Using a fiber laser to mark the outside of a cylinder is relatively common. The EZcad software breaks a graphic into a polygonal cylinder and marks the part while indexing a stepper motor axis. It’s crude but works well enough for most work.

The precision and expertise of the user will produce differing results, better as the user is good. This does start to get difficult for anyone as we start working with certain graphics. Think filigree, thin vector lines going around a cylinder.

Regardless of justification, I’m a total nerd and am forced to push any tool around me to it’s limits.

I want the ability to do this type of marking. Finding information on how to do it is is difficult. I messaged Beijing JCZ Technology Co. in China about what I needed. It was a struggle. It took a long time to get through them. This is not an easy company to work with. Finally, Jessica Yi of JCZ contacted me to sort everything out. She’s definitely the person to talk to at the company.

I paid the piper and soon had a “Scanhead mode card for marking while rotating” card on the way from Beijing .

The box is marked:

Board is marked:

On the CD were two files:
card for marking while rotating manual_20170718.pdf

The board has two 3.81 terminal connectors going into it. A 2-pin and a 9-pin.

What does the card do? The card is used to interrupt the signal between the main control board and the galvanometer. Through the board, one of the galvo axis is converted to rotational control of a stepper motor. All the movement of the galvo signal needs to be slowed down considerably, sub-100mm/s. It wouldn’t be possible for an axis to track at the speed normally used by the galvo. It’s a simple enough description but you can imagine the complexities of what is going on.

I was able to connect the card simply enough and slow the speed down enough for the motor to function. It was a bit of a mess and I need to put a bit more time into it.

I’m super busy right now so getting it connected and working will take a few more days. Switchable wiring will add to the complexity. I just wanted to get this out there for others to know about. Do not accept this as proof or a guarantee the card works. I will show that when and if I can.