X axis carraige jamming issue

Ok gents I have a new s3 16" fully built with homing switches installed. Homing, rapid positioning, and the hello world came out ok after a few shots at calibration of the z axis so it didn’t squash the felt tip.

The machine seems to move smooth under power however When I move the X axis carriage by hand when the machine is off slowly so I do not generate too much reverse power. It moves smooth for a few inches and then feels like it jams it can be pushed past the rough spot and is smooth for a few inches then hits a jamming spot again. The only thing I can think of that would cause this is a defective V wheel somewhere on the X axis plate. Has anyone else had such an issue?

I don’t want to try cutting anything and risk damage until I get this resolved Thanks!


If the wheels are all moving and in contact with the extrusion, you are probably good to go.

Cyclical resistance could be a bad bearing, which wont harm anything and can be replaced once identified.
If it is a bad wheel, you would see that.

From the rear of the machine while rapiding the machine from side to side, see if there is any binding .

I would run some test jobs and see if it goes away.

Whats your first project?

I plan to add threaded inserts, level my spoil board with a flat bit, and then make clamps.

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This may not be your case but I remember reading in the forum a few months back that moving the x and y axis will cause a current from the motors which in turn will give the exact symptoms you describe here. I believe the motors were trying to brake (not break). This happened while there was no power to the unit.

I re-adjusted the v wheels and still have some binding but not as much however my machine refuses to cut smooth 5/16 holes. I programmed a set of 5 holes in CC and the machine stutters when it gets to the last 4 holes even when the bit is in mid air with the router off. I don’t know if the CC Gcode possibly is corrupt has anyone had this happen before? I designed in CC and ran the job from CM The letters come out fine as does the border but the holes stutter and come out terrible. No matter where on the machine the job is run. At first the first holes were smooth now all have defects.

I sent in a support request on 11/4/16 with pictures but have not heard a peep from CARBIDE SUPPORT so my beautiful enclosure is protecting my garage from a nice looking paper weight for the moment.

Please accept my apologies for the non-response — you should have an e-mail from support now.

I wonder if the problem in the not round holes couldn’t be belt tension — could you please describe where on the machine the part in your photo was cut? Currently waiting to find out what the official guidelines are for squaring the machine — we do have a bit on the wiki though:


Belt tension can be tricky — some notes on that here: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Shapeoko_3#Belts


My Y axis plates don’t have adjustable motor brackets the motors are fixed in 1 position leaving only the belt mounting bolt to adjust belt tension. The letters cut fine as do the outlines and the machine rapids smooth as can be to all points. I started the job from the front left of the machine. My machine is 1/16" out of square up front and no matter how I tighten the rails when we tighten the left motor plate X axis screws it pulls the machine slightly out of square. I’ll add more details when I get home

Yeah, it seems it’d be tough to get the belts tensioned w/o the motor repositioning — the instructions cover this though: http://carbide3d.com/shapeoko/assembly/

My suggestion would be to measure the machine diagonally and figure out which diagonal is longer — add spacers (use various thickness of aluminum foil, and if need be, shims cut from an aluminum can) to the rails so as to get it to square up.

Also check the bolts on the V-wheels and make certain that the washers are consistently placed.

I would recommend double-checking all the set-screws in the pulleys. Each one has two set screws. I had similar problems and it was because some of the set screws were just loose enough to cause problems during cutting but not so loose that rapiding didn’t work. If you think about it, a circle has constant changes in the x-y positioning so a slightly loose setscrew will hose it.
I had read about the set screws numerous times in the forum but it wasn’t until I really focused on them that my machine “magically” started working well.
If I remember right, when the machine is powered on, none of the axes should budge. If they can be moved, then something is loose.
good luck!!

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We went through and checked all set screws to make sure the flat spot was aligned and not one was loose or out of place. then we readjusted the V Wheel tension all the way around the machine and got rid of the rough/binding spot in the X axis and re-squared the gantrys. I loaded the job and my machine starts cutting smooth on the first 3 holes but then the motors clearly start stuttering on the last few holes that are the same size and width apart as the first 3. I’m at my whits end here. I don’t know if it’s my control board, carbide create, or carbide motion but it is killing me having a machine I cant rely on.

i took video today but it’s a large file I will have to upload somewhere to share it. I guess I’ll put it on youtube for now until we fix the issue.


A photo might shed some additional light on the issue.

With Power off, and the steppes Unplugged- does it roll smooth?

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smooth as can be without power. I think it was faulty gcode as I made a new test job and everything cut smooth in a piece of hardwood but when I loaded the original job it stuttered once more. I will try a few more test jobs and if they are successful I will be happy but when I had the machine cut a grid pattern of holes for threaded inserts all the holes were under sized and not round
the first picture shows the imperfections on the holes where the machine stuttered in person it stands out more
second was test cut that worked out this morning
third was a 2inch square that I’m wondering if there is a way to dial in better or is .017 what I’m going to have to work with


Just be careful it wasn’t operator error (feeds speeds, cutter deflection, programming error, etc) before you dive in, but here it is:



when my machine stuttered it was during both cutting and running with no load mid air on the same job.

I’m going to buy some more stock so I can test more cuts and will keep posting my results.

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