Inventables Community Forum

Xcarve, jtec laser, FTG rotary - Help/Questions/suggestions

Looking for help/suggestions in setting up a new rotary with an Xcarve , FTG rotary and a Jtec laser.

Hardward specs:
XCarve 1000 (2018) xcontroller with upgrade Z axis Increases gantry clearance to 4.5”
Jtect Laser 7w or 2.8w
FTG K40 Rotary - Using original Inventables stepper motor NEMA23 140OZ/IN 2.8A STEPPER (KL23H251-28-4A)
140 oz in.
Single Shaft
1.8° /200 Steps Per Rev.

Software:
Lightburn is setup already working with a laser
Easel gcode settings currently down below, as part of the upgraded steppers i had to changed stepper motor settings, so i presume i have to change the single Y1 stepper im using for the rotary back to the original setting? looking for guidance here :slight_smile: Hopefully i can use a macro in lightburn?

Original $100=40, $101=40 for the original stepper?
current settings $100=26.660 for upgraded/current stepper

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Has anyone else used an xcarve with a similar setup?
thanks in advance!

I have not but i am interested on your progress. You should be able to leave the original $100 & $101 setting and set up the macro in Lightburn. You just need to remember to switch it in Lightburn to the macro and switch it back for the router. I have different macro’s in Lightburn and they work good but like i say you need to switch it back and forth.

You do need to identify what the correct value is for that rotary stepper. You need to determine the steps per rotation of the OBJECT which can vary item by item based on its diameter.

As Wayne identified, you can setup a pair of Macros in Lightburn. I would call one “Laser mode” would change $32 to 1 and $101 to the new value. Then the 2nd Macro “Spindle Mode” will change $32 to 0 and the $101 back to 26.660.

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Thanks guys, you have confirmed what I was thinking.
I have the original stepper data and settings, so I’ll use a macro just for the rotary setup.
I’ll need to do some more reading learning on the light burn setup in the rotary section

If you would let me know how this turns out. I am interested in installing one on mine.

sure…I cant recommend enough the Rotary supplier Joe Fel enough. he was awesome in working with me and building out specifically for the X-Carve - told him i had parts from my upgrade spare and could he build a Rotary for me… K40 Laser | FTG K40 Rotary System (ftgincorp.com)

I have it all wired and running, i’m just trying to work out the settings now…lots of research and YT vids :slight_smile:

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UPDATE:
All configured and working :slight_smile:
first test laser done on a cheap Amazon Tumbler…Apart from i got the text wrong on orientation came out really well…im sure i can dial it in more now i know how to enter settings etc.
Im using the Jtect7w laser, as i upgraded from a 2.8w…so this was first with this laser also…
key thing was the diameter of the rotary wheels and the stepper rotation. I took a punt on the numbers from the spec sheet and nearly hit ti on first try…couple of spins later dialed in.

I used painter tape marked it, set the laser on the mark and hit test in lightburn for a full rotation. Then adjusted, once dialed in on rotation, measure the circumference of the object (you want to laser).
thats all that was required,
I also setup Macros for rotary on/off to adjust for the laser and the stepper motor difference.



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Joe was excellent who provided the Rotary…now for some more laser testing before i hit the Kids Water bottles…:slight_smile:

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I’m curious to see how these come out. Those lasers are pretty low power for tumblers. Especially for Yeti stuff. Yeti coatings are pretty heavy duty.

@JasonRankin thanks and i will be keeping a eye on this thread.


Quick test with a cheap cup, I used a bitmap…not knowing a better way is a vector…but it works…

Now i am going to have to get one. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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How do you have this wired can you show some pics of your connections from the rotary to the controller?

I’m with WayneHall. And to sound kinda’ newbee, would you share what it took for you to get it up and running?

I’m away until tomorrow
I’ll do a little write up and pictures
I’m a complete newbie also but as no one has had done this before(or at least had info to share) I jumped in…

So if anyone has any tips/tricks feel free to add.when I post.
I would say that working with the guy who sold the rotary was key for me…

Steps involved:

Buy a roller from Joe@ https://www.ftgincorp.com let him know its for a X-Carve!!
(if you have upgraded and have the spare steppers - He will give you the option to use one or if you prefer he will supply)

Install Lightburn - recommended software
Ensure your setup is working for using a laser - i used a Jtec Laser - follow online for setup
PAWPAW has excellent videos - (4) How to Install the J TECH PHOTONICS Laser to my XCarve - YouTube

Once you all setup then do this next.

  1. Ensure your Power is OFF on the x-controller/xcarve!!!

  2. Remove BOTH Y-Axis cables from the X-controller

  3. Remove the Y-Axis 1 cable from the Stepper motor and take out the cable from any routing you have so you have the full cable loose and independent from the x-carve (you can also just an extra cable instead…Im tight as the shipping for a cable is stupid!)

  4. Position your roller on the x-carve board - suggestion is Facing the x-carve logo from 10/10 (bottom left) have the rotary positioned so that it runs with the stepper motor facing away from the X (see picture)

  5. Clamp down your rotary to the board

  6. Using the Y-axis1 cable- put into the rotary stepper motor and other end into the xcontroller - Y1 Axis port - ensure the cable in low around the side so it doesn’t get caught anywhere

  7. Open light burn - you should have it already setup for laser use, if not then follow the steps to setup a laser

  8. Highly Recommended but not required - create two Macros in Laserburn for the rotary

  9. See picture for my setup - I did this as i used my old xcarve steppers i had left from the upgrade. they have different settings the the new stepper!!!

  10. Check your macro by looking the the $$ outputs ensuring they are working

  11. Ensure you are now on the correct setup for the rotary - use your new macro!

  12. Open Tools-Rotary setup - change to Roller

  13. Rotary Axis = Y

  14. Enable Rotary

  15. Enter the values in the first two - you need to have these correct - suggest you start with my value first and then dial in to your setup - Rotation & Roller diameter-see picture

  16. now the next two options you have a choice from what i have found, you only need one to be completed as the other will auto complete. so work out your “object” this is what you are going to laser…in my case i used cheap amazon cups to test things…

  17. Click “OK” to save things

  18. Now you need to change the Job Origin - this can be tricky - im till working this out :slight_smile: i choose “bottom right”

  19. Now we need to position the laser to the rotary

  20. There are Youtube video on this i suggest you watch to get an understanding - i used this one to understand:

  21. (4) Laser Rotary Setup and Calibrating Steps per Rotation Using Lightburn - YouTube

  22. Put your “object” on the rotary with painter tape around the top circumference and mark a line like the video above…ensure it horizontal! :slight_smile:

  23. move your laser into position (check height of laer from object!) using the “fire” laser feature in lightburn to set the laser position hitting the pencil mark on the object.

  24. Once set - hit the “framing button” - I found that using the Framing feature of lightburn helped alot!!

  25. this will rotate the object and if your settings are correct spin and then come back to the original position. check the “fire” laser and it should be on the pencil line again. if not then you need to check your rotary settings

  26. Once all set - do a test laser…i did some text as i wasnt sure on the orientation against the rotary - i.e will i be upside down or back to front when lasered…first time i had it back to front…hence framing is key so you can see rotation :slight_smile:

I would love people to chime in here with help and tip/tricks recommendations.
Good luck!

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Very nice. I will be purchasing one in the near future. Thanks for the help.

UPDATE on Rotray position and laser setting for Job Origin…
I have found it easier to build a template as such and save this…see pictures and change the rotary to face per the picture…rotary stepper away from 0/0 X/Y
Then save a template with top/bottom so you know which way for your lasering…YT email tips!

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I have the original stepper data and settings, so I’ll use a macro just for the rotary setup.