Laser cutter/Rotary Tool

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< Laser cutter
Revision as of 12:39, 15 December 2015 by Fowkc (talk | contribs) (Added more information about using the software)
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The rotary tool allows cylindrical objects to be etched on the laser such as acrylic rods, glassware etc.


The rotary tool effective replaces the Y-Axis of the machine.

NOTE: This how-to is a work in progress, I will update with more detail and pictures soon.

  1. Ensure the laser is powered off, then disconnect the Y-Axis motor located to the right of the laser bed (pictures to follow).
  2. Connect the Rotary tool to the vacant Y-Axis socket, and align the rotary tool parallel to the Y-axis carriage, with the chuck to the left.
  3. Power up the laser-cutter and drop the Z-axis so that the rotary tool chuck is clear of the laser cutting head.
  4. Mount your workpiece in the Rotary Tool Chuck, and check it is straight by rotating the Y-Axis.
  5. Gently pull the Y-Axis carriage until the laser cutter head is above the Rotary Tool.
  6. In laser-cut, adjust the settings.
    1. A single rotation of the rotary tool chuck is equivalent to a 48mm y-axis height in the lasercut software.
    2. You can confirm this by drawing a 48mm vertical line in lasercut and running the job. The chuck should go through a single rotation.
    3. Your drawing needs to be scaled to a 48mm height in lasercut.
      1. In lasercut or your drawing software, scale the image so it is 48mm high, or a fraction of 48mm depending on the desired span around the workpiece. For example to have your image go half way round use 24mm.
      2. Keep the x-axis width "normal". Your job will probably be a strange aspect ratio. This is OK!
    4. The engrave scan gap needs changing to move the workpiece through the correct angle.
      1. To calculate the correct scan gap, measure the diameter of your workpiece and calculate the circumference C.
      2. Multiply the desired scan gap by 48/C to get the correct scan gap for the job.
      3. For example if you have a workpiece of 175mm circumference and a desired scan gap of 0.085mm, the correct scan gap setting is 0.085 * (48/175) = 0.023.
  1. With the Z-Axis still dropped so that the laser cutting head is above the rotary tool chuck, test the cut area with the laser cutter lid open. Ensure you are ready with the emergency stop.
  2. If the laser head does not run the risk of approaching the Rotary Tool chuck, raise the Z-axis so that the laser is focused on the piece.
  3. Again, test the cut with the lid open and your hand over the emergency stop.
  4. If it all looks good, go ahead and close the lid and start the cut.