Looking at bringing a new Z axis to market

(Luke) #41

Hi Josh

Your feedbacks really interesting. Whilst the Spindle mount has a small footprint it have very little flex in any direction - when it’s clamped down to a flat surface you have to apply some serious pressure for the mount it’s self to move. Granted you might see some twist on the V wheels you should not see chatter. I myself ran a 2.2kw spindle with 80mm mount with only 2 M5 bolts and got zero chatter - I’m not stating that is ideal, but I do believe the spindle mount provided with a shapeoko is adequate for the dewalt.

If you feel it’s weak I do have a solution mind - I’m offering up a machined 80mm spindle that clamps to the front with M6 bolts. It does mean you need to upgrade your router to a spindle mind :smiley:

On a more serious note, if your getting chatter on a regular basis something is loose or miss aligned. In some cases the V wheels might be deformed or damaged, even not tight enough. The Chatter can also be caused by a slack Z belt as it doesn’t hold the axis in situ properly, thus when making a cut the router is bouncing.

I have also made adjustments to the V wheel spacing allowing for those V wheels on the X carriage to be tightened more than usual.



(Josh Hartung) #42

Hi Luke,

Good to hear you aren’t seeing issues with your setup. The first question I have in hearing that is: what were you cutting and how were you cutting it? I’m seeing enough chatter to have a scalloped and ugly edge when cutting a 4MM depth pass, 750mm/min in HDPE, 2 flute 1/4" carbide end mill, full width cut (slot), climb direction. That’s running the DWP611 somewhere on the low end of it’s scale, between 2 and 4 on the little dial.

The machine is only about 1mo old, I’ve recently tensioned the z-belt, and v-wheels are in good shape. If I apply pressure in the Y direction to the endmill, I can see visible movement. I haven’t measured it, but I would guess it’s 0.050" or more with firm finger pressure. Not so in the X direction. I’m not surprised by this as I’ve seen video reviews with the same behavior and it’s the primary reason I didn’t buy an x-carve. Rigidity is pretty much the top metric for machining quality and speed and it’s weirdly underestimated as the source of all kinds of problem in the hobby community.

(Luke) #43

I cut allot of aluminium, but I also use a 2.2kw water cooled spindle with bits varying from 1mm all the way up to 10. I would say at 4mm DOC you might want to lesser the DOC and increase the feed speed. If you lessen the load you might not get the chatter - give it a try as it suggests a fault. I did get some aweful chatter once - my spindle hadn’t been tramed - also worth a look.

I’ve had my machines for almost 2 years now, and I would say you learn allot as time goes on. Many of my ‘faults’ were self inflicted.

You will always get moment on a hobbyist machine - bear in mind these are cnc routers and a half decent machine centre will cost you 10k and only be able to cut a 20cm box… With the current setup you have multiple areas of flex, however these are not due to the spindle mount but down to the v wheels - currently you have 8 on 2 fairly flimsy supports. Whilst my design have 4 wheels they can go tighter and they are directly attached to a 15mm plate with 2 15x15mm steel supports…

In first instance tighten your v wheels, check y belts and pulleys, and lower that DOC.

(Phil Thien) #44

Josh, are you confusing x and z axis labels? X being left to right, Y being front to back? Are you getting chatter left to right or front to back?

If you are getting scalloping, make sure you can slide a playing card between your steel wheels and the aluminum extrusions. If the steel wheels come into contact with the aluminum, you will get some waves in your cuts.

I agree that the wheels on the Z carriage are perhaps the largest weakness of the design. Someone recently posted a thread with an upgrade involving mounting linear rail to the X beam, and a trolly that rides it to the Z carriage.

(Josh Hartung) #45

@MrBeaver thanks for the hints. I’m going through 3/4" HDPE so more looking for a faster roughing method - the scalloped edges aren’t a big deal since I can do a full depth finishing pass at the end if they bug me. Decreasing the DOC would definitely improve the chatter but really I was hoping to do more, hence my interest in your z axis.

I will admit that I haven’t trammed the spindle yet and acknowledge this may be the source of some problems… it’s just such a PITA I haven’t been willing to disassemble the machine to get it done. I did double check deflection as described and it is not insignificant. While difficult to tell without measurement, much of it appears to be as you say in the v-wheels. My comment on the spindle mount may indeed be off the mark.

@cgallery I’m describing chatter when the machine is traveling front to back, so the y axis. I’m not sure what the “steel wheels” you’re mentioning are. Aren’t they all plastic?

Also, I’m sensitive to hijacking this thread from Luke’s fine Z-carriage to troubleshooting my machine. If I want to continue this further I’ll start a separate thread, but I very much appreciate your comments so far.

(Ken Chalk) #46

How’s progress with the linear z slider coming along?

(Luke) #47

@DCFYI - thanks for the prompt I have been updating my backers via email but not posting anything on here. I’ve just sent you a PM as I’m assuming you haven’t had my emails?

The majority of stock parts have come, I have the custom milled ball screws, motor stands thousands of screws, switches. I’m expecting the custom cut linear rails and sliders today!

Annoyingly I’m waiting for a few small nice to have but not critical parts - V wheels and eccentric nuts which were ordered ages ago but are taking their time to come from china…

The custom milled parts are in production and I’m hoping for some pictures this week. There is a possibility that they will be ready next week but it’s more likely the week after. If thats the case assembly and shipping isn’t far out :smiley:

I’m also having conversations with the guys at suckit and we’re spitballing on some designs.

(Luke) #48

Yehhh!!! I just had the heaviest box ever arrive!

Custom ground rails and blocks.

7 key parts off a complete setup.

(Matt Smith) #49

Nice looking bit of kit, that. Properly Knolled, even. Can’t wait to hear feedback from the first round of users.

(Mike) #50

ALWAYS be knolling :wink:

(Luke) #51

I had to Google this :joy:

(Mad Hatter) #52

Next time you post a pic, make everything juuuust a bit out of square.
Some parts just a bit too close.

Some a bit too far.

Some. . . . .randomly. .spaced apart. . . . . . .with . . . . . .no. . . pattern.

(Luke) #53


Late evening delivery and the v wheels showed up! Now I just need the machined parts and my eccentric nuts…

(Nick) #54

Can’t seem to vote, but I would almost certainly buy the $450 one

(Luke) #55

Hi guys

Things seem to be picking up pace a little.

  • Instructions are being reviewed by a couple of my early backers and I’ve had some good constructive feedback this morning.
  • V wheels turned up yesterday - that just means I’m waiting on the main parts and eccentric nuts. I can ship without eccentric nuts but I’d like to include these if I can.
  • The main construction is in production - some parts are awaiting finishing.
  • Myself and Mark & Jenn have the basics worked out for Suckit users - we’re making positive steps towards a fitting kit. Mark is finalising the design for some new arms.
  • I had the 2.2kw spindle mounts turn up today - unfortunately they have some light surface damage - it doesn’t hold back the functionality but it’s not pleasing. Im working with the manufacture to address this going forwards, I’m thinking of a solution for the 5 I have.

80mm of machined hole goodness.

(Reid Forrest) #56

On the latest design, will there be space to mount a laser in addition to the router? I purchased a 10W from Endurance Lasers and scratching my head on how I’m going to mount it.

(Luke) #57

Hi Reid

Yep, on the top of the Z plate I’ve added 6 holes for additional hardware. With a bracket you can add a laser - I’m adding one to mine :smiley:


(Reid Forrest) #58

Great! I’ll preorder one from you.

(Jude Marleau) #59

Hi Luke, Great work! I will be ordering one but I have to build my new house first after I sell my house after I finish the renovations as soon as my son finishes buying his home and moving out, so I may not be able to get in on the pre-order option. No matter, You’ve shared so much I want to support your efforts. Thanks again and I will be purchasing asap. Jude

(Luke) #60

Hi Jude

Thanks for the kind words!

Thats no problem, best of luck with the move. By the time you are done I should be able to keep stock levels :smiley: