PSA: Confusing Lightburn layer setting: "Flood Fill"

Whelp, Lightburn found another novel way to waste some time tonight. :roll_eyes:

It’s just a fact of life right now that layer settings left behind by previous users can mess with you whenever you create a new file on the makerspace computers. I’m usually pretty vigilant about double-checking, but I ran into one tonight that caused a fair amount of confusion because it is not only tucked away at the bottom of the Advanced tab, the end result is has on fill jobs is… weird.

TL;DR: If Flood Fill is checked under the advanced tab, that fill layer will override at least some of the other default fill settings, most notably Fill all shapes at once. The end result for me is that it insisted on rastering each and every LETTER of my text design, one at a time.

That’s right, LETTER, not LINE or even GROUP. My guess is that Flood Fill caused it to consider every single closed fill shape separately.

Anyway, I finally turned it off and got much more efficient rastering behavior back.

Also, thanks to @valerie for noticing the clue that led me to even notice that something was amiss with the layer settings: the whole section of mode selectors that usually shows Fill all shapes at once was greyed out on the layer’s main tab. We eventually figured out that the Flood Fill checkbox causes that to go grey and those settings to be (apparently) ignored. See screenshots for example:



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I wonder if lightburn stores its settings somewhere that could be edited by a script (or, if not…. Some sort of screen automation could be written) that could be run at the beginning of each session that says: “return everything to common settings”? Then people would be free to make changes - and would also always know their exact starting point…


thats what I couldn’t get figured out in my post the other week.
Thanks for sharing

Thank you for detailing this with screenshots! I’m so glad you figured out what was going that. I hate that there’s no indication in the UI why they section is greyed out and it’s not even accurate in the greyed out selection. Kinda thinking this merits going into a Lightburn wiki page in a “Gotchas” section. Should we start that?

Hi, trying to increase my knowledge of the space. Is there a default set of locally tuned parameters, or is it desirable to reset to factory defaults between uses?

If anyone changes a setting that is not one of the commonly changed ones ones, please change it back after you’re finished. In this case, doing so would have saved a lot of pain.

I applaud the idea of everyone carefully resetting the layers, but frankly I’m not optimistic that it will work. Lightburn just makes this very fiddly and error prone. …and of course we’re all human. I’m sure I’ve left a layer or two in a non-default state.

As a side note, I do want to be clear that I don’t blame anyone for the wasted time. And the pain wasn’t really a major problem, just annoying. That said, some of those settings can legit damage potentially-expensive materials (e.g. the settings related to extra dwell time and/or multiple passes).

TL;DR: I’d definitely love to figure out a better standard workflow to reset to default/known settings. It would obviously be fantastic for LB to support a proper “makerspace mode” or something like that.

@doug.squires suggests a homebrew solution, like perhaps a script that we write and automate – I’m not against that idea, but I’ll caution that it’s the sort of thing that LB updates could break at any time. They are almost certainly not designing their software with that sort of process in mind. I am open to starting a separate thread to brainstorm/coordinate on ideas in this general direction, though.

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Is this the thread you are referring to?

Shapes cutting one by one tarkin

I stress this in Woodshop safety, “ make sure your tool is set up the way that you want it in that moment for that process “.

Shouldn’t be any different for a laser or a cnc either but man I totally do not check these hidden things before I start blasting stuff with radiation.

It would be great if there was a way to reset all the settings when the program is closed. We used to use one called clean slate when I worked at a university that would roll the entire machine back to a certain state once someone logged off.

Issues here would be we don’t log in to anything, and creating/managing that for all the members would be a whole job in itself.


We did have somebody looking into a deep-freeze type setup for the shop PCs (disk images are reset to a known state on reboot so user changes are ephemeral) but that project kind of drifted off into the weeds. I’ll see if I can dig up the threads.

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I 100% subscribe to that wisdom in general. But yeah, it is arguably part of the double-edged sword of the convenience of laser cutting. It is very easy to cycle through a bunch of settings experiments and forget where you left things – or even what worked specifically well for your project on that day. It’s great, but tricky to manage in a shared environment.

Anyway, yeah I really like the deep-freeze PC reset concept for multiple reasons. It’s a blunt hammer, but it gets the job done to make sure you at least have the option of starting from a predictable baseline every time. If we managed to get per-user images set up, that would be even nicer, but I wouldn’t call it required.

I’m willing to help, if possible. I don’t know what specific tools are available to ASMBLY here, but my day job involves managing multiple OS images for corporate device driver testing so I imagine I could figure out most of the systems out there. I should be clear that I’m not volunteering to lead the effort, but happy to consult or help implement/test.

that’s what I was referencing

Cool. Added a cross-link reference to that older thread in case confused folks find that first.

@CrispinStichart was doing the legwork on this, but he doesn’t seem to be a member anymore (unclear if that’s intentional or not)

Details of his research are shared at asmbly_computer_information/ at main · CrispinStichart/asmbly_computer_information · GitHub

Looks like either ToolWiz’s website is broken or they’ve memory-holed the Time Freeze product. Reboot Restore RX might be the next best plan; it was ruled out due to the cripped free version, but the paid version is only $25/seat retail and they say they have discounted pricing for non-profits. A few hundred dollars to keep our PCs neat and tidy seems like a wise investment.

I’d definitely be interested in any input on getting this project rolling again. Next step is a test installation to make sure whatever product we choose does what we need it to before recruiting a team to get it deployed around the space.

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I’m still around, but I decided to pause my membership until I build up another backlog of projects I want to do.

Regarding Time Freeze, I still had the installer, so I uploaded to to my google drive: Setup_Timefreeze.exe - Google Drive

Alarmingly, Google Drive flags it as a virus, but I assume that’s because of some kind of rootkit-detecting heuristic – Windows Defender doesn’t flag it, and you can verify that it was digitally signed in 2016 by the developers. Curiously, it’s signed by Igloo Systems Inc., not Toolwiz, and I can’t find anything on google that links the two companies.

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Is there a way to store settings files that are then marked “read-only” so they can’t be saved? We used that in illustrator back in the day.

Sorry, Flip, but I’m going to lobby against the read only trick as well, at least unless Lightburn says that is an officially-supported way to preserve settings. “Tricking” application software like that is a classic corner case that their QA almost certainly didn’t test for, and that way lies the unpredictable madness of randomly unhandled IO exceptions causing apps to lose their mind (sometimes subtly, sometimes catastrophically) during save/close operations.

Ya talked it over with steven and I’d like to shift my recommendation to a powershell script on the desktop that if you double-click on it prompts you to quit applications and, if whatever windows calls ps is clear, copies all of the gold standard files into location. Not the best user experience, but a straightforward and intelligible one, and a sustainable solution for the stewards

Actually there is a default setting that we’re long overdue to set correctly. I’ll need to tell Deep Freeze to use the changes rather than resetting over them

Just curious, how did you open up your file? From what i understand, if you open your file from Lightburn or in other words, you go to the open file folder when Lightburn is already open and click open your file from there, Lightburn will use the settings and libraries currently loaded on the screen. Now if you open your file from the file folder (lightburn not open) it will use whatever settings/libraries were saved under that file. It does the same if you import a file into an open one. Example, you have a drawing were black is set to fill on the screen. Then you import another file that had the black set to line, it will convert the black to fill. It does help you out if this happens by not having the output button on so you can switch colors. However it does not do this when you open a file from an open Lightburn. This has been talked about before but i cant remember the name of the thread. Another thing you could do is at first run a preview (i always do) if the time (bottom right) to run the file is excessive, your settings are off. An 8 X 10 area of text or letters fill should take around 7 to 10 mins with most “regular” settings. If you use the ones you mentioned above, probably would take into the 20 minute range.