A Review of the New Shapeoko - Z-Axis Plate

How to tension the belt with a older version of So3 an a update version of z plate?

I just did the upgrade but my belt is loose. And i don`t see where i can adjust.

By moving the Z Motor up.

The motor is already in the maximum that i can pull up. and is too loose to adjust just with the motor.

Well I doubt that your belt is longer then mine (or the rest of the people who upgraded) so I’d look t your routing again to see if it slipped off something.) Sorry but that’s all I can think as a possible fix.

Anyone else have a similar problem?

@biluagd If you has an older version of SO3 check your belt. If it is 524GT2 then you need a shorter belt like 520GT2


Anyone know why SDP-SI doesn’t carry 520mm endless GT2?

Robotdigg has it of course — also found this listing on Amazon:

but not finding anything else.

HI, my belt is 520GT2 already. I`m attaching some photos to see if you can help find that everything is mounted correctly. I will review if i missing something too.

Thanks all for the answer.


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i reassembled and put the motor on maximum and I think the belted is tensions enough. Thanks all for the support

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Do I have to change anything on carbide motion, after this upgrade?

Once you’re certain your belt is taut enough, then you can calibrate for belt stretch:

For the Z-axis you’ll need to cut steps into a block and measure the steps.

@biluagd, I know you’ve got things fixed up but for anyone wanting to be able to tighten the Z belt a bit more, I printed a small wedge that fits in between the pulley and the two posts on the Z-axis plate. I don’t have a picture of it installed since I don’t want to take mine apart but using your picture I put an arrow indicating where it goes:

The wedge is a simple ellipse with a GT2 tooth pattern to help lock it into place. You don’t want it to slip around or fall out. Once installed it makes the belt just loose enough to get the Z plate on with a bit of effort.

It has worked well for me. STL attached.
Z-wedge.stl (1022.2 KB)



Brillent idea!

I received my Z upgrade plate today and fitted it - what a difference it makes - allot of wobble has disappeared and the additional height is crazy!

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I’d just like to chime in here that the Z-axis rail mount plate has been updated and now includes a small part which is inserted (press-fit?) and which provides M4 threads at 90 degrees so that an M4 SHCS can be used to tension the flanged bearing belt idler by pressing against its aluminum spacer.

Not sure how to work all that out on the wiki — I’m leaning towards segregating all mentions of the older style parts to a single page so as to present everything neatly for only the current and forward machines — can’t imagine that there’s much else which could be affordably / reasonably improved upon for them (though I’d love to see be proved wrong).

What a bummer. I just ordered the upgraded Z-plate (received today) and didn’t get this new part. Do you have a picture of this new part, so I can double-check my package for it?

The part is inserted onto the other plate — I don’t think it can be sent separately w/o replacing the other plate — it’s not a normal part of the upgrade, I was just being overly thorough and confusing matters. My apologies.

If you have any difficulties making your upgrade plate work, contact support@carbide3d.com and we’ll work it out with you.

I only got one part but had no issues fitting or adjusting

Don’t have my machine on me right now (its at home I’m at college) I got mine mid summer 2016, does that mean I have this upgrade? Or did it/is it coming later. I have been trying to work with copper and aluminum, with a decent amount of success, but occasionally my z axis does slip, and it runs my part/that chunk of material. Also if I have the depth of cut too deep it shudders when moving x/y axised, but again, I assume thats mostly due to the Z plate.

It doesn’t seem like I have this upgrade, but its also possible that I’m just haveing these issues because I’m a novice.

TL;DR When did/or do these better z axis plates start shipping out as part of the normal machine.
I got my machine mid summer 2016, just wondering if I do have this upgrade.

I don’t have an answer to your question, but I can add one data point until someone else adds a real answer: I received my Shapeoko in April 2017, and it does have the new Z plate.

It was in Summer 2016 — not sure of the cut off date.

It’s in a hidden page in our shop: https://shop.carbide3d.com/products/shapeoko-upgrade-z-axis-plate

and this PDF should allow you to determine which you have: http://carbide3d.com/files/s3plateupgrade.pdf

Rather than the new plate, you can reinforce the one you have.