my only option for engraving the line portions is to run a separate operation on “Line” and even with matching power and speed and trying to fine tune minimum power for vector engrave operations it still isn’t as clean this way; There’s still always excess power in corners (and I also can’t vector engrave in x/y as fast as I can raster engrave in x) and the finish isn’t the same. In most cases it doesn’t matter when doing etching on wood signs or what have you but for the work I do having a consistent depth engrave and finish in all aspects of the engraves is important.

Is this a feature I am just missing? Or is it just not something that is implemented. I have searched both forums and documentation a bit and most of what I can find is just to use Line but I feel this isn’t always the best solution and it would be nice to have the option to incorporate the line work into the Fill (even if it’s like a tick box to just engrave the vector vs filling it or even a secondary operation on the layer or w/e).

I appreciate any insight you all may have.

Notes: I’ve tried to achieve the same result by working out what my min power should be at various speeds to prevent excess power in corners but when working with smaller detailed vectors that don’t always reach full speed like small letters, there is still too much variance in depth than I’d like.

For clarity, I am a mold maker and some of my masters are etched acrylic. So the depth being consistent on all portions of the engrave is important as a depth change around corners even on thin vector lines shows up in my finished products as silicone can easily make it into these grooves. The raster engraving of lines along with the fill portions keeps the finish very consistent across the entire engrave.

If I’m understanding you correctly this should work for you.

  1. Draw “lines” that are rectangles or shapes of the desired thickness that you want
  2. Set Cut operation to “Fill” with the desired power level
  3. Burn

If I am interpreting this right, you are saying essentially enclose the shape, or give the shape a thickness and make it a closed vector?

So, this sorta works but I sacrifice the thickness of the line in this case. I can offset an open vector to enclose it in a “shape” which is then engraved because its a closed vector but I lose the original thickness and detail of the line and it doesn’t seem I can get the offset small enough in LB(there’s always a few nodes that cross over or touch the original vector preventing it from having the desired result) for it to work and still maintain the original detail. Granted, I may be able to achieve such a small offset in other design software but that also seems like an excessive amount of work lol. It wouldn’t be too bad if I could just adjust the “stroke width” on an open vector so that it has a thickness LB could recognize and “fill”.

In the prior k40w software I used, I could just import a vector file with vectors already filled in the appropriate color for the operation and it would treat an open vector black line the same as a closed vector black shape in regards to the engraving. Obviously this is different software, I just add this bit so you know how it worked previously for me. Although it does make me wonder how hard that would be to actually implement as an option in LB.

I do appreciate the suggestion! If there’s no other way presented then I may explore this path more.


In what way? You can make it arbitrarily thick. If thinness is the concern I’m absolutely certain you can make a closed shape far thinner than the focus dot of your laser.

You could do this outside of LB if you convert the stroke to a path.

There was likely an implicit rasterization that was done for this.

You could simulate this in LightBurn by converting the vector to a bitmap.

Can you upload a .lbrn file with an example of what you’re talking about? Curious what the complication would be.

In LB specifically, it seems I have to make the offset thicker or manually adjust nodes. It seems to always have touching or overlapping nodes that cause it to either not fill fully, or fill the entire vector (in a case of a closed vector that I want to simply be an etched line).

I could definitely make it happen outside of LB. I didn’t think about converting stroke to path but could definitely give that a try. That could make it a fairly simple transition I think.

I figured they may have used some form of line rasterization. I’ll avoid converting to bitmap though if I can. I usually always end up modifying small details while in LB before cutting.

Sure. This is one I already removed or altered the open vectors on. I had open vector lines adding small details around the flowers and wavy portions and even a few closed shapes for bubbles that were supposed to be thin lined. And in some cases, the closed outline offset vector like in this one.

I’ve since removed most of those details but I added a few open vectors and offsets to show the kind of inconsistency I’m talking about. It seems like sometimes it generates great and sometimes it doesn’t. Just from playing around, it seems the more curvy the vector, the more I see the small offset being an issue(it sometimes turns out fine, sometimes doesn’t). I could also be being too picky with how precise I want things to be, I have a habit of being a perfectionist even with things most may never notice lol. The inner most lines are the original vectors. The outer most are the ones that I offset.
Seahorse - test.lbrn2 (372.3 KB)

For reference, I usually engrave with a 1.5" lens with a pretty small dot size and cut with a 1.5, 2, or 2.5 depending on thickness of acrylic I’m working with.

Converting to path is probably the easiest solution here but still uploading so you can see what I was referring to with the offset.

I can reproduce some of the seeming inconsistency in thickness but this is only apparent at extreme magnification. I suspect the actual variation is within a thousandths of a millimeter.

You may want to give it a test burn to see how it actually behaves in the real world.

I’m curious now how close a stroke to path conversion would fare. I suspect there will also be small variations in line width.