Pre-Release | Manual Rotary Indexer



If we are talking about an automated rotary indexer using some kind of arduino or similar, and an officially supported mode/process/whatever from Glowforge, the “beep sound” that you mention could be a special audio-signal/code to activate the rotation. Different audio codes could advance the rotation to different degrees.

We have seen so many different ideas for rotary engraving devices. @karaelena just proved the concept of tiny roller-stations working to spin an object within the confines of the space available.
Whether from Glowforge or from the community, I have firm expectations of some type of rotary-index device being available to buy or make relatively quickly once folks start getting their production machines.



What he said!


MIND. BLOWN. :heart::heart_eyes:


I was waiting to get a glowforge to build mine. I think a good way to anchor it in the bed would to cut feet that fit in the “honeycombs”.


That’s genius! Very practical and useful—thank you for sharing this!


I probably shouldn’t chime in here but in raster mode you could use a mic listening for motor noises to detect the end of each raster line and rotate appropriately. :slight_smile:


A simple solution would be a proximity sensor that triggers off the bottom of the head when it moves past the end of the workpiece.


…now just connect that to a hobby servo motor that pushes the print button at the appropriate time.


I was thinking more that you could have one big job with all the cuts and dummy cuts past the end to trigger each rotation. As long as they were colour coded you should be able to set up the order and just run it once.

It’s only a matter of time before somebody makes a remote button pusher though.

Am I correct in thinking the lid cam can’t stream live pictures? It would be a great way of watching the machine without leaning over it and staring at the bright spot.


I see what you’re saying. Maybe simpler/cheaper than a proximity sensor would be a thermistor that could withstand a brief flash of laser but could sense the temp change. Position it off to the side and include some detail in the print file that flashes the laser over there between rotations.


I think by the time you make a thermistor mount that can handle being lasered repeatedly an IR reflective sensor will be much simpler. Capacitive and inductive sensors don’t cost much either now that they are used in 3D printers. It might even be possible to trigger a Hall effect switch from the magnets that hold the head.


Or… Team Glowforge could emit a high pitched chime from the onboard speaker to tell such a system to advance.




Now there’s a solution.


Except a microphone listening for a specific tone is a lot more complicated than a proximity detector and involves some support from GF.


Not at all. I have a similar system listening for chatter on a spindle. There are a ton of libraries out there where you can configure a mic package to listen for a specific tone/frequency.


Well a microphone, an amplifier, some libraries and some calibration / set up with the chance it might get triggered by something else versus a three pin proximity switch that simply needs connecting to a port and reading with digital_read().


Wouldn’t removal of the tray would allow increasing the possible object diameter?


What I am using is able to function with a dust collector, compressor and the spindle itself active. Which is a VFD.

So in this case it would listen for a specific frequency. One that would cut thru the chamber noise. And hypothetically if glowforge would support such a thing overall end user usability would be better and safer. Versus another target that would be registered and can also be a potential obstacle and fire hazard.

Thou using a NPN style sensor would be easier. I dunno if it would be the right way to go.

And on top of all of that- This is all in theory. What i posted above is just a simple human powered method of doing round objects that anyone can do. And can be built using the glowforge itself and a couple bearings and M5 bolts.