Steel-Core Belt Upgrade

(Stephen Kidwell) #18

Now I want to find Kevlar belts, lol. So far so good with my steel ones though.


(Julien Heyman) #19

If anyone has ideas about what exactly they’d like to see tested, let me know. If time (and motivation) allows I’ll check it in addition to my own tests (which will boil down to mapping the X/Y calibration factors at various places of the bed). Also I have not had the time to do these tests BEFORE the upgrade, so the results will not mean much anyway in terms of comparison vs the original belts.


(Stephen Kidwell) #20

Perhaps using a dial indicator to see how accurate the steps are before and after, if any tweaks to the GRBL settings are needed. Outside of that I am cutting acrylic and aluminum sheet metal all day with mine with no issues so far.


(Neil Ferreri) #21

Any increase in feedrate?

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(Stephen Kidwell) #22

Hugely yes, for aluminum 5052 .04" thick I was going with the following:

Spiral O Single Flute (Amana 51377-Z)
.02" DoC
45ipm ramping

Same end mill
.03" DoC
75ipm ramping

The new rate has some of the cleanest cuts I have seen and no chatter noise at all. Again don’t take my word for it because at the same time I switched my belts was the same time I also got my new Z axis and 2.2kw spindle up and running. However, given the new Z axis and spindle are definitely heavier it is nice to know these belts are stronger at their core to handle jogging around.

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(Daniel Story) #23

No idea if reputable but, :slight_smile:


(Stephen Kidwell) #24

Interesting. May be worth checking if I ever wear out my steel core belts


(mikep) #25

Holy cow the shipping!!! $25 shipping on a $25 order…


(Gary) #26

AliExpress free shipping, or expedited for less the $10. Ordered yesterday, shipping notice today.


(Neil Ferreri) #27

@HDRyder Did you find 9mm kevlar on aliexpress? Got a link?


(Phil Thien) #28

Maybe now isn’t the right time, but…

There was a thread about a system from another vendor using two belts, one stationary, the other inverted into the first belt.

The idea was better power, less (no?) stretch, etc.

At the time the thought was there wasn’t enough room for two interlocking belts on the Shapeoko. Well, there is enough room on mine. Two meshed belts can fit under my idler wheels.


(Daniel Story) #29

Checkout process will get you a more accurate shipping quote, mine was $6.89 to CO, US. Also shipped next day.
Little more inclined to try RepRapWorld than AliExpress but that’s just me. For all I know the belts come from the same China manufacturer :roll_eyes:


(Julien Heyman) #30

Soooo, epic fail tonight why working on calibrating these new steel belts. What I had in mind was cutting a set of small square shapes of various predefined dimensions, located at various positions across the wasterboard, then measure everything, and check whether the calibration factor (measured vs expected) is the same everywhere (which I think would be a good indicator of belt deformations). Silly me did not want to waste good stock, so I used a thick sheet of MDF…and shot myself in the foot by also using an upcut endmill and cutting too fast to be done quicker, and got this:

Measuring anything precise on such a messy mess is virtually impossible (face palm…).
BUT, since it was there I measured it anyway, and it turns out the dimensions are very uniform across all locations, so there is hope (that if I redo this test with a proper material, this will lead somewhere. My end goal is to compensate for dimensional non-uniformities depending on position (as discussed here))


(Rick) #31

I am defiantly interested in what you folks find.


(Gary) #32

It’s the very first post of this thread. You can choose 8mm, 9mm, or 10mm x 10meters long. But I see you asking for Kevlar. I ordered steel core.


(Neil Ferreri) #33

Yup, just some miscommunication. I thought you were responding about Kevlar. I have steel core as well.


(Tim Foreman) #34

I ordered the steel belts a couple of days ago. I will be interested to see how they work out.

As far as calibration, I prefer direct measurement instead of cutting something and measuring it.

This is how I calibrate my machine:


(Julien Heyman) #35

Yeah I also used my indicator and did some tests that way. Since I want to characterize the calibration factor at various X/Y locations, I thought it would be simpler to cut a test pattern and then do all the measuring manually, but I may end up using 123 blocks as you do, measuring, then moving them a bit, rinse and repeat.


(mikep) #36

Here’s my method for belt adjustment, works great, fast to do once you’ve done it once or twice.


(Jeff Helget) #37

It is coming out of the Netherlands so shipping will be a bit to chew on. Did anyone see what the pitch is on these Kevlar belts? Digging around like others I am sure and have not found any on this side of the pond. I have been thinking about having a backup set of belts. If I don’t i will have one break on a rush run. I would be willing to consider the Kevlar. I like the flexibility aspect versus the steel core. With all the upgrades so far cheap belts is like running low octane gas in a performance car.