More flexibility for drag chains

Not a weird question, honestly, but is there a way to induce more ‘flexibillity’ in the drag chains, please?

For some reason, the one on my XXL’s Y1 extrusion will not stay flat, like a tank track, but loops up, like a balloon.


The looping up is good, since it reduces the strain on, and flexing of the wires.

I suppose one could replace the wiring with something more flexible, but that’s a lot of effort/expense for aesthetics.

Thanks, @WillAdams

The thing is, it doesn’t do it with the drag chain on the X axis - including the fact that the router cable is, erm, routed along it? though

The other thing which will influence this is how many links there are in the drag chain — remove links until the drag chain movement is constrained as you wish?

Post a photo?

As requested!

It probably doesn’t look too bad in the photo and, to be fair, it’s only a bit worse than the drag chain on the X axis, but one of the first issues I had after building this was the propensity for the drag chain to fall off the axis and get trapped under the support bracket.

I think the drag chain falling off was caused by narrow support brackets. Perhaps they should have been manufactured slightly wider and with a retaining lip on the outer edge? Just a thought.

I’ll see how it goes.

Thanks again, @WillAdams

Are you sure it’s not just an issue with not having enough cable length inside the drag chain? It doesn’t look like it’s maxed out flexibility wise.

I can’t quite tell if this is an equivalent image, but this is one that I have in my machine. I guess they must have made a change at some point in the last year though because I don’t have the little brackets that you do, my drag chain sits right on the extrusion.

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Hmm, I’d have thought too long a cable would have caused that?

I’ll have a play and see what I can do about it. Strange yours runs on the extrusion, though. It would make sense to do that, as it provides a lot more support than two 15mm long brackets!

I think yours does look a bit lower than mine, though.

Thanks, Dan

You’re right - the other thing I’ve had to play around with before (on other drag chain projects) is radial position of thicker/stiffer cables versus the finer ones to optimize the bend radius and minimize stress.

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Is there a cable chain kit available for the standard size Shapeoko? Or is this only for the XL & XXL?

Not from Carbide 3D — the cable runs are short and efficient enough that it’s not needed.

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