View Full Version : Epilog Rotary First Impressions

Michael Simpson Virgina
06-19-2009, 9:48 AM
I received my Rotary a couple of days ago and decided to let you hear some of my first impressions.

I purchased the rotary to do small objects. But to my dismay this is not possible with out special jigs or enhancements. Light objects just tend to slip and slide so it is not possible to engrave them. I even have some thick 1.5" maple dowels. No deal.

Not to be dissuaded I decided to see if I could do something to allow me to engrave a 1/2" thick dowel.

The rotary comes with a small spring clip thingy that is ment to be used with glasses. It provides a downward pressure that allows the piece to come in sucure contact with the driving wheels. The problem is that the wheel is to small for small stock. So I cut a small 1.75" wheel and washer out of 3mm acrylic. I then added a small rubber band and you get what you see in the included photo.

Because of clearence issues with the airassist nozle and the autofocus plunger you loose the first inche on the piece. So for pens this leaves with a very small area that can be engraved. Also if you engrave too fast the over swing will futher limmit your usable area.

The pretty much leaves out the 1.5" and 2" lenses for doing very thin objects. What I did next was to attach my 4" lens. It worked perfect.

Now I can get 90% of the object and dont have to worry about slamming into the clamp.

Here is a small video of me doing a anodized pen I picked up at Staples.


Notice that I also had to remove the front portions of the drive wheels. This is easy as Epilog provides you with two small thumb screws on each.

Because the pens are held in place by the spring clip they are very easy to place on and off of the fixture. And since the job is loaded into the machine. All I need to do is place the pen on the fixture and hit the go button. The whole process takes 12 seconds per pen. This worked great for me and doing a small number of promotional pens.

All and all the Eplilog rotary kind of does what it is supposed to do. But it will not do thin or light objects without modification. I still cant do my 1-1/2 maple dowels until I can come up with some sort of jig. I thought of connecting a check to one of the drive wheels but because the Y axis of the home position is fixed you have to use the center axis on the rotary. The driver lets you change the X Axis home which is helpful but not enough.

The thinnest material you can do with the 1.5" and 2" lenses is .44" stock. On the mini the bed wont raise any higher to get thiner stock to work. This limmitation does not exist when using the 4" lens.

In closing the spring loaded clamp is the key for small objects and I think that more wheel sizes should have been provided as well as spacer so that the clamp can hold in thicker objects. A small spring clamp at the opposite end would have also helped. I do plan on creating other small jigs and will keep you posted.

Update. Here is a blue anodized pen. It worked perfect and as you can see the pen clip did not get in the way.

nancy barry
06-19-2009, 9:59 AM
Thanks for sharing . That extra wheel seems to be the answer for a lot of small things. WOW!

Might you post an image of the finished pen? The video is GREAT!

Even though I now own a Xenetech, I learn so much from all of your posts that I can use .

thanks again, nancyB

Dan Hintz
06-19-2009, 10:27 AM

For thin stock, there's nothing stopping you from adding a piece of 1/4" acrylic to the bed to raise the thickness of the substrate.

For the loss of etching area on the pens, try connecting the pen to a small length of wooden dowel using a short piece plastic tubing. the tubing allows for a variance in pen diameter, while the extra length of the dowel allows you to etch all of the pen (wheel rides on the dowl, not the pen).

Michael Simpson Virgina
06-19-2009, 10:51 AM
I suppose you could raise the rotary but this may cause even more clearance problems. I may try this in the future.

What I really want to do is to add some sort of chuck. I want to make some very small 3D engravings on thin wood dowels.