Darkly Labs Community

How should I export files out of Illustrator for LightBurn?

I’m using old Adobe Illustrator CS5 quite happily to create my designs.

Just wondering how my workflow should go for LightBurn now and what files would be best to export if I still want to see my layers or paths in the top right hand corner.

Laserweb would show every path and layer when it opened up my .svg files.
Pretty handy for shifting parts around on the material.
Or just cutting one path again because it didn’t cut cleanly the first time.
Sometimes I want to Raster Fill a section and then cut another one next to it.

LightBurn seems to load my files as one big drawing that can’t be separated into components or bits and pieces.

Am I missing something here?

Since I can pretty much export out as any file from Illustrator, which file type would be optimal?

You are - LightBurn groups imported shapes by default (mentioned in the first Darkly LightBurn tutorial, in fact). Press the ‘Ungroup’ button on the toolbar or use Ctrl-U (Command on Mac) to ungroup the shapes. You may need to do this more than once if the source shapes were nested, as often happens in SVG files.


For workflow, LightBurn currently ignores layers from source packages, and instead uses stroke or fill color to group shapes. All objects of the same color will appear in the same cut layer in LightBurn.

For export format, AI and SVG should work just fine. Legacy AI format tends to contain fewer things that can trip it up, but we’ve spent a lot of time on AI parsing. If you find any file of a supported type that does not work as you think it should, please let us know.

Great stuff. Thank you

Hi Lightburn,

I will hijack this thread as my problem is quite similar. I am exporting dxf with option “2004 polylines” from Rhino 5. Lightburn seems to be ignoring the polylines and splits all figures into single lines. This causes a lot of switching on and off for the laser and even worse a lot of extra paths when using multiple passes.

Can you confirm that or am I doing something wrong here?

Kind regards


NB: Just doublechecked. It does work with ai-Format. So I could change to that.

DXF is generally a terrible format to use for art transfer - the splines are stored in a very different format than standard Bezier curves, which is why you often have to export as polylines for other software, and the connectivity information is often excluded.  (LightBurn handles the DXF native curve format gracefully). After importing a DXF, if it is disconnected, use the Auto Join feature (Alt-J) to connect distinct shapes. We’ll have an option to make this automatic soon.

AI and SVG are generally better for this, as their curves are Beziers, and they include information about whether a shape is closed or not. DXFs have this too, but most software does a bad job of maintaining it.

Ok. Then I simply stick with AI which works fine. Thank you very much.

Best regards