Laser on the flat parts of a hex?

I’m trying to figure out how to laser on each side of a hex bar with six flat sides with 6 different patterns been trying to find a video but nothing. please and help

A rotary seems obvious, but the software assumes a cylindrical object and will rotate to put successive scan lines at the top of the cylinder, which is not what you want.


  • Make a fixture to hold the bar with one flat side up
  • Engrave that side
  • Manually rotate the bar to the next side
  • Repeat with the next image …

If you’re doing several bars with the same patterns, make a fixture to hold six (or more!) of them side-by-side, engrave six (or more!) different patterns at once, rotate them while moving each bar to the next slot, and repeat with the same patterns. Once you get half a dozen through the line, you get a finished bar with every pass.

It’s manual, but unless you’re in real mass production, that ought to get the job done.

If you are in mass production, that’s a whole different solution. :grin:

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Hi ednisley thanks for your feedback. Yes, I have thought of that solution but it is for mass production. I didn’t want to go that route. I was thinking maybe make the fixture do like a stair step to roll all the hex to the next side automatically. and the last one falls off into a bin or something like that.
but i am a machinist and understand g-code so I was thinking is there a way to open the g-code file to edit it then load it so I can tell the rotary to turn 30 degrees when I need it to. I’m guessing I am going to need an extra I/O and edit the g-code anyways to tell the stair step solution to make its move as well am I right ?

The Ruida controller (*) in the laser uses a proprietary binary format, not human-readable G-Code, so you can’t change LightBurn’s output.

LightBurn also lacks any mechanism to change the controller’s uncommitted output pins during the course of the job.

The only useful output is STATUS, which goes active when the job starts and inactive when it finishes. The wiring diagrams in the controller manuals usually show that signal driving a stack light.

What might work is triggering your fixture from the STATUS output, so that it positions the next face of all the hexes at the end of the job. The next run would engrave the same six (or twelve or whatever) patterns on those new faces.

The operator would insert a fresh rod on one end and pull the finished rod out of the other before running the job again. You’d probably wear out the controller’s START button, but the process would go pretty quickly.

Definitely a kludge, but the controller isn’t much help.

(*) I assume that’s what drives your fiber laser.

If you’re working with your 50W Fiber Laser I’m sad to say there’s no GCode file. It’s a different type of language that required a lot of reverse engineering to work.

With a Fiber Laser, I’m sorry to say it’s not a Ruida controller either.

@ljs66bug - Did you want to produce these one at a time, or one face at a time on several pieces?

Not on a fiber… no gcode … no editable code

The most simple way for non production… the bar has parallel planes on opposing sides. Lay it on the table and the top surface will be square with the table…

Automated, yea I’m sure it can be done, but not anyway intuitively simple.

You’d have to make 60 deg rotations. Probably spread the artwork over the distance… this is opening a can of worms as far as I know.

@Rick might know of some way to rotate the rotary on a fiber…

Good luck


Dagnabbit: variations = endless!

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grate thanks for all your feedback ill figure something out

You may be able convince the rotary that it’s a linear table, proceed by a certain number of steps (to give you 60 degrees rotation) then perform the next action.

I would think there would be some way to do this…

I think for a few, just line it up on the table do the image and flip the bar to it’s next side.


that’s what I was assuming

I may be remembering wrong, but didn’t the Lens Digital guys have a standalone controller for their rotary at LBX? Pretty sure they mentioned station indexing specifically.

Going way back in my manufacturing history, I believe we once had a process where we used a CNC toolhead to trigger a mechanical switch that was fixed out of the way of any normal tool path. We programmed the toolhead to move up to the switch and touch it, to trigger an external process. Almost 30 years ago, so I can’t recall what exactly. Maybe an aux pneumatic part support? Vacuum purge? I can’t remember, but I’m pretty sure we did it as a workaround to a similar problem. The PLC couldn’t handle it for some reason.

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Well I figured it out lol so simple adjust split mark to the length of one wall of the hex have the design layout flat but spaced out to the wall length
This will do each pattern in that split area before it rotates :call_me_hand:t2:

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