Universal Laser Systems support

I’ve seen a few posts stating that Lightburn doesn’t support it, that they are too expensive to acquire to analyze, etc. I have access to a 60W Universal laser machine and would be willing to help in any way I can.

The current method the school uses is to create a drawing in Adobe Illustrator(on a dedicated machine) set the color(cut,engrave,vect engrave) then change the line stroke width to set the power level and then Print using a print driver from Universal which brings up a laser sender app where things can be changed again. It is very clunky and non-intuitive. Would love to help Lightburn working with this laser if interested.

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Have you though about putting something like the dls32…

Did you see this diagram of using an mks dlc32 that actually uses software controlled power control… I haven’t tried it and if it’s working the way he shows. I would think it must be working…


This is a VERY expensive machine and on top of that it is school system property so no touching the hardware.

I was thinking you acquired it for a low/no price…

Smart move … by keeping hands off.


Do the students have the student version of Illustrator on their own computers? I also have a 60w ULS VLS6.60. I design everything in Draftsight - a CAD program. I export to DXF, and import into LB, because it’s DXF import works better than my old Illustrator DXF import. I output a SVG from LB and import it into Illustrator, change the score and cut lines to 0.001" thickness. Black fills for engrave. Sent to the UCP software with control P. I don’t change anything in the Universal software, because I do the same thing over and over. Position it where I want and hit the Green button. I find it pretty easy.

The students can’t install any software on the school supplied devices so they do not have access to AI other than on the dedicated computer at the USL 60W laser.

To test I had created a simple wheel(circle with axle hole) in Google Draw( they have gDocs access) and saved it as an SVG on a USB thumb drive and brought it to the USL laser machine.
Then opened it with AI, changed/verified color was FF0000 ( read for vector cut ) and set the line stroke to .001 mm then printed. At which point we went and selected the material type and the material thickness then Go(Green arrow) and it proceeded to do a raster engraved and for some reason there was a border around the page which was also raster engraved.

I know we can save a bunch of the material settings they will be using which should make the material selections/settings parts simpler the workflow of gDraw, Lightburn, AI, UCP just sounds a bit too much. gDraw, AI, UCP(poor UI) is bad enough. If Lightburn could talk to the ULS 60w directly they could use gDraw on their Chromebooks, import to Lightburn and send to the ULS or just whip out a quick design directly in Lightburn and send to ULS.

If you have any ideas why a drawing like this is raster engraving instead of vector cutting it’d help greatly.

If you are working in Millimeters, change the stroke width to 0.00254mm

I was able to get it to work with your SVG file in Illustrator, but the file has some groups and clipping paths.

I did a test in AI creating the wheel from 2 circles setting the stroke to .001mm and it resulted in a vector cut just fine. So not sure I understand the 0.00254mm setting.

It was really strange how I tried to ungroup the gDraw design in AI but still I could not select only the circle and the ungroup menu was disabled the 2nd try so it thought there wasn’t any grouping left. Not sure how to identify the “clipping paths” but will research that and see if I can repeat what you did to make it work. Lightburn would make a far better option but barring that possibility it’s helpful knowing the gDraw->AI->UCP workflow is possible. Thank you.

You are right. I always use 0.001" stroke weight in AI, so 0.00254mm is the equivalent. .001mm also works.

Your students should look into a program like Affinity Designer. It doesn’t cost too much, and it will drive a ULS laser. You can File>Print from Affinity with the VLS driver, and it works correctly. You can also export a PDF from Affinity, and open in Acrobat and File>Print to the VLS.

I noticed that the gDraw was creating a lot of groups and clipping masks. Affinity Designer is a pretty easy program to use. It has a lot of prebuilt shapes. I think it is $70

It’s a public middle school so students can/won’t be purchasing anything and can’t install any software on their Chromebooks. Since we have only one computer with AI on it and that’s back in the maker space, not classrooms, it’s not really possible to have students queued up behind one computer.

I’m going to keep my eyes open for a free(no money and no registration ) web based drawing tool but in the meantime they have gDraw and adding a couple of cleanup steps can be ok if it’s consistent and quick.

You might want to take a look at https://cuttle.xyz/ They have reduced prices for schools. Web based and parametric. I have the paid version, and it is easy to create parametric designs with it. Export to SVG, or it also cuts and pastes into Lightburn

Thanks for the tip but in order to stay away from the bureaucracy of the 2nd largest school district in the State, I’m going to try SVG-Edit SVG-edit

Hi Doug
Strangely, I’ve just recently sold (2 wks ago :slight_smile: ) my Universal Versalaser 40W. Lightburn sadly will not work with this laser as it uses a completely different protocol for driving it - not gcode. I did ask way back when LB was first around if it would be possible, but unfortunately not. Universal are also a very close minded company regarding software - I asked a number of times for simple software changes and got nowhere !!!
The other issue is that the Universal UCP software only works on Windows. I ran mine for many years on my Mac using Parallels. At the time, I used Adobe Illustrator for my main drawing software on the mac and it was handier to have a windoze version on the ‘PC’ so I could simply print from the same software (the UCP software is essentially a printer driver interface) - sadly, you couldn’t print from AI on the Mac to the UCP on the PC emulator. Over the past year or so, I used Vectorstyler on the Mac and also a Windows copy on the ‘PC’ - five star software there BTW and a single purchase NOT a lifelong subscription /rant !!!
As for creating stuff to cut/engrave, as long as the PC attached to the laser has say Illustrator, you can simply use any vector app to create SVG files that Illustrator can import. My setup was always red - for cutting - that’s RGB 255,0,0 and a 0.05mm line - if the line is thicker than that, it will raster !!! Blue RGB 0,0,255 for marking - again 0.05mm thick. And finally black RGB 0,0,0 - any size for rastering.
One good thing with UCP is their materials database - very accurate.
Hope that helps.

We’ve been using .001mm for the line/stroke thickness while attempting to get vector cutting working reliably with an SVG created outside of AI. I’ll be on site today and trying to figure out where this is going wrong. Thanks for the feedback and I had a feeling we were going to be forced to living with USL’s UCP software.

I was able to get the gDraw images(svg) to work but OMG there are another half dozen steps in AI in order to get it cleaned enough to send to the print driver and setup the final details. Like selecting the frame, releasing the clipping mask, selecting the clipping mask, delete, selecting everything, ungroup, select the frame, delete. Only after all that do they have just their drawing.

We’re going to see if the school admins will allow the SVG Edit live page or install the package onto the school system server. It allows producing designs set in mm and without all the clipping mask and page frame issues gDraw put into the document.

I hope you have better luck with SVG Edit. I was able to get it to print to the UCP, but the SVG Edit interface isn’t real user friendly.

Is this by policy or a technical limitation? Curious if the option to install Linux apps is available. That would open up Inkscape to be used.

Alternatively, if the Chromebooks are configured to allow Android app installation that could potentially open up some Android based vector applications.

Ya, not great but all seemed there for basic designs. But when printing from the browser UCP got the whole page instead of just the colored design.

When I have tried, the UCP won’t accept any web based graphics programs using control P.

It’s a policy, 2nd largest school system in CA.