Z Axis redo, what are your thoughts on this design

So I have a Shapeoko that is out of use and has been for a little while. As you all know with the upgrade kits you have to use all the plates and motors from the original. It does not seem that Carbide3d sells the plates separately, so I’m going to need to either mill these myself or have them made. Something I suppose I’ll have to work out. Anyway, it is a pretty simple design.

What do you guys/gals think?
Do you think the flex will be less?
Has anyone else used the Openbuild’s linear actuator before?
How stout is it?

Openrail all mounted.


I’ve looked at the C beam kits, and they look good. However I haven’t tested them. I feel that the weak point on them would be the V wheels, if you are going to ball drive I’d go all the way and do the lot.

I like your design, I think the wrap around carriage would add some strength and stop a good amount of the twist. If you are making an X plate, I’d do front and back.


I really like the idea of using V-wheels on both sides; My main concern in doing this is that if I add a heavier spindle down the road plus use a ball screw that is 400 mm (15+") or so in length, I’m creating quite a bit of moment on the v-wheels on one side and possibly too much side loading on the wheels. My question is, in your design it looks like you are using Carbide extrusions, but don’t they only have the V-channel on one side? how are you going to get the other wheels to stay? Although I suppose with the right spacers to keep the distance between the v-wheels constant across the top of the rail, you could use something like these which wouldn’t necessarily require a V-groove:

Thief! You stole the idea for a two-sided support carriage right out of my brain!

Looks really nice… I’d been thinking of something nearly identical when I get to my Z build, save using bearings held at 90 and riding the back of the extrusion to reduce twist when making Y cuts.

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