SMW HDM fixture plates

Curious to ask the folks that have installed the SWM plates specific to the HDM, they are installed on the frame rather then the hybrid table, do you use shims to level? Or?

I wouldn’t think extrusions would provide corner to corner consistent flatness is why I ask.

I have the 3 plate system secured directly to the frame. The plates are locally flat within my measuring tolerance and within 10 thou across the work envelope.


I have the first version that sat on top of the hybrid bed and I leveled phenolic wasteboard slats that they sit on. Afterwards I was within 0.002" across the entire workable plate surface. They are the same thickness to within a few ten-thou of each other. The newer version I would level with shims, making sure that I had shims that would bridge under the seams. Shimming machines is 100% acceptable practice and gets done to multi-million dollar machines to get them installed within tolerance.


Bring your shims and come on over.


Got a response from SWM to the question I emailed them earlier today, Sunday, Easter Sunday to be precise. Nice.
Vince reminded me that there are no less then 40 bolts and that they should pull the three plates down nice and tight. Also, the plates are machined as a set to further ensure flatness across the bed.
He also confirmed @SLCJedi comment regarding shims.


There’s a fair bit of options to consider. The latest version (and perhaps the previous?) for the HDM has 1/2” holes. Other versions have options for 1/4” holes some of which can be used on the HDM to varying degrees of bed coverage. The workholding accessories are different between the two.

SWM is excellent with responding to questions. Might not be a bad idea to email them with what you want to fixture and they can make specific recommendations. They told me they still had at least one of the original HDM plates which they would sell at a discount.


Not looking to buy one just considering design options for my next plate building exercise.

I’m pretty invested in 6mm mod vises etc. Plus I’m really happy with the 1/2” plate I made, as described in another thread.


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