New Linear Z for my SO3 XXL - Long post with pictures

If using the platform build go to 2nd option and machine settings - you can view/change all the machine settings from one box.

Also for Z probing you will need a negative number

So I did this, can jog just fine but even in those programs I am getting the same problem… When I start the job, it moves to the starting position and its like it freezes on the way down, makes a noise but doesnt keep moving down and the program shows it saying it went to the correct Z height… I am about to take this thing off and send it back…

Have you got a soft limit enabled?

Post your GRBL settings

hey guys sorry. I tried to post that I got it fixed. For some reason the speed setting $112 didn’t hold but that was the problem. It was attempting to go way to fast. Thx!


Just posted a very VERY slight review of it here:

I was wondering if any one was having this problem?
With no Z plate mounted, the unit goes up and down smoothly. the minute I mount the Z plate it chatters and vibrates going down. If I loosen the bottom screws less then a turn it goes away but then the Zplate is to loose.

Adjust them per?

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Mine does not do that. I’d send a link of your video to Joe and see what he says. Mine a lot more quiet going up than going down, but not nearly that loud.

I did, he was of no help. It is binding some how.

Sounds like something is not true and flat. Do you have a good straight edge that you can check the surfaces for flatness or a good reference plate to check for twist? Granite plate or cast iron table saw top?

Also check that the plate is tapped properly and not at an angle. This could also cause issues when tightening down the mounts.

Does it make the same sound with the Spindle installed?

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Crikey, that doesn’t sound good at-all!

I will try to help other than plug my heavy duty version :smiley:

From my experience thats a grinding sound. If thats the case it’s going to between three metal parts and your main culprits would be a

  1. Lead screw in this version - unfortunately lead screws are not usually lubricated and have no moving parts. It could have something jammed in it. I would dismantle, remove and clean in de-greaser.
  2. The liner rails are based on ball bearings. If these are binding on the rails you would usually see some kind of score/wear marks on the linear rails. Unfortunately you can’t degrease these but you can clean with air, some wd40 then re-grease.
  3. Your upper and lower ball bearing. If it’s a sealed BB this is unlikely. I can’t see anyone using unsealed BBs

If I were you I’d dismantle the unit and start looking at the lead-screw as your first port. I’d suspect something has gotten stuck in there. When you go down it’s jamming and not moving smoothly. If you have an air compressor you could try blowing air down it to begin with then shooting a bunch of WD40 down from above.

It ended up being my coupling was slightly cocked off to one side. With no weight on the axis it would run smooth, put the least amount of weight on it and it was grinding into the upper bearing are.
All is good now and I appreciate all the help. Thanks Ray

The latest images on their website seem to show a new slider that completely replaces the entire z axis assembly, has anyone had experience with this new version?

I have the older one, and it’s kind of…half assed. It’s very difficult to get trammed properly, and only uses two screws to mount to the carriage (one at the top, one at the bottom) as delivered. It actually has two more, but they don’t quite line up with the carriage, so you need to drill out the carriage holes to use them at all. Additionally, there are two pockets on the back of it to clear some features on the carriage plate, and they’re not in the right place, and need to be enlarged, which is a real pain when the machine is all torn apart. I’m not 100% happy with it, but it’s better than the stock axis. I’ll be changing to @Luke’s at my earliest opportunity. I’d recommend that one if it’s in your budget.

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thats a shame i thought this newer version shows great potential in replacing the whole carriage, i will definitely look in to this alternative.

Maybe it does, but given the previous one, it would have a lot to fix.

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I have the new one and it is good. Better than the belt Z and quick and easy install.

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It’s probably a silly question, but why don’t you install the linear Z the other way round? i.e. the moving plate fixes to the Shapeoko back plate and the router/spindle fixes to the bottom of the ‘fixed’ side. The motor has to haul a bit more weight, but the advantage is you could cut deeper because the router would always be at the end of the z gantry. Imagine a 12" ball screw linear plate assembly and a Shapeoko with a hole in it’s wasteboard and support table. You could do 12" deep cuts… For shallow cuts the router would be better supported because the mount could be close to the base of the router where the cutting is happening.
Just an idle thought…