5 Pro Spindle Table Crash at CNC Power Down, DIY Z-BRAKE

Tired of driving your pricey bits into your 5 Pro’s table when powering down?

Usually not a big deal until you have snapped a $50 fine bit not purchased from Carbide 3D. I read a post that the folks on the Left Coast are working on a possible solution but decided to take a crack at fixing myself.

Meet Z-Brake!

Z-Brake is a solution that does not require any alteration of the Machine. It utilizes 3 parts that can be purchased for around $40 on Amazon. It requires devising an installation bracket utilizing existing OE holes and aligning the sweet spot of the electromagnet with the vertical Z-rail without scrubbing it and creating any resistance in the movement of the Z axis. I was lucky and found a bracket in one of my junk drawers that I was able to cobble to work without needing to cut one. Luckily the back of the magnet and the face of the HDZ are relatively flush with each other. A flat bracket can easily be shimmed to achieve the proper distance between the magnet and rail. The bracket can be as simple as a 1.75” x 4.5” piece of flat stock.

The electromagnet is actually a door lock mechanism that is a continuous-duty part that can be activated indefinitely without burning out the coil. I have used a larger one on my shop door for 12 years without failure. While not the perfect match, it gets the job done at the right price. It needs to be positioned to align the magnet’s sweet spot (not the center) with the vertical Z rail.

It seems to work great with the Makita Router. I do not know what the VFD Spindle weighs, obviously weight matters. I did add 4 lbs. to the top of the router and it sank an inch as the more surface of the magnet that is aligned with the rail the stronger the braking power.

1 Like

So, the brake requires power to work?
If you have a power failure, your spindle will still drop down into your work piece?

Yes & Yes as mentioned. However, the magnet requires very low amps and you can use a small battery backup tied into the unswitched power circuit if outages are a problem.

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.