Shapeoko 3 Mishap, Help!

So I was cutting some aluminum last night and ran into an issue. I got most of the way through my cut and then the cutter started to gum up with material. It cut hard and skipped/pulled the cutter into the material. I could see the Z axis plate flex quite a bit when this happened. I quickly stopped the machine, cleaned things up and went to jog the machine and noticed that one of the bottom V wheels on the side extrusions was loose. I tightened it up and ran a test circle. It did not come out as expected, almost oblong.

Now I notice when I jog the machine forward or backward one side or the other almost lags compared to the other one. What would cause this type of lag from side to side? Did I skip some teeth on a belt? If that is the case what is the fix?

As far as I could tell everything seemed to be tightened as it should. Nothing seems to be out of the ordinary.

Let me know if there is more information needed, and thanks in advance for the help!!

You may need to adjust the V-wheels again, or it may be that they’ve been damaged and force out of round. Suggest removing them and checking carefully. If they’re only slightly out of round, leaving them off the machine for 24 hours may restore them.

You should also inspect the belts — that’s awkward with them upside down as they are — I use a (spare) dental mirror — just push the machine slowly. I keep telling myself I’m going to work up a magnetic clamp…

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I have done this.

I usually would not run the machine till you have tested everything - even then run with caution.

My first step, turn off the shapeoko - unplug the stepper motors and move each axis manually by hand. As @WillAdams states check the belts, pulleys and you will likely need to adjust the V Wheels. When this happened to me and it was bad my Z and Y axis were thrown right out but belts and pulleys were fine.

If you find anything wrong with the Z axis I’d also look at the Y axis too.

I should add in the future go slower/lower the DOC and use coolant to stop this from happening.


After checking belt tension and verify the wheels are good. turn the power off and slowly pull the y bar all the way to the front. Check it is square across the front. Both sides touching the front frame. If not adjust the belt accordingly.


So, I checked all the V wheels and they were fine. Then I took apart both belts and re applied tension to them. I also made sure that the z belt had good tension. Once I got everything back together things worked just as it should. I cut both aluminum and some HDPE with no issues.

I am guessing I must have slipped a couple teeth on one side and the belt reinstall fixed the issue.

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