Tool Location

Laser Cutters

 

Tool Type

Subtractive

Additional Information

Overview

The Rotary Engraver attachment is an add-on piece of hardware that can allow the laser cutter to engrave on round/cylindrical objects. This means the laser engraver is not limited to merely 2D surfaces and can work on items such as drinking glasses, rings, pens, etc.

Capabilities

Workpiece Length

The rotary attachment for the Speedy 300 can engrave objects that are up to 19.09" long.

Workpiece Diameter

This tool can engrave objects with a diameter of up to 7.24".

Workpiece Weight

The engraver can support a weight of up to 6.6lbs.

Materials

The rotary attachment is an extension of the laser cutter. It can work with all the same materials as a laser cutter. The most common materials used with the rotary attachment are

  • Glass
  • Metal (Especially Aluminum and Stainless Steel)
  • Wood

For additional information about materials see Laserable Materials.

Safety Features

To immediately stop a rotary engrave, simply lift the lid the same as with any laser job.

Example Work

Rotary Engraved Drinking Glasses

One of the most popular and coolest uses for the rotary attachment

Rotary Engraved Lathed Pens/Pencils

A nice addition to a pen/pencil lathing project.

Laser Engraved Water Bottle

Note that while metal water bottles engrave well, plastic water bottles should never be engraved using the laser.

How To Use This Tool

Setup*
    1. Lower the laser bed down to its minimum height. Turn off the laser.
    2. Remove the honeycomb table from the bed. Vacuum all debris from the bed.
    3. Place the rotary attachment inside the laser cabinet. Align the attachment so that the two L shaped feet hook on the alignment bar on the bed and so that the left side of the attachment rests against the left alignment bar

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    1. Plug the rotary attachment cable into the socket on the left side wall of the laser cabinet. Close the lid to the laser and turn on the laser. Verify that moving the laser along the y axis spins the rotary attachment and movement along the x axis is along the center of rotation of the rotary attachment. The attachment is now ready to use.
Operation
Mounting a Glass:
  • Loosening the slide lever will allow the left side of the rotary chuck to to move freely. Insert a glass and clamp it firmly, compressing the springs in the chuck. Lock the glass in place by tightening the slide lever. Spin the glass and ensure that it is clamply in straight and doesn’t wobble. The glass is now ready for engraving.
  • If the glass surface is curved/not leveled, adjust the angle of the rotary attachment by holding down the base of it with one hand and use the other hand to move the clamped subsystem up and down. Find a desired angle that makes the surface flat as possible when viewed from the side. Lock the lever on the leftmost side of the rotary.
Note: A blue lens is preferred if performing a rotary job with large, uneven surfaces since the black and red lens don’t engrave well on curved objects. Configuring the Job:
  • The process for preparing a file for the rotary engraver is the same up until the print settings. When printing to the Trotec Engraver open the preferences check “Rotary Attachment” and enter the diameter of the glass. Accept the print settings.
  • Once JobControl has launched, drag the job from the queue into the workspace. Two things should happen differently from a normal job. The workspace should update from the honeycomb pattern to a diagram of the rotary engraver, The job should also have been rotated 90 degrees to align with the orientation of the cup.
  • Proceed with assigning settings and positioning the job as if this were a normal job.
For additional information on using JobControl click here.
Clean-Up
  • Open a new inkscape file and print the default test squares. In the print settings, click the Favorites Tab and select the default settings. This prevents the next print from inheriting the rotary settings from the previous job.
  • Power off the laser
  • Unplug and remove the rotary attachment.
  • Insert the honeycomb table.
  • Power up the laser.
  • Ensure that the x and y motion is back to normal.
Basic Troubleshooting

Moving the X and Y axis does not control the rotary attachment:

  • If after install the rotary attachment, the X and Y axis continue to move normally, turn off the Laser. Carefully unplug and replug the rotary cable. Power on the laser.

JobControl doesn’t recognize the Rotary Job:

  • If the workspace does not update to reflect the rotary job, it will have to be set manually. Open the Settings > Options menu.
  • Select Accessories. Uncheck the honeycomb table. Check the Rotary Attachment and enter in the diameter of the glass.
  • Press Ok to accept the changes. When the job is done, changes must be put back to the default honeycomb table.
Advanced Troubleshooting

In the event of extreme errors such as continuous beeping and flashing lights from the laser or damage of the rotary attachment, power down the laser and remove the rotary attachment. Consult the Laser Master.

References:

[1] Trotec Laser. Operation Manual: Trotec Speedy 300. [online]. Available at: https://www.troteclaser.com/fileadmin/content/images/Contact_Support/Manuals/Speedy-300-Manual-EN.pdf  [Accessed 7 Jul. 2018]

Author Information

Article was written by Reed Morris and edited by Jeff Park.

Last Updated: August 12 2018.

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