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X-Axis Encoder Strip Replacement for the Mini/Helix

How do I replace the X-Axis encoder strip for my Epilog Mini or Helix?

Date updated: 11/06/2023
Machine Series: Mini, Helix, Fibermark
Categories: System Maintenance
Key Words: Mini | Helix | X-Axis | Encoder Strip | Install
Encoder strip replacement for the Mini and Helix engravers.

Machine Type: Epilog Mini 18/24, Helix

Tools Needed:

  • # 1 Phillips head screw driver
  • Small Phillips head screw driver
  • 3/32 Allen wrench
  • Make sure power is turned off and power cord is unplugged from the wall outlet.
  • Open up the glass lid to gain access to the I-beam. Pull the X-axis I-beam towards the center of the engraver. The X-axis I-beam is what the laser head travels left to right on.
  • You will need to remove the blue or grey cover on the X-axis I-beam. Using a #1 Phillips head screw driver, remove the 7 screws, 2 screws in the front and 5 in the back. Once the screws are removed, take the cover off and set it aside.
  • With the grey cover removed, you should be able to view the optical encoder strip that runs the length of the inside of the X-axis I-beam. To remove the optical strip, you will need to remove the white plastic bar that secures the optical strip on the back side of the optical strip.
  • Using the 3/32 Allen wrench, remove the 13 Allen screws that are inserted in the white plastic bar. You won’t be able to remove three of the screws until the two bracket has been removed. Follow step #6 to remove bracket.
  • You will also need to remove the two aluminum brackets that are attached to the white plastic bar. Each of the brackets are held in place with two small Phillips head screws. The bracket in the center holds down the white ribbon cable and the other bracket to the right supports the white ribbon cable up.
  • Once you have all the Allen and Phillips head screws removed from the white plastic bar, you can take the optical encoder strip out of the machine to replace it.
  • To install the optical encoder strip, simply reverse steps 7 back down to 1.
  • NOTE* When installing the new optical strip, please note that it will only go in one way so that all the holes in the encoder strip will line up with the holes in the aluminum X-axis I-beam. Also, when placing the Allen screws back in, start on the right hand side and tighten each screw one at a time while placing a small amount of pressure on the top edge of the optical encoder strip. Remember not to over tighten the screws or you can damaged the threads inside the X-axis I-beam. Finally, using either Windex with out ammonia or distilled water with a small amount of liquid dish soap in it on a soft Q-tip to clean both sides of the optical strip.

If further assistance is required, please contact Epilog Laser Technical Support by phone at 303-215-9171, or by email at