Well huge shoutout and thanks to my Uncle for getting me the rotary for my OMTech machine which allows me to do mugs, glasses and all types of things that require rotation. It’s been a battle. A 6 day battle of trouble shooting and I finally have something to show!
I wanted to document my issues and troubleshooting fixes on here incase it helps someone else out.
Please note: ALWAYS MAKE SURE YOU SAVE YOUR MACHINES DEFAULT SETTINGS!!!!! You can do this right in Lightburn under Edit < Machine Settings < Save.
Prior to this I did my Steps per Rotation test. I was fairly confident that was all correct anyways before the testing for these issues started.
This is my first rotary project for my Uncle and his Police Department. Naturally, this is my first run with the rotary and I had so many issues it’s been CRAZY. I have conquered them all though.
Please note the below worked for me. I have a 60w OMTech. These were the fixes and settings I used which worked best with my machine. Your machine may be a bit different. As always, if you have any issues or alternative fixes, please feel free to chime in! I’m new with this and this is all trial and error for me.
Problem 1: Disconnects & Rotary Resetting
When I first started my rotary I had it connected to my Mac. Every 5-8 minutes the nozzle would rush to the right and jam and I would get a disconnect error. The only way to fix this was restart it. My settings kept resetting (Steps per rotation, diameter, etc) and it was getting really annoying.
My Fix: Thankfully my Dad had a spare Windows based computer. 100% can confirm it is a Mac communication issue in my case. Unfortunately I cannot get my Mac to stay connected to the rotary no matter how much I try, so for now- the rotary will be on the Windows based laptop. Lightburn license is good for 2 computers- so I have my Mac (runs my laser) and the Windows one for rotary only.
Problem 2: What is going on here? Wavy lines?
First test after calculating my Steps Per Rotation. Well this didn’t go well at all haha. I was confident my steps were calculated correctly- but why was everything skewed and way off?
My Fix: In the machine settings under engraving there is an X and Y acceleration! I ended up needing to play around with what worked for me.
In the end I saved my settings to X: 500 and Y:400 seemed to give me the best results. Anything above 800 significantly skewed the art so that was a huge no no.
Problem 3: Detail Loss
I noticed the original art had some small lines and details in it. What was happening is the building in the design was getting lost around the clouds. I tried adjusting the LPI to 600 as advised but still same issue. It looked pretty much the same from 300 LPI to 600 and with the 300 it actually shaved off 2 minutes.
My Fix: I had to go in to the actual art file and simplify it. This meant removing some stray lines, pulling the clouds away and making an outline around the building so it would have a cleaner look.
Problem 4: Frame Slop Error
This one was a WEIRD one. My edited file suddenly gave me this frame slop error. The only thing I could think of was maybe there were some stray lines in the file- although I didn’t see any.
My Fix: Honestly I came under the assumption my graphic somehow became corrupt. I went back and made sure there were no stray lines or intersection areas. The file I was working on worked fine prior until I shut my machine down and resumed it later. The way I knew something happened with my graphic is I deleted the graphic and drew a circle and it engraved fine. As soon as I brought my artwork back, frame slop issue! A new document seemed to have fixed it though. Still baffled at this one.
Problem 5: Circular designs engraving as ovals? Artwork appearing elongated when engraved?
So even after I dialed in my settings and was engraving a circle as a circle, when it was part of the design- it for some reason became oval in shape and my design became elongated. Everything seemed distorted and stretched. I couldn’t figure out how or why.
My Fix: Someone mentioned to actually just squish my art just a bit. By squishing it (seen in photo) it actually helped level out the artwork so it engraved correctly! Again, this is my first try with this so this could change with other designs. Going to keep an eye out.
Problem 6: Design finishes but isn’t complete
So far, I have only encountered this when sending a job directly from Lightburn to my machine. This happens commonly on my mac, but sometimes it occurs on the Windows computer too. The job may send correctly and may appear correct, but during the job I sometimes get a disconnect or busy error. It seems to be random.
My Fix: Save the job from Lightburn to the machine and engrave the job from the machine. Always make sure to use the frame tool though! Iv’e had some glitches where it frames awkward at times so always make sure to frame it from the machine.
Below are the settings I used on my 60w machine incase it helps anyone. Please note each machine is different! This is just what worked for me. It took me 6 days to get here and I am happy with the results.
For this design it takes about 7-10 minutes to engrave on glass (based on LPI and logo size).
- Speed: 220 & Power: 18
- Set to Engrave/ Fill
- 300 LPI
- In the machine settings I had to adjust the X and Y acceleration settings under engrave to avoid skew and wavy lines.
- X: 500
- Y: 400
And there you have it! As I learn this rotary I plan on logging all my errors and issues here so I can refer back to my fixes if it occurs again.
There are still some unexplained issues I am running into which I am logging below. If anyone has any insight, feel free to chime in here!
1- Lightburn frame and machine frame do not line up
When I frame my design in Lightburn it looks fine. If I move it over to my machine and frame it (to run a job through my machine), it goes to the bottom of the glass? If I engrave from Lightburn i’m fine. This is a rotary specific issue. Frame in Lightburn VS Machine are not the same.
2- X and Y Acceleration settings work great one day but not the same the next?
I had some settings that worked great and saved them and made a profile back up. Next day turned my machine on and it engraved differently? What gives? Needed to find new settings. Going to keep documenting this as I use the rotary day to day.
3- Frame Slop- How to tell a file or graphic is corrupt? What causes this?
Still not sure what happened. I wish there was a file corruption error instead! Trying to test to see if I can recreate this issue again.