U axis with Rudia 6445 (on new firmware) is working but work flow could be improved

I was confused by how this is working for people so wanted to document it now that I have figured it out and ask for a feature request.

I have added a 4th axis controller for my U axis to my machine. I then updated to the new firmware which enables the U axis for the rotary.

From lightburn I can’t select anything but the Y axis (the other two radio buttons are greyed out). From lightburn though if I enable rotary and press frame I get movement in X/Y and nothing from U (as expected because lightburn is expecting Y axis to be driving the rotary).

But if I upload a job to the machine and turn on the rotary from the control pad the job will burn correctly. And I have full X/Y/Z/U control of the head / bed / rotary position at all times from the control pad. And the framing button works as expected (turns the rotary and moves in the X axis).

So if we could get the U axis enabled in the rotary setup along with any needed communication plumbing (if any) that would greatly simplify the workflow.

As far as LightBurn is concerned, the Y axis is the rotary axis for yours. The code that I send to the machine isn’t any different, it’s just a visual indication that’s missing. The framing is going to be a bit of a trick - If you ever try to use the O-Frame button on a rotary with the U axis, I’ll have to punt and make it fall back to the rectangle, since there would be no command to do a coordinated X/U move, only X/Y. I’ll have to get my 6445 set up and flashed with the new firmware to see if I can tell it apart from the old one.

I think the challenge / opportunity / shift in workflow for anyone used to enabling rotary is still having to enable rotary.

I think maybe there could be this idea that if a 4th axis is installed and dedicated to the rotary that somehow the requirement to enable the rotary would be eliminated.

However, wouldn’t the only way for that to be possible is to set a layer as a rotary layer (essentially translating the project in LightBurn so that what would have been Y is transposed as U in the job being sent)?

I’ve been hesitant to flash my 6445. Everything just works and this is all too new.

You still have to tell the controller that you’re sending a rotary job instead of a flat job. That doesn’t change. Using the U axis just means that now you don’t have to fuss with motor plugs or power off/on the controller, remember to hit the ESC key to cancel homing, etc, so it’s still an overall improvement.

Sorry, I was editing for clarity simultaneously to your response.

This gets more complex for the software I am sure. With this setup you should be able to jog the 4 axis independently (like you can from the front panel) for setup, then when the job is sent use the U axis for rotational control. Also for the “frame:” functions use the U axis. I don’t know how commands are framed when being sent to the controller so I don’t know how simple it is to change that. But we still need the radio button for U axis enabled so that lightburn has a way to know that it has to do something different.

Well something went sideways on me tonight. I had etched fine two days ago but today I went to do so setup the same way as before (nothing moved just power cycled). I send the file, ensure the controller is set to rotation = yes. I do a frame test and it works as expected. But when I try to print the rotary goes ZOOM for a while then the controller says “framing error” and shuts down my print. It thinks the Y axis is at 10300+ (I have a 1000x600 machine). Nothing I did tonight would get past this framing error.

I had assumed “A” would be the equivalent of “U”. But it is greyed out so I can’t even select it. Just “Y” is available.

I figured out what was going on with the framing error. The origin was getting confused somehow.
This works:
Pick place to setup the rotary:
Hit Origin button.
Put rotary on the bed and line things up.
Hit download the file (with rotary enabled set)
Ensure the rotary is enabled on the controller.
Hit Origin button (again).
Now when I frame from the controller it traces things out as expected.
And when I start the job the controller starts from the current location.

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