Ah, the laser rotary attachment. Now, isn’t that a piece of kit?
If you’re not experienced with laser engraving, you might be scratching your head, thinking, what is it? Well, let me demystify it for you.
A rotary attachment or a rotary kit is an extension tool made for the laser engraver mainly to work on cylindrical-shaped products. In easy words, the rotary keeps the material rolling and the laser beam engraves according to its rolling speed.
This genius piece of equipment is a chuck, the same you’d find on a lathe, that holds and spins your round object. In a nutshell, it will keep your Yeti cups steadily moving with the laser beam.
It syncs up with your laser engraver, and voila! You can now engrave all around that gorgeous mug with precision and ease. No need for awkward positioning or worrying about uneven designs.
What are the applications of a rotary kit?
You know, I’ve found that many folks aren’t aware of just how versatile a rotary roller can be.
Firstly, a rotary kit is a Swiss army knife for the laser enthusiast.
Well, what does that mean?
This small tool holds the cylindrical objects such as glass, cups & tumblers and rotates them, keeping them steady as the laser does its job.
Maybe the purpose of it is just for one reason but the application is vast.
Well, imagine you run a laser business that personalizes different products and you’ve got a customer who wants their company logo on a bottle of wine.
With a rotary roller, that job becomes a breeze. just in 10 minutes, you will be earning $50 for doing a simple task.
The same goes for when you’re working on more complex laser projects.
Let’s say you’re a musician and you want to add a personal signature to your flutes.
That cylindrical surface of your flute or the neck of your guitar could be engraved with the assistance of the rotary kit.
In short, a rotary attachment is a must-have upgrade of someone having a laser engraver.
Does the laser cutter always have a rotary kit?
Most laser engravers may contain a rotary kit but in most cases, rotary attachments are sold separately.
The main reason for selling separately could be:
- The user may not need the rotary, so the manufacturer tries to keep the cost of the machine low.
- Maybe the person buying a laser machine already has a rotary kit and does not want another.
- Or, it is just a company policy to sell them separately.
Can you match any rotary roller with any laser engraver?
Most likely, any rotary roller should work with any laser machine but in the real world, it does not happen.
Sometimes, brands try to make the extension cable or the overall structure unique so that the customers buy their rotary attachment when they need it.
In most cases, the rotary kit can be attached only if there is enough space below the laser engraver.
So, upgradability is a big concern here.
You need to check, whether your laser manufacturer allows you to attach the ber riser.
Bed risers is just an extension metal which makes your laser engraver tall so that it fits with the rotary kits.
Notably, you may make your bed risers only if you are using an open-frame laser engraver. Alternatively, if your laser cutter is already enclosed and does not have any rotary or extra space underneath, unfortunately, you need to buy another laser.
However, most of the laser engravers now are rotary compatible since tumbler engraving is getting popular.
Can a laser engrave a cylindrical-shaped item without a rotary?
Well, the 4 axes laser engravers cannot engrave a cup without rotary kits. If you need to work on cups and mugs, you badly need a rotary kit that is not so expensive.
However, some modern laser engravers now can engrave uneven shapes with accuracy, but cannot engrave cups without that extension.
I mean, someone needs to synchronize the material as the laser beam goes forward.
Advantages of rotary engraving
In a nutshell, rotary engraving brings versatility, precision, creativity, professionalism, and increased business opportunities to your laser business.
The first thing that comes to mind is versatility. Got a wine bottle? A fancy flute? Are there any round-shaped items? No problem! Rotary engraving lets you customize all easily.
Moreover, the rotary tool keeps the items steady and rotates exactly how it needs to be as per the speed of the laser. This means you will get a clean, precise engraving every time without any glitches.
It opens the creativity scope for you. For example, you can sell or make a valuable flower vase from an ordinary one by adding a quote and printing a picture in it.
Overall, it opens the business scope and the diversification of laser engraving usage.
Rotary Maintenance Tips
Here are a few tips that will surely help you to keep the rotary kit well-functioned.
- Just like your favorite coffee mug, keep it clean always. Otherwise, the laser debris will go inside and disrupt the free movement of the rollers.
- Identify the moving parts and lubricate them at 3-month intervals.
- Try to figure out loose parts and worn-out belts of the rotary kit so that it does not disrupt future work.
- Never force the material to fit into it. There are always different extensions to fit different-sized products on it.
- Make sure not to overheat the rotary. Sometimes, continuous work can overheat the rotary rollers.
Can you DIY a rotary kit?
If you want to make your rotary attachment – you may need to order belts, rods, and pulleys from Amazon or eBay.
You would need the following instruments to make a rotary:
- A motor that will rotate your workpiece
- A control that will synchronize the rotation speed
- Set of rails and brackets to hold the material tight
- A chuck to attach the workpiece with the motor. The chuck needs to be laser-safe.
- Necessary connectors and cables.
If you can manage the above materials, follow the below steps to make your rotary kit.
- Plan your set-up considering the dimensions and the weight
- Mount the motor so that there is enough space for the laser beam to work
- Attach the chuck and install the controller
- Perform test run and adjust the motor speed until you get the right one
There are plenty of Youtube videos on DIY rotary roller. You may take help from there as well.
If you are making your own, try to choose a motor which will not overspin the material.
A rotary extension is an amazing tool for engraving cylindrical items. Make sure your laser machine is equipped with the rotary and if needed, talk to customer support for further help.