Original Shapeoko 3 Modification

Hey all, so I am an original owner of a first batch of shapeoko 3’s.

I put my machine up a few years ago cause of life, and im finally getting back to it. Got the HDZ, bitsetter, bitzero, new control board, and aluminium extrusion bed.

After pulling the machine out of storage I noticed the Y carriage plates were bowed slightly. Contacted carbide3d for replacement plates and was told they were out of production, ridiculous, but I digress.

So in the interest of getting the machine back to functioning order I decided to have new plates fabricated. Because of the aluminium extrusion bed I have lost Zq height and I want to fix that, while im at I decided that why not increase the Z height at the same time.

What I want to do is have the Y carriage plates extended by an inch and move the 4 v wheels down to keep them in the same location and increase the apace between the idlers and the stepper motor. Does any know know if its been done, or would know off the top of their head the type of deflection im going to be looking at?

Now to handle the aluminium extrusion bed issue, the extrusion is 1in x 3in profile. That creates problems with the Y carriage plates and v wheels not being able to attach to the y axis extrusions. For now I have removed the the aluminium bed extrusions on the ends but I think I want to fix the issue by fabricating new Y end plate adapters made out 1/2 aluminium plate and raise the y axis extrusions up about an inch. Has anyone seen this done?

Any insight would be appreciated.

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What’s the goal with the aluminium extrusion bed? Is that machine rigidity or just ease of workholding?

For the Y plates, if you go to 1/2" plate there will be clearance issues unless you shorten the X beam, might be easier to order new steel plates from somebody like send cut send.

In terms of deflection in the Y plates I’d suggest the plates (assuming you’re using equivalent thickness steel) won’t be the major issue, the plastic V wheels will dominate your deflections on this machine. I built up a model of this here

Extending the plates up above the Y rails and wheels may apply more leverage on the lower set of wheels and increase deflection. Mostly the plates are rigid because of the X beam bolted to them, a short length of angle or extrusion on the outer face of the Y plate to keep it rigid across the gap between X beam and top V wheel may help, you could add that later on if needed.

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@RichCournoyer did endplate extensions:

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