Swapping Y Axis from gantry to rotary with a switch

My understanding is for the RuiDa controller the Y axis output must be used for the Y axis and the rotary attachment.

My red and black laser came with a plug for the rotary axis prewired to a connector for a third motor driver. I added a driver for the rotary axis.

The Y axis motor is wired directly to the motor driver with no connector. I can not unplug the Y axis motor and plug in the rotary attachment unless I do it at the driver itself. Because the stepper motors require different currents and steps/rev setups the driver would have to be reconfigured each time I swap.

The idea is to leave the Y axis and the rotary axis motors wired to its own driver and switch the step and direction outputs from the RuiDa controller from one driver to the other via a DPDT relay and a switch on the front panel. Another method would be to wire the step and direction to both drivers and switch the motor power to the one you wanted to use. Switching the step and direction would keep the gantry locked in position however and switching the motor power off would allow the gantry to move.

This way I could jog the head over the rotary axis using the X-Y axis as normal, switch to rotary mode and burn the job using current position. When finished switch back to Y axis.

This way both drivers can stay configured for the motors they are driving and no plugs to switch.

Has anyone tried this or see a problem with doing this?

I see no issues with this, as long as you switch the inputs and not the motor outputs. You could likely just switch the enable pin on the two motor drivers and leave everything else wired all the time.

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Good point! The enable pin would be much cleaner. No relay. However it may turn off the holding torque which may be advantageous to keep the gantry locked. Looks like most people are using rotary with the gantry unplugged so locking the gantry may not be such a big deal.

Disabling the drive does turn off the holding torque to the motor. I am going to proceed with this solution because it is much simpler to implement (KISS principle). All I need is a SPDT switch.

After much trial and error, I have managed to get the rotary attachment functioning and calibrated. Using a SPDT switch the gantry or rotary drive can be selected. Toggling rotary enable in the software changes the parameters to the motor driver selected. Everything seems to be working as it should.


For the benefit of others, would be great if you are willing to share the details of your process and of final result. Pictures? :slight_smile:

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I would be glad to. I will try to take some pictures tomorrow or this weekend.

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Can you share how you wired it? That’s what I’ve been waiting to do with mine since I have hybrid steppers on my X and Y axis and a normal stepper on the rotary attachment. I’m going to need to install a dedicated driver just for the rotary attachment and just not sure how to wire it in without having to keep swapping out the drivers when I used it. Thanks! Jason

Jason, I am not sure of the difference between a hybrid stepper and a normal stepper. This is the drive I used for my rotary.


This is for a two-phase hybrid stepper. Would this drive work for your rotary motor?

I added a switch to top of the front panel to select which driver to use for the Y-axis. Select Gantry or Rotary.

The three wires between the drives are from the switch. Black is 5V- (Com on the SPDT switch), Red from gantry selected (ENA-), White from rotary selected (ENA-). The ENA+ on both drives are connected to 5V+. The drive is enabled when the ENA input is an open circuit.

The step and direction are paralleled to both drives.

With this setup I can jog the gantry over the rotary attachment where it needs to be. Select the rotary drive with the switch. Select rotary enable in the LB software and burn the job. When finished, disable rotary in the software and switch back to gantry on the front panel. Everything is back to normal.


Nicely done! :slight_smile:

Hey Stan, sorry for the late reply. Here’s my stepper drivers. The blue drivers are the hybrids, they have a feedback port to get feedback from the motor. I just realized these are 3 phase and so are the motors, but my rotary attachments are 2 phase, that’s the other reason why I bought a separate stepper driver.

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Stan, what are the 4 relays for directly behind the Y axis driver?

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You should be able to wire yours the same way did.

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I am using the relays to control the
exhaust blower and solenoids for the air supply and air assist.

Ok great! If I get some time tomorrow afternoon I’ll give it a go! Thanks for your help Stan!

Would you mind sharing some info on how you wired the relay to the blower? I hate going behind the machine to plug and unplug it, it’s too loud to leave it run while I’m loading files to the machine.

For your air assist are you using the kit from Cloudray laser?

Thanks again!

I will start another post tomorrow for the blower and air assist.

I am using compressed air and not the air pump that came with the laser. My setup is a little different than cloudray. It uses a pressure regulator and two solenoids with two flow control valves.

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Thanks Stan, really appreciate your help! Jason

Jason, Were you able to make any progress?

I have not been able to make any drawings for the blower and air assist controls yet.

Hi Stan, Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to do it over the weekend. I’m hoping I’ll get it done this coming weekend. I’m currently installing the ultimate air assist system from Cloudray and also looking to see what I can do about controlling my noisy exhaust fan from a switch on the front panel like you have. When I finish the air assist I’ll start working on the rotary install. Well the truth is that I still need to instal the hybrid steppers and drivers as well although the rotary still in not currently connected. I may do a temp rotary set up (if I have to use it) until I get the time to swap in the new motors and drives.