How to use the Epilog Laser Rotary Tool

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(work in progress)

Have problems? Use #mfx-laser on slack, consult the manual, or reach out to the point of contact for the Laser Zone Please check laser materials chart.


Important Notes:

  • DO NOT CONNECT OR DISCONNECT THE ROTARY TOOL WITH THE LASER ON. It can damage the main board which is more than $1k
  • Lower the bed and DO NOT place your item on the rotary too before powering the laser on. The laser head homes over the tool and you will crash the head into your part of it is on the rotary tool and not the bed is not low enough.

The Epilog Laser Rotary Tool lives in a plastic bin on the shelf under the laser. There should also be a small bubble level that lives in that bin (As of 2/1, currently missing)

Installing the Rotary Tool:

  • Power up the laser
  • Turn off X/Y using the control panel
  • Open the full lid of the laser
  • Using the focus buttons on the left side, lower the bed about 6" or so
  • Flip the rulers back
  • Remove the vector grid carefully and place it somewhere safe standing up. The vector grid may be dirty, but it is expensive
  • Remove the left two vector grid supports and move them to the right side, there are two additional notches to store them on the right side
  • If there is a lot of debris, this would be a good time to vacuum out the laser.
  • Place the rotary tool in the laser. There are three pins on the bottom of the rotary tool that go into holes for those pins.
  • Plug in the rotary tool. MAKE SURE THE LASER IS OFF FIRST!
  • Power up the laser - The laser will now home the laser head over the rotary tool - If it looks like the head will crash, turn off the laser using the main power switch.

Setting up your part:

  • Turn off X/Y using the control panel
  • Place your part on the rotary tool.
    • If this is a cup, etc. the opening will typically be to the left side.
    • If the item has an opening like a cup, the spring clip on the left can help hold the item on the rotary. If there is no opening, you may need to use the thumbscrews to remove the item
    • If your part has a handle, you will need to find a rotating direction that clears the handle - be careful.
  • Spread the rollers apart to support the item - the right side rollers slide across the bar. There is a slide lock (silver on the right side that flips forward and back) that locks the rollers in place
  • Level the item using the wheel on the front of the right roller assembly. This will lift the right side of your part to level it. Use a small level to check it.
  • Focus the laser as you normally would (X/Y off, use the focus triangle, use the focus buttons to move the part up & down)
    • If you have a part with curvature, suggest focusing at the center of the curvature. If you have too much curvature, your etched image may suffer

Art Setup:

  • Your art will need to be rotated 90 degrees to match your part
    • If you loaded a cup with the opening to the left, you will want to rotate your art 90 degrees to the left.
    • Some have suggested doing this with the printer driver, but I (Ian) always do it with my actual art to be sure.
  • Strongly suggest using the CENTER ENGRAVE feature, and setting your home position to the center (of where you want your artwork)
  • Print using the Epilog Printer driver as normal

Testing / Etching:

  • Use the compressor / exhaust fan as normal
  • Strongly suggest masking your part and doing a very low power test to ensure good rotation and that your image etches where you expect. This also ensures the laser is properly warmed up.
    • If you do this, make sure your masking doesn't hit the rollers
  • Strongly suggest testing rotation of your final part with the glass lid up so that the laser doesn't fire

Removing the Rotary Tool:

  • Turn off X/Y using the control panel
  • Open the full lid of the laser
  • Using the focus buttons on the left side, lower the bed about 6" or so
  • Unplug the rotary tool
  • Remove the rotary tool, place back in box, place box under laser
  • Move the vector grid supports back to the left side
  • Replace the vector grid
  • Flip back the rulers
  • Power up the laser
  • Return the bed back to a normal height