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Thread: LaserBurn RDWorks or another program

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    248

    LaserBurn RDWorks or another program

    I just purchased a new 80 watt laser on eBay. It came with RDWorks as it's control program but I have read many threads about other control programs. What I would like to know from you professional engravers is which program do you like. I have used Corel 8 as my drawing program for many years and I will continue to use it. What I'm hoping you can tell me which of the programs you like best. I value the opinions of the contributors and participants of this message board.

    Many thanks
    Randy Walker
    Grandpa
    Well equiped wood shop

    Universal VLS230
    Sand Carving toys

    Corel X8
    Randy Walker aka woodchuck
    Duck River Woodturners VP
    TAW member, Symposium comity member
    Volunteer Woodturners member
    Dickson Woodturners member

  2. #2
    If you simply get it in your mind that RDworks, PHCad (what I have) or any other Chinese laser program is nothing more than as the lasers 'printer driver', like your Universals, and use it as such, you won't have a problem. There's more settings to deal with with a glass laser, such as backlash (aligning left-to-right raster to match the right-to-left raster), 'corner power' (the power drop to compensate for the laser slowing for cutting curves and when approaching direction changes), and other adjustments, as these are all determined by YOU and entered manually as you see fit. Your Universal's driver does all that automatically via your driver's firmware. But a different program won't make those changes any easier for the most part. My PHcad program is a "2" version out of 21 versions, I've tried many newer ones, I just keep going back to the old one because I have it dialed in perfectly, and those settings never seem to roll-over correctly into the newer program's settings.

    Everything is done in Corel, if I have to edit anything, I do it in Corel and re-upload it. I don't edit ANYTHING in PHcad, other than slight position adjustments.

    A trick I learned for my benefit, is I have a 1300x900 table setting in Corel, and I have a job saved with the table blank EXCEPT the exact perimeter is outlined with a light gray hairline, 1300x900mm. What the outline does is match the 'table' in the PHcad program, and anything within the outline drawn in Corel will be put in the exact same place in the laser program. Without the outline, everything sent to the laser, no matter where it is on your Corel table, will be centered on the laser programs table. Makes a big difference to me. The only catch, is you have to remember to turn the color off or remove the outline after your import so it doesn't engrave! (always a catch)...

    My suggestion is just get used to the lasers settings in RDworks, because that's really all there is to learn, and that's common with ANY laser program
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Helena, MT
    Posts
    92
    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Walker View Post
    I just purchased a new 80 watt laser on eBay. It came with RDWorks as it's control program but I have read many threads about other control programs. What I would like to know from you professional engravers is which program do you like. I have used Corel 8 as my drawing program for many years and I will continue to use it. What I'm hoping you can tell me which of the programs you like best. I value the opinions of the contributors and participants of this message board.

    Many thanks
    Randy Walker

    I've been using LightBurn since early on. The biggest advantage to it is that it's actively being developed, by a developer that listens to the desires of the community and tries to incorporate ideas that other laser control software has not. LightBurn has become a pretty capable design software in it's own right to the point where I rarely have to open CorelDraw anymore. The one that always bugged me about RDWorks is that you couldn't do something as simple as typing some text and center justify it. I think that's a pretty basic and commonly used thing to not be able to do. I welcomed LightBurn when it came out, and it keeps getting better all the time. LightBurn also has a CorelDraw macro you can install for a one click transfer of your designs in Corel to LightBurn for transfer to your laser if you so desire. They have a 30 day free fully functional trial, so it doesn't cost anything to try it out and see what you think. In my opinion, it's the best money I've ever spent on our Chinese lasers.
    Epilog Fusion M2 32 - 60 Watt
    CamFive CFL-CMA 4032K - 100 Watt
    Boss Laser LS-3655 - 100 Watt
    APLazer SN1812 - 40 Watt
    Radian RL-GT3-F30J JPT 30 Watt 3D MOPA Fiber

  4. #4
    I also use Lightburn and like it a lot. I do my graphics in Photoshop and pull them in to Lightburn to final tweak, place in the table’s space and send to my laser. I currently use a JTech on my CnC so its not a dedicated engraving machine.

    @Ken Williams: I though I was the only one that did the invisible box alignment trick. 😊

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Walker View Post
    I just purchased a new 80 watt laser on eBay. It came with RDWorks as it's control program but I have read many threads about other control programs. What I would like to know from you professional engravers is which program do you like. I have used Corel 8 as my drawing program for many years and I will continue to use it. What I'm hoping you can tell me which of the programs you like best. I value the opinions of the contributors and participants of this message board.

    Many thanks
    Randy Walker
    You need EngraveLab Laser or EngraveLab Photo Laser Plus program.
    Contact to timotyen@yahoo.com, for more info.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Georgia, USA
    Posts
    393
    Go with LightBurn. Much easier to learn, actively being developed, actual customer support if you have a problem and a great active user's forum.
    700mm x 500mm Ke Hui KH-7050 Laser
    80W EFR F2
    S&A CW5000 chiller
    Chuck style of rotary attachment

  7. #7
    Was reading that Lightburn will never happen with a Leetro controller on their forum. Worth upgrading to a Ruida controller, probably not.

    Would love to have software that is getting updates and support though.
    Rabbit RL-80-9060
    Roland SP-540i
    Graphtec ce5000-60
    Graphtec fc7000-100
    Happy HDC2-1501
    Juki 1541s

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