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Question #: 5738

Question: I bought a Blacktoe 2 x 8 three years ago and have always had a problem with the Zid axis. No matter how tightly I've calibrated the axis it always cuts to deep. Can I put a larger Stepper motor on Z-axis using the same motion electronics that came with the original machine.

Current Solution

Modifying the Z-axis to accommodate a larger motor will be a worth while task and is possible, however we have not calibrated the z-axis therefore using the 1600 Steps-per inch in the motor tuning on our machine in our shop. We have not noticed any significant depth increments from not calibrating the z-axis but only from zeroing the z axis too close to the material. Also in your design did you specify the actual depth and the length of tool (end mill/ bit) that you are using?

Respond:

Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • I have your Nema 24 electronics kit and am having problems with the Z axis dropping over time. I am using a PC 8902 motor. Any ideas on what the problem is? What should be the motor tuning values in Mach3? Thanks

    Make sure all your bolts/screws are tighten correctly and if using a lead screw make sure your anti-backlash nut is not offset. Now a default setting will be 10101100 for your driver dip switch settings and in motor tuning (mach3) 1600 steps per, 400.02 velocity, 4 in acceleration. now the acceleration and velocity can be adjusted to move your machine faster, but if set to high they could stall. Make sure you have the correct wiring from your motor to your driver (https://www.buildyourcnc.com/Documents/PN.SM60HT86-2008BF-U%20(inhouse%20PN.60BYGH303-13)%20(1).pdf).

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I have your Nema 24 electronics kit and am having problems with the Z axis dropping over time. I am using a PC 8902 motor. Any ideas on what the problem is? What should be the motor tuning values in Mach3? Thanks

  • X AXIS STEPPER MOTOR STALLS AND SHUTTERS WHEN COMING FROM A STAND STILL WON'T MOVE WITHOUT PUSH BY HAND. I TOOK THE CHAINS OFF SPUN FINE WITH OUT LOAD. HAVE CHAIN HOOKED UP CAN MACHINE BACK FORTH HAND, NO HANG UPS OR ANYTHING, BUT TRY TO IT DOESN'T JUST SPINS OUT. ANY SUGGESTIONS?

    If your axis shutters and will not move unless moved by another force, that sounds like your acceleration is set too high. Lower the acceleration until it works well, then lower it a bit more to have a margin of safety.

    IF that didn't work, try swapping the X and Y drivers. That way you will pinpoint if the issue is the driver. If the proplem persists, then there may be an issue with the motor itself.

    The X and Y drivers can be easily swapped by swapping only the motor wires.

    - Remove the x-axis motor wires from the X driver.
    - Remove the Y motor wires from the Y driver.
    - Insert the X motor wires into the Y driver.
    - Insert the Y motor wires into the X driver.

    Now the Y-axis will move the gantry. Test the Gantry movement by moving the Y axis using the up and down arrow keys (mach3).

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    X AXIS STEPPER MOTOR STALLS AND SHUTTERS WHEN COMING FROM A STAND STILL WON'T MOVE WITHOUT PUSH BY HAND. I TOOK THE CHAINS OFF SPUN FINE WITH OUT LOAD. HAVE CHAIN HOOKED UP CAN MACHINE BACK FORTH HAND, NO HANG UPS OR ANYTHING, BUT TRY TO IT DOESN'T JUST SPINS OUT. ANY SUGGESTIONS?

  • How can I decrease the rapid acceleration of the cutter from a completed cutting operation to a new location so that the stepper motor will not lose its steps and mess up the machine zero settings? I am using CamBam and Mach3 on my machine with a chain drive. what is the best way to reduce accleration

    Decreasing the speed of acceleration in the cutter? Meaning of your router/spindle?, To modify the speed of a router will be going to the router itself and modifying the speed, but if a spindle is being used modifying it will be done either manually in the VFD (VFD Setup:
    Change PD001 to '0' (source of run commands)
    Change PD003 to 300 (main frequency - Hz)
    Change PD004 to 300 (base frequency - Hz)
    Change PD005 to 400 (max operating frequency - Hz)
    Change PD006 to 2.5 (intermediate frequency - Hz)
    Change PD008 to 220 (max voltage - V)
    Change PD009 to 15 (intermediate voltage - V)
    Change PD010 to 8 (minimum voltage - V)
    Change PD011 to 100 (frequency lower limit - Hz)
    Change PD142 to 7 (rated motor current - Amps)
    Change PD143 to 2 (motor pole number)
    Change PD144 to 3000 (rated motor revolution))<- make sure these are your settings in the VFD. If the spindle is wired to the breakout board and is working through Mach 3 then the modification will be done in your CamBam/Feed rate settings.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    How can I decrease the rapid acceleration of the cutter from a completed cutting operation to a new location so that the stepper motor will not lose its steps and mess up the machine zero settings? I am using CamBam and Mach3 on my machine with a chain drive. what is the best way to reduce accleration

  • I've read your book and I'm looking to purchase the hardware kit with DVD as well as an electronics kit. I would like my machine to have a working area of at least 24" wide by 48" long. Can I just make the bed (and gantry) wider to accommodate larger priceslike 30"x60"? If so what electronics kit would you recommend?

    Considering enlarging the machine, might have its down sides do to the structural integrity of the scratch build machine. Primarily by making the width longer it will start to sag in the center, which will lead to having to redesign the gantry to be more structurally rigid to support the added length. Which then will increase the weight and height of your gantry to support the add size, which will always end up to creating a larger CNC.

    We usually do not recommend modifying the scratch build CNC, due to the very limited capabilities, and the structural design of the scratch build. We also do not recommend using longer than 48" ACME screw/leadscrew due to the increasing chance of warping and bending in the ACME screws/leadscrew in the given length.
    We do recommend modifying the CNC machines we sell to accommodate the added requests that some of our customers desire, but you will be limited to the width of the gantry with our machines.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I've read your book and I'm looking to purchase the hardware kit with DVD as well as an electronics kit. I would like my machine to have a working area of at least 24" wide by 48" long. Can I just make the bed (and gantry) wider to accommodate larger priceslike 30"x60"? If so what electronics kit would you recommend?

  • I received the electronics for book build cnc machine. I need to know how much weight the z-axis motor can hold since my (craftsman) router seems to be heavy. It is 2HP with variable speed

    The motor is helped by the mechanical leverage of the screw. The 425 oz-in motors that are included in the standard electronics combo has very high torque for that type of machine. You will have no problem using that motor for the book machine.

    We use that motor for very heavy spindles on the blackToe and blackFoot CNC Machine kits.

    You will need to do the mechanical leverage calculation along with the torque of the motor to determine the actual weight it will lift. The calculation will need to consider the type and pitch of the screw and it would also consider the gravity constant of 9.8 m/s/s.

    If you need me to determine this formula and work out the calculation based on the screw you are using, please let me know.

    Additional Information:
    thank you for the reply. I would be really good to know the calculation. The lead screw is 1/2" diameter with 13 TPI. Please provide the calculation. And one more question. If I am cutting 18mm MDF with 6mm cutting bit (so 6mm pass), what can be the maximum speed rate of cutting and spindle speed of router?
    thank you

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I received the electronics for book build cnc machine. I need to know how much weight the z-axis motor can hold since my (craftsman) router seems to be heavy. It is 2HP with variable speed

  • I am having difficulty with the wiring on the White Ant. The latest electronics that I received don't seem to be anything like the book or even the tutorials. For instance, the three stepper drivers need 6 pin connectors and ribbon cable. How are they wired? There was no thermocouple wire included. Thanks,

    The whiteAnt is no longer sold; the information on the website is to support legacy customers. We have spoken with you and are sending the materials that you need.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I am having difficulty with the wiring on the White Ant. The latest electronics that I received don't seem to be anything like the book or even the tutorials. For instance, the three stepper drivers need 6 pin connectors and ribbon cable. How are they wired? There was no thermocouple wire included. Thanks,

  • I purchased the original instructions about 3 years ago and successfully built that device. Now I am looking at the 13X36 Bluechick base kit. Will all my original electronics work with the new kit? Is there a parts list that you could send me for the 13x36 Kit?

    Depending on the type of motors and connection type, you could adapt your motors to work with our electronic packages, but you will receive additional motors since our kit is complete.

    Now you will have to take into affect the actual motors you have and compare or get accurate replacements(Ex. our 425 oz motor(1/4" input shaft) will have to be same size or similar entry holes)

    Your Controller board will be the major issue, due to its wiring and processing manner, you can view the connections for our breakout boards to compare with yours! (parallel: https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-parallel-breakout-relay#prettyPhoto/2/)(USB: https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-USB-Controller-Breakout#prettyPhoto/2/)
    Email(customerservice@buildyourcnc.com for further help)

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I purchased the original instructions about 3 years ago and successfully built that device. Now I am looking at the 13X36 Bluechick base kit. Will all my original electronics work with the new kit? Is there a parts list that you could send me for the 13x36 Kit?

  • I've built a machine where the y axis has (2) 425oz motors, x axis has (1) 425oz. motor, and the z axis also has (1) 425oz motor. Would it be better to purchase a redleaf system with 4 drivers? or can I just connect both y axis motors to the same driver for a total of 3 drivers?

    In all CNC electronics configurations, you will need the motor paired with its own driver.

    If two motors/drivers are intended for a single axis and the motors need to turn at the same rate and in the same direction, then the two drivers for these motors should be connected to the same signal wires from the breakout board (step (CP) and direction (CW)) signal wires.

    If the motors need to turn in opposite directions, then either one driver will need to have the direction signal inverted, or resolve the opposite direction through a change in the mechanical drive train (i.e. flip the rack on a rack and pinion configuration, or in a roller chain setup, have the chain ride along the opposite side of the drive sprocket).

    How do I go about purchasing a redleaf system with 4 drivers, where the (y) and (a) driver are connected to the same signal from the breakout board? I'd also need them to rotate in opposite directions.

    The redLeaf webpage contains a purchase option for an extra motor and driver. We can setup the redLeaf system uniquely so it conforms to your application (i.e. motors running in opposite directions).

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I've built a machine where the y axis has (2) 425oz motors, x axis has (1) 425oz. motor, and the z axis also has (1) 425oz motor. Would it be better to purchase a redleaf system with 4 drivers? or can I just connect both y axis motors to the same driver for a total of 3 drivers?

  • X axis stepper motor stalls and shutters when coming from a stand still and won't move without a push by hand. I took the chains off and spun the motor fine with out a load. When I have the chain hooked up I can move the machine back and forth fine by hand, with no hang ups or anything, but when I try to have the motor move the machine it doesn't and just spins out. Any suggestions?

    If your axis shutters and will not move unless moved by another force, that sounds like your acceleration is set too high. Lower the acceleration until it works well, then lower it a bit more to have a margin of safety.

    IF that didn't work, try swapping the X and Y drivers. That way you will pinpoint if the issue is the driver. If the proplem persists, then there may be an issue with the motor itself.

    The X and Y drivers can be easily swapped by swapping only the motor wires.

    - Remove the x-axis motor wires from the X driver.
    - Remove the Y motor wires from the Y driver.
    - Insert the X motor wires into the Y driver.
    - Insert the Y motor wires into the X driver.

    Now the Y-axis will move the gantry. Test the Gantry movement by moving the Y axis using the up and down arrow keys (mach3).

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    X axis stepper motor stalls and shutters when coming from a stand still and won't move without a push by hand. I took the chains off and spun the motor fine with out a load. When I have the chain hooked up I can move the machine back and forth fine by hand, with no hang ups or anything, but when I try to have the motor move the machine it doesn't and just spins out. Any suggestions?

  • I have nearly completed the CNC machine from the book, but I am using it with a USB breakout board, and have no idea how to wire the 6 limit switches to the board. I'm having difficulty following the diagram on the USB breakout board screen. Can someone please help me?

    Sure, the USB interface has a place for 4 axes of limit switches.

    Each axis can have two limit switches: one for the ++ (positive) end and one for the -- (negative) end. The positive end would be the limit switch at the end of the machine that, say the machine has a 4'x8' area, reaches a bit after the 8 foot mark. The negative end would be the limit switch behind the 0 foot location behind the origin. If the origin is in the middle, the negative would be at a little more than the -4 foot end and the positive would be at a bit more than the +4 foot end. Note that you can have more than one switch on each pin where the NC is connected in serial fashion and the NO is connected in parallel fashion (this can be seen on the diagram in the multiple limits switch section). The software configurations for the limits switches are under File -> Settings -> Limit.

    A typical limit switch has three connections on it. These connections consist of COM (common), NC (normally closed) and NO (normally open). The COM would generally go to GND and the NC or the NO would go to the pin. If the NC is used, then the the switch is constantly connected until the switch is pushed (engaged) then the connection from the pin to gnd is broken (open). Use the settings in software to set whether in NC or NO configuration.

    Let me know if this information was helpful (or not) by adding information to this question. Thanks.

    User response:
    Thank you very much for this helpful information. I'm still a little fuzzy on how the 6 limit switches physically connect to each other and to the USB breakout board. You've stated one switch (home) goes to positive and another switch (limit) goes to negative. Are all the GND prongs from all 6 switches connected to each other and going to GND on the breakout board, or no? And the NC prongs, how exactly are they connected to each other? And to the board? There has to be a diagram somewhere shows this visually, no? I don't know how to wire the switches in series or in parallel. I have already physically installed all the switches on the machine and ran the wires to where the board is. Now I just need to know where to plug these wires into the board. Also, taking into consideration that I'm using the Planet CNC software, the only settings I have pertaining to limit switches is "Enable/Disable" for each axis, and the actual limit for each axis. Nothing about NC or NO. Is that only in Mach3?
    Thank you.

    buildyourcnc response:
    On the USB interface, the COM on the switch connects to GND and the NC or NO connects to the input pin (i.e. x++, y--, etc.)

    Limit switch configuration is rather difficult to understand, especially with series and parallel. You can think of series as a single wire going from GND to the axis letter input terminal (i.e. X++ or X--). If the wire is broken, then the circuit is open (or the switch is engaged in a normally closed scenario). Normally closed is like an actual wire, and when engaged, the switch "opens" (breaks the wire). This is why we recommend in some systems that you can put many switches in series on a single pin. When one of the switches is engaged (breaking the connection) then the entire circuit of switches is broken and the machine stops.

    In a parallel scenario, the state of the circuit is always broken until the one of the switches is engaged and the circuit is then closed or connected. The topology looks like a ladder. All the switches connect to both sides of the ladder and the switches are like the runs of the ladder (the horizontal bars that the feet are placed while climbing). Imagine all of the switches broken in this scenario (normally open). It would be like the ladder could be split in two, but if one of the ladder runs (switches) is closed by engaging it, then that run would connect both sides of the ladder and the two sides of the ladder would have a connection.

    There is a diagram on the USB page of the various limit switch configurations. If you need more information (visual and/or otherwise), please let us know and we will immediately add that information to benefit everyone.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I have nearly completed the CNC machine from the book, but I am using it with a USB breakout board, and have no idea how to wire the 6 limit switches to the board. I'm having difficulty following the diagram on the USB breakout board screen. Can someone please help me?

  • I have a KL-4030 stepper motor driver that I only have about an hour use on it but seems to be bad already. Has anyone out there had the same problem?

    The KL-4030 is a Keling 3.0 amp stepper motor driver. These are generally pretty robust drivers. You mentioned in the question that it worked for one hour. This sounds like it could be a contact issue with the wiring in the terminals. I would recommend that you check all of the connections. The terminals that are used in these drivers have terminals that are easily used incorrectly.

    Make sure to open the terminal all the way using a small screw driver. Then insert the exposed wire into the opening and re-tighten the terminal. Make sure of a good connection by tugging on the wires.

    Also, check kthe digital wires that connect from the driver to the control board.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I have a KL-4030 stepper motor driver that I only have about an hour use on it but seems to be bad already. Has anyone out there had the same problem?

  • I just finished building my first CNC with the electronics I purchased from you and I am already thinking about improving it. I would like to build a 2 motor X axis solution. Is it possible to attach 2 parallel motors and drivers to the BlueBrew Breakout Board? If so, how?

    Attaching two motors in parallel is possible, but you will need another motor and driver for the opposite side. Each motor must have its own driver to work accordingly and fluently. The two can be wired together, to the same pins on your breakout board and set the dip switches on the driver to match the ones on your x-axis(ex). But remember to view the orientation of the motor and which way it spins, since it is on the opposite side it will have to be orientated correctly to move in sync with the other motor.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I just finished building my first CNC with the electronics I purchased from you and I am already thinking about improving it. I would like to build a 2 motor X axis solution. Is it possible to attach 2 parallel motors and drivers to the BlueBrew Breakout Board? If so, how?

  • How to determine lead screw length needed. My Thomson 1 1:4 rails are 60 inches long roughly for the router I’m building. I know I have to have it long enough to couple up with the stepper motor of course but does it matter if it’s a little long on the other end

    It generally does not matter if it is longer at the other end as long as the lead screw provides the desired travel for that axis. The lead screw will only need to be long enough for the travel, plus any structure and lead-nut positioning.

    For example:
    - The motor that will turn the lead screw will need to be mounted at some position (generally at one end of the axis). In many cases, this positioning will be mounted where some of the lead screw will not be used (the lead nut will not be able to moved close to the coupling of the lead screw to the motor shaft). Add some of the length of the lead screw to be inserted into the coupling.

    - If the lead screw will contain bearings at either end of the travel, that portion of the mechanical assembly will need to be considered in the lead screw length.

    - The lead-nut will need to be mounted in a position on a structural member of the part that is to move. The distance from the part of the structure that will extend closest to the motor will have some distance to the position of the lead nut. This distance will need to be added to the lead screw length.

    Add these discrepancies to the length of the lead screw and the travel length and you will have the final length.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    How to determine lead screw length needed. My Thomson 1 1:4 rails are 60 inches long roughly for the router I’m building. I know I have to have it long enough to couple up with the stepper motor of course but does it matter if it’s a little long on the other end

  • My X-axis on the Blacktoe cannot run above ~40 ipm. I've checked all connections,tensions, sprocket locks, etc. All is fine. Can the 425 OZ stepping motor be replaced with a bigger motor, or could a second 425 OZ stepper be added to increase torque?

    it is possible to install 2 motors on a single axis but you will require another driver and motor, but wire it directly to the same pins on your breakout board. Also the orientation of your motor since it is opposite side of the original so getting it to move accordingly to the original motor it will need to be orientated correctly. The slight shift could be the cause of the rod not being completely flat where the set screws are suppose to tighten the sprocket to the rod, so sanding it to a flatter surface might fix the shift in directions.
    Currently do not have a kit or schematic available.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    My X-axis on the Blacktoe cannot run above ~40 ipm. I've checked all connections,tensions, sprocket locks, etc. All is fine. Can the 425 OZ stepping motor be replaced with a bigger motor, or could a second 425 OZ stepper be added to increase torque?

  • I have a Blackfoot 4x4 v2 chain drive. my Y plate is broken . do you sell just the Y plate or can I buy just the Y plate spec plan? I love this machine Its great. my name is Jeff Krug I bought the complete package and electronics from you guys. thanks

    Sure, email me at customerservice@buildyourcnc.com and I will send you a replacement for a minimal fee. I now use HDPE for that part. The HDPE holds up much better.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I have a Blackfoot 4x4 v2 chain drive. my Y plate is broken . do you sell just the Y plate or can I buy just the Y plate spec plan? I love this machine Its great. my name is Jeff Krug I bought the complete package and electronics from you guys. thanks

  • mach 3 pockets cuts are 0.5mm undersized always but outside cuts are prefectly accuracte, i have tried both parallel version and the 100 Khz rnr motion controller, i'm using DM542 as my motor controllers there are no errors in my codes or no mechanical errors

    This may be an issue of conventional vs climb cutting direction. I would recommend trying the opposite on your inside profiles and pockets and check. Let me know if this worked and what you are using for your inside cuts before the change.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    mach 3 pockets cuts are 0.5mm undersized always but outside cuts are prefectly accuracte, i have tried both parallel version and the 100 Khz rnr motion controller, i'm using DM542 as my motor controllers there are no errors in my codes or no mechanical errors

  • I bought a blacktooth laser from you about a year ago.. I am finally getting around to installing the laser tube and I noticed that my tube does't have the metal end on it like all the pictures I've seen. is this a focus lense and can I purchase one?

    As shown in the instructions the laser tube that was used was a different model which had the metal end, compared to our full glass tube models we currently ship with the machines.
    So there is no difference besides appearance between the two tubes.
    The focus lens should be placed in the laser nozzle assembly and not on the laser tube itself.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I bought a blacktooth laser from you about a year ago.. I am finally getting around to installing the laser tube and I noticed that my tube does't have the metal end on it like all the pictures I've seen. is this a focus lense and can I purchase one?

  • I have followed all the "CNC Electronics 1 - 9" videos and I'm using almost the exact same components (motors run and sound good) but the motors are runing very hot in just 15min with no load - have I done something wrong or do steppers run very hot?

    If your motors are hot to the touch, this is normal. Current is being drawn by the motor coils as the motor moves and as the motor stays at a position. If the motor is not using the current in the coils to move (holding it's position), the energy will be translated as heat (rather than motion, sound or light). Even while moving, some of the energy will be lost as heat. Remember that energy cannot be created nor destroyed.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I have followed all the "CNC Electronics 1 - 9" videos and I'm using almost the exact same components (motors run and sound good) but the motors are runing very hot in just 15min with no load - have I done something wrong or do steppers run very hot?

  • can you please specify how to connect the collar/nut and bearings to prevent the axial movement of lead screw. Do I have to put that next to the stepper motor /coupling assembling or on the other side where the lead screw comes out. Or is there any way I can make the flexible coupling rigid so it does not come out of the middle spider?

    You would use a combination of bearings and collars to prevent your lead screw or rod from being able to move back and forth. Without it being able to move back and forth, you shouldn't have the couplings coming apart, because the motor is solidly mounted and unable to move as well.

    I will try to draw a picture using symbols, with a key to define what each part is.

    --CB|--------------|BC}{M

    - = Lead Screw or Rod
    C = Collar
    B = Bearing
    | = Wood, the frame of your machine
    }{ = Coupling
    M = Motor

    On the example above you could replace the collar on the motor side with one half of the coupling, putting it right upside of the bearing to hold it in place instead. Like this:

    --CB|--------------|B}{M

    You could also place the bearings on the inside as follows:

    ----|BC----------CB|--}{M

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    can you please specify how to connect the collar/nut and bearings to prevent the axial movement of lead screw. Do I have to put that next to the stepper motor /coupling assembling or on the other side where the lead screw comes out. Or is there any way I can make the flexible coupling rigid so it does not come out of the middle spider?

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