Totally confused with XY & Z!

I received a new board from C3D - great service BTW.

Still not working.

I pulled apart the drag chain so that I could follow all the cables back to their motors and confirm I was plugging things into the right place.

If I have them all plugged in and use jog I cannot get the carriage to move.

However, If I unplug everything and try each one in the Z socket they all work, albeit being controlled by the Z+ & Z-.

Another thing I don’t understand is that isn’t the Y axis left to right? If so, why are the two motors that control what I was thought the X axis labelled Y1 & Y2?

At my wits end.


Y is towards or away from you — by convention it’s along the outer rails.

X is left–right.

This is mentioned in the glossary:

If only the Z-axis stepper driver works to move the motors, I suspect that the X- and Y-axes are bad. Just to confirm — when swapping the connectors only the Z-axis will move a motor — and this swap includes the wiring extension cables (if any).

Please contact and we’ll work out getting a good, tested controller to you.


Remember to power off the machine when plugging and unplugging the stepper motors to the board.

Good, the Z works, now attach the x.

Then the 2 Y’s

The 2 Y motors move front to back.

I recommend labeling all the white plastic connectors with a sharpie marker.

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One last possibility/concern — does the Y-axis shudder when you try to move it?

If so, slacken the belts and check that the pulleys are properly rotating so as to move the gantry properly at both ends — if that’s not the case and they’re counter-rotating, use a small tool to reverse one of the stepper motors by doing one of the following:

  • EDIT: FIRST POWER DOWN (as @Les_Hall noted)
  • swap a pair of wires (the wires in the left pair or the wires in the right pair)
  • swap the left-most pair and right-most pair of wires
  • reverse all four wires

Thanks everyone.


In the assembly instructions it should say what stepper motor is what and how important it is to mark the plugs Z, Y1, Y2 & X. The same with the stop switches.

Finally I had to undo all that pesky chain thing and follow each wire back and mark them all appropriately. Maybe second nature for people who have used a CNC Router before, but not for this novice.

Whine mode off.


A good way to avoid pulling the cabling back out is to use a multimeter with the continuity feature. You can put one lead of the meter on a cable, and go to the other end, and probe the cables until one beeps.


Good idea, I did that with the stop switches but decided I had to eyeball the motor leads, it’s all working swimmingly now.