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Thread: Swapping rotary devices

  1. #1

    Swapping rotary devices

    So I'm still unpacking and setting up the new Chinese machine. Pretty happy with the build quality; the documentation is an altogether different matter. I'm wondering if I could use the rotary device from my Epilog in the new laser? The chuck-style rotary that came with the new laser has 4 wires whereas my Epilog rotary has 6 wires. No real instructions with any of this; I'm assuming everything connects to the Y-axis controller?

  2. #2
    The wires likely go directly to a stepper motor. The most common flavors of stepper motors are 4, 6, and 8 wire. You can convert a 6 wire stepper motor to 4 wires (or with a little creativity, you can get a 6 to run off of 4 wires and still be able to reverse your changes quickly to run off of 6 wires when you change back to the original machine).

    A little bit of internet searching for converting or running a 6 wire stepper motor off of 4 wires should get you the diagrams you're looking for.

    Edit: I just realized I might have read this wrong. I don't know if you can convert a 4 wire stepper to a 6 wire (in fact, I don't think you can) if that's what you're needing to do. You can buy a different stepper motor and just switch out the motor. They come in standard mounting sizes, I'd guess you have a NEMA 23, but it could be a NEMA 17 or 34. They are pretty cheap and easy to change out.
    Last edited by Matt Schrum; 11-29-2018 at 6:52 PM.
    Licensed Professional Engineer,
    Unlicensed Semi Professional Tinkerer

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Suwanee, GA
    You can connect a 6 wire motor to a 4 wire drive, I believe you just leave out the center connection on each side. It would be pretty easy to make an adapter cable to allow you just plug/unplug the rotary device. One consideration would be the cost of a rotary for your fiber vs replacing the Epilog if you damage it or replacing the drive on your fiber... Do a google search for "convert 6 wire stepper to 4 wire" and you'll get tons of pictures. Whatever you do, don't unplug the rotary with the power on or you'll fry the drive for sure!
    I have done so much with so little for so long, that I can do almost anything with practically nothing...

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    NW Arkansas
    2468, be careful.... The motors are 2 phase and 3 phase (not voltage related, they should all be DC voltage). You can use 3 and 6 wire 2 phase machines, 4 wire are usually 3 phase. Just me, but I wouldn't take an epilog and destroy it.
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