Take your k40 to the next level with a K40 rotary attachment
Adding a K40 rotary attachment to your machine is a relatively inexpensive way to increase the possibilities of your K40, as well as give your customers more options when it comes to fulfilling their needs
Is It Possible to Engrave on Curved Surfaces with a K40?
Great question! Simple answer? Yes. Ever wanted to make your monogrammed glass tumbler set? Or, maybe you’ve always wanted to make personalized pens for your business. You can totally do all of these things. The next question then is…how? Well, you need something that will make your curved engraving surface rotate as the laser does not revolve around the object. Your first option might be to go out and spend a crazy amount of money on a new engraving machine and software program that has this function built-in. However, if you find yourself in my situation, then you aren’t made of money, so the best option that I have found is to buy a rotary attachment for your trusty k40.
What Am I Even Talking About?
A rotary attachment for the k40 is a relatively simple machine. It includes a small motor, gears, two metal rods, and a set of rubberized wheels. How does it all fit together? The rods run parallel and spin interdependently with a very simple gear system. The gears require a tiny motor and do not need to move incredibly fast, so the motor will not draw enough power to interrupt the standard operation of the laser in the k40. On the rods, you’ll find small rubberized wheels where you’ll place your engraving material. As the wheels turn, the rubberized grip will gently turn the glass, pen, or baseball bat that you’re engraving.
Let’s do the math
To start off with, there are endless listings for laser engraved glasses on Etsy such as this one, which are selling customized laser engraved wine glasses for weddings. They are selling for around $17 bucks and are a “Best Seller”. What does this mean? People are willing to spend $17 a piece on these items, rather than going for maybe the cheaper option. This is the sweet spot for what you will be charging for a personalized wine glass.
So how much profit will you make?
Considering you can buy a 4 pack of wine glasses from say Wallmart here you are looking at $4.25 per glass. If you are selling them for $17 using your online store then your profit will end up being around $11-$12 per item after-tax and store commissions/Paypal fees.
This is a great margin considering you are now only selling your time. If one glass takes you 5 minutes to engrave you are in the ballpark of around $132 an hour for your time and effort.
This is a great way to make a bit of extra money with your k40
Not bad eh?
How Do install my K40 Rotary attachment?
In order to incorporate your rotary correctly, you will need to ensure that you have the correct software. Something like Corel Draw will do just fine. You’ll have to go into the setting and alter the “fixture” setting. You will need to know the diameter of your rotary wheels and the speed-ratio of your motor, but it is a relatively simple process. If you build the rotary yourself, you may have to go through a few more troubleshooting steps; however, if you purchase from a third-party manufacturer, then your purchase will come with installation instructions.
View video on how to operate and install and k40 rotary attachment
K40 Rotary Attachment Overview:
Just to recap, if you’re trying to put your personal touch on a curved surface, engraving is still a viable option. The bad news? Most of your affordable k40 Laser Engraver models do not have a built-in rotary. The good news? There are plenty of options out there for you. Companies like HM Lasers will build you a rotary that is made to order and designed to the dimensions of your machine and the job. Depending on the size, shape, and material of what you’re engraving, you may need a different configuration for your rotary wheels to ensure that your engraving surface rests securely and doesn’t slip.
Can I make a K40 rotary attachment myself?
Yes! Geeksmithing have put together a shopping list of what to buy if you want to build one yourself! Click here to check out the full guide to do this
Where Can I Buy a K40 Rotary attachment?
Several companies make rotary attachments that plug straight into the k40’s power supply. They are built to fit easily into the bottom of the machine. These rotaries are incredibly simple machines that you could even build yourself with a pair of approximately 12-inch aluminum or steel dowels, probably a four-pin connector, some small metal gears, a Neema 17 stepper motor, and, of course, a bit of ingenuity. But, if you’d like to buy one, HM Laser Accessories produces a solid version that they sell on eBay.
How much does a K40 rotary attachment cost?
Cost will vary depending on size and availability. If you’re building it yourself, the most expensive part will most likely be the motor itself. If you’re purchasing on eBay on another online retailer, you’re looking at spending around $120. Regardless of whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional, with all the fun you’ll have and the versatility added to the function of your machine, it’s an investment you can’t afford to forego.
TUQI K40 rotary attachment
$113 (Best Price)
Tuqi sell a compatible version on Amazon for $113 which is one of the cheapest i’ve seen with good reviews. This version can be viewed and purchased using the link below