Pre-Release | Manual Rotary Indexer

Supplies: 1 1/4" (19.05mm) Dowel, Acrylic & Cardboard - Op Time : 29 mins

I had this idea kicking around for a while. I had a couple hours today so I tried it out.

After about 30 mins in F360 I had this.

Exported out the parts I need to AI. Then started to cut. First with the acrylic.

(The ring was going to be used act as manual indicator on how much to index the dowl. But that didn’t work out as planned. I have another idea- But I wanted to press forward)

Next step was the cardboard.

Time to pull out the bed and check the fit. I used the cutoffs from the roller assembly to act as spacers for the cardboard to make sure that it was straight.

Now for the dowel.

Now that I know that the basic premise of my idea will work. I’ll expand out from there.

Looking good so far.

Okay- Let’s do this.

I used a simple vector. Each op was about 2 mins. Let it run then index.

Everything went good but on the last one the roller shifted forward. Once I get my indexer fix/figured out. That won’t be a problem.

As a sidenote. Pretty cool I didn’t have to 3D Print or machine anything out for this test to work. I absolutely love when a machine is able to make parts for itself.


Absolutely awesome! :smile:


Outstanding! The first GF machine hack :slight_smile: I love it when folks come up with real practical solutions, not just complaints & suppositions.

This is great & an early thing on my list of “make this”.


I already know I want one! :grin:


SWEET!!! Love it!


I can not wait!!!
You by chance wouldn’t happen to be linking this file here once all said and done? *wink wink lol


that is just too cool for words. I am and I am sure several others are going to make one of those.
Thanks for the idea.


I love the idea of making them out of acrylic - I was going to 3D print a couple, but with these, anyone can make them once they get their machines…great design! :hedgie::love:


I want one too! Once you get the indexer figured out, you definitely need to put that in the catalog.


this is brilliant and i’m definitely looking forward to building one of these myself.


Q: what does it take to get someone that already has a pre-release unit gitty?


I just never know what I’ll find when I tune in. I want one so much.


If you were able to completely surround the part you could use a spring loaded indexer with a detent ring to get exact locations. If you aren’t able to completely surround the part, perhaps a ring with a detent and a matching pin inserted into one of the supports. Then when you rotate the rod, it will “click” into place.


I love this. I really want to carve/etch some round things in the GlowForge, but had given up due to the tight announced workspace (a half inch) and the closed software. I’m glad to see there’s room for a rod to rotate in the GlowForge.

One thought around precision of rotation - what if the ‘ring’ is an octagon (for example), with some guides so the rod can only be rotated to the flat sides, and can’t move up/down (along axis of rotation)? With some math, it should be possible to take any pattern and render it into a bunch of images that fit together (e.g. each one covers 1/8th of the diameter of the rod). Then all sorts of round things get possible. Admittedly a minor hassle having to run 8 jobs to make one thing, but still quite cool.


This is fantastic, nice work!


I am blown away by the clever design and use of available materials. I’ve been playing with some existing rollers and stuff from a copier and a scanner: forget that!. The simplicity of your design is so creative. And that it is a manual jig that gives repeatable results. This just jumped the conversation into a whole new dimension.


You da man! Sweet upgrade, I’m sure your indexer will be novel as well.


Awesome job @karaelena!
A product inspired by the weird fidgeting craze…(?)

On the indexing side, sounds like you have a plan but a soft gear would work. A more exciting prospect for me would be an automated rotary adapter but I don’t think GF 1 is designed for anything but small radius objects. Software would need to be modified but that can be done.


That is pretty darn cool!


Change of change of plans. I recently bought a NEJE 1000 mw (I don’t know why they don’t just call it a 1W) laser. Since at this time I’m only interested in engraving the handcrafted pens that I make I thought it would be a better solution than the Glowforge. Then last week a fellow in Australia came out with a rubber band drive to turn the pen barrel on the NEJE. That worked great and I was thinking of canceling my Glowforge order. This changes the whole picture for me and I’m back in the fold.


That’s incredible for a “first attempt”. I can’t wait to see what you end up with as you continue to refine this design. I hope it ends up in the design catalog.