laser etching over a curve

  • Just thought I would show you how I got over a problem etching a design on the surface of a flask, with the help of Zax of course who put me right about the Rotary Axis Enabled setting.
    After trying to work out the gear ratio so that the step motor moved the object to be etched enough the get a true design applied it was just a case of making a simple jig to carry the flask.
    First I had to raise the machine to enable the flask and jig to fit under the laser, so made up a ply frame that was locked to the machine at it's feet, then build the jig. I think the photo shows my efforts better than my explanations.
    0_1550402337634_curvature rig.jpg

  • these are some of my efforts and one or two flat etchings2_1550402453454_zitas jewlery box-2.jpg 1_1550402453454_LG flask.jpg 0_1550402453454_B&R flask.jpg

  • Developer of T2Laser Software

    @tug I like your simple but elegant solution, and the results look fantastic. I am still amazed that a simple rotary isn't an option from the factory, I have suggested it several times but they don't seem interested.

  • now there's a business opportunity, I'll give it some thought and come up with a more commercial solution, I have a 3D printer so this could be interesting he he. What do you think the up take would be ?.

  • Developer of T2Laser Software

    @tug There are commercial solutions but they cost is as much as these lasers, obviously a simple (and low cost) solution would get a lot more interest. I know a lot of people are interested in engraving on glasses, bottles and the like. There are some 3D printed options but not everyone has access to a machine to make their own.

  • give me a few days will come up with a simple build it from kit solution, using acrylic sheet and 3D parts. the stumbling block is the way to hold different items in the shaft/chuck so that the step motor can rotate the object, I used the lid of a trial flask and a shaft fitted to it, as for now I'm only doing one job, the order is for 100 so will be a while until I need to think of another fitting, but will give it a go stand by for solution

  • Developer of T2Laser Software

    @tug Most of the 3D printed solutions use a lathe type chuck which can hold inside or outside various shapes.

  • chuck design, yes have exactly the same type to print, once I have a working unit will photo it and show you
    the ali profile is exactly what i'm looking for well done buddy

  • My version of a rotary axis simply changes the X linear motion into a rotary one with the driving rollers having the same movement per motor step as the A3 Pro. For such items as glasses the pressure roller can go inside and for plain cylindrical objects on the outside. No calculations needed only decide if the design will fit on so measure round with a tape. As far as the A3 is concerned it is the normal X axis, has the same motor and plugs into the X axis socket. One thing I will mention is the Z axis adjustment was far too little so I had to make an adjustable slide to raise the laser up by about 80 mm to get focus on my intended maximum diameter and flat items and this in turn required me to increase the height inside my enclosure.


  • 0_1550471614298_FT2U8BYI9NE1OKF_LARGE.jpg four jaw chuck with thanks from Hexitex on thingiverse

  • My efforts at keeping it simple but effective, not quite finished but almost.1_1550750454971_DSCF8659.JPG 0_1550750454971_DSCF8658.JPG

    just have the chuck to finalise on design them print with £d printer, will post pic on completion.

  • Developer of T2Laser Software

    @tug That's awesome, I like how simple you kept it but it looks really functional too. With 2 sets of the guide wheels and a multipurpose chuck I would say you have a winner!

  • this is a frame capture of the CAD drawing dimensions largest dia 110 mm

    0_1550825116917_cad of back layout.png

  • this drawing gives the smallest dia possible which is 10mm dia0_1550825176303_cad of back layout-2.png

  • @tug

    Hi Tug,
    There is a unit available - my business makes them & is in process of a crowd funded global launch - price in brackets below.
    It will accept glasses of all sizes - champagne flutes, wine or beer glasses, bottles & other tubular objects to 40cm long.
    Has a gear reduced motor drive, outer frame to make it post-proof & options to fit a solid state 2.5 watt / 2500mW laser & EleksMana board.
    the X-Carriage will also adjust for tapered glasses & bottles, so the laser will remain in focus on tapered pint glasses etc.
    Sliding clamp to secure parts internally or externally secured from 30mm dia > 100mm dia.
    £260 (£180) without laser, or £330 (£300( with 2.5 watt laser & mother board... + post outside UK.
    Includes eye protection shield, rubber feet & ready assembled to work out of the box.
    Built from Black Anodized Extrusion / Green Translucent Acrylic.

    Not wanting to breach rules or advertise here, but happy to assist if you want one.. or parts description & dimensions/materials to build your own from what ever you have laying about.

    If of interest, pictures to follow when i get back to work in a week - on holiday at the moment.
    Grant B

  • this is the final product simple effective and works very well. I can supply the full kit either in flat pack or assembled ready to go for £89 plus postage. If within the UK should not be more than £3.99 to £5 depending on who I use to dispatch, other countries please ask.
    0_1551112242919_trial new jig-2.jpg !
    I paint the glass with water soluble paint, then wash it off on completion.
    1_1551112268270_trial new jig-1.jpg 0_1551112268270_final product.jpg

  • you have to elevate the machine to enable the laser to focus on the object your etching, but this can be done as you can see using boxes or maybe a stand.

  • Very impressive looking rotation unit, & the simplicity makes it even better

  • I've been considering doing this type of thing for a while now, but it looks like you have a nice, clean, elegant solution.

    I'd like to get info on how much it would cost to ship this unit to the US (San Antonio, TX). I have the laser setup already.


  • I am happy to charge £20 for postage to the USA and if it's more I'll cover that so trying to make it as economical as possible, however the raw materials including the step motor are not cheap.
    If anyone would like to place an order I can ship within the week. please state if you want flat pack build it yourself of ready to run. with the minimum of fitting.
    Thanks. Tug

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