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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 respond:
    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

  • 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 respond:
    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 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 respond:
    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?

  • I HAVE FOLLOWED ALL THE "CNC ELECTRONICS 1 - 9" VIDEOS AND I'M USING ALMOST EXACT SAME COMPONENTS (MOTORS RUN SOUND GOOD) BUT MOTORS ARE RUNING VERY HOT IN JUST 15MIN WITH NO LOAD DONE SOMETHING WRONG OR DO STEPPERS 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 respond:
    I HAVE FOLLOWED ALL THE "CNC ELECTRONICS 1 - 9" VIDEOS AND I'M USING ALMOST EXACT SAME COMPONENTS (MOTORS RUN SOUND GOOD) BUT MOTORS ARE RUNING VERY HOT IN JUST 15MIN WITH NO LOAD DONE SOMETHING WRONG OR DO STEPPERS HOT?

  • 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 respond:
    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?

  • 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 respond:
    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?

  • 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 respond:
    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?

  • What would I need to purchase to increase the Z axis stepper motor up one size from the one that comes with the Blacktoe 4.1 with computer? I can't get Patrick to answer e-mails, so I'll try here.

    Thanks for the question. The blackToe z-axis motor is a NEMA 24 425 oz-in stepping motor and the next step up is a NEMA 34 651 oz-in motor located here: https://buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-nema34-651ozin


    To make it work on the blackToe CNC machine, you would need to fabricate a new mount and the top bearing mount, or request us to fabricate it for you by calling the office.

    Curious, why the need to increase the size? If the motor is having a difficult time, there may be a deeper mechanical issue at play. One issue you may have is that the bearings are needing shim washers to separate the inner and outer races. If the two races are rubbing against the coupling or collar, the bearing may be difficult to turn under the weight of the assembly. If there is too much friction between the anti-backlash nut and the lead screw, you can add some 2-in-1 oil, or other similar lubricant.

    Thank you for using our Customer Service Live. Patrick often answers these questions. We prefer this system over email as these questions will benefit others.

    If you have additional questions or need more explanation relating to this question, please add to this answer.

    User response:
    I have added the shim washer between the bearing and coupling and have always used a light oil on the lead screw. I halved the acceleration on the Z-axis. Then I re-ran a topo that took two hours on the finish pass. No change in my results - the Z-axis slowly dropped until when the program finished and everything went back to the start point, the Z axis was lower by 0.378 inches than when it started at 0.800 above the surface.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated. Maybe I need more shim washers in the assembly between all the bearing surfaces?

    buildyourcnc response:
    Before you add a larger motor, check these first:

    1. take the motor off by remove only the motor screws and removing the motor as well as the coupling half that is secured to the motor shaft.

    2. Turn the lead screw by hand. This will still be connected to the z-axis assembly by the anti-backlash nut, so you will feel the resistance in the upward motion of the z-axis. Does it feel relatively easy to turn, or very difficult?

    3. If the resistance is relatively normal with respect to gravity and normal friction between the anti-backlash nut and the screw, then you may want to half the velocity as well on the z-axis motor tuning, and even reduce the acceleration a bit more. Doing topographical layouts should not require fast z-axis motor travel. Be careful not to lower the z-axis acceleration if you are using constant velocity as this can make the topo "too smooth" where there may be features such as cliffs present. If you need to lower acceleration drastically, then use exact stop rather than constant velocity.

    Another gotcha that may be causing this phenomenon is motor cable/wire chafing. We had this same issue crop up where two wires were shorting only at a specific position because the wires moved just enough to cause these wires to connect. This was caused by a zip tie. Zip ties have a very sharp edge that can cut the insulation of the wire. A hint of this problem is if this phenomenon is only present after working successfully with the machine for a greater period of time.

    Use response:
    I bought a new lead screw, bearings, antibacklash nut, and shim washers (WHICH NEED TO BE IN YOUR ONLINE CATALOG) and installed them. (Like another commentor on this site, my lead screw wouldn't go through the bearings. Simple solution was to chuck it into my drill press and 400 grit smooth it until a snug fit was had. Lowest RPM.)

    Anyhow, I ran another Topo yesterday and got the same results. The wires are not frayed, the acceleration has been halved, the speed reduced to a crawl. When testing manually, twisting the Z axis up was very hard to do compared to lowering it.

    I have thought about a counterbalance of some type, but that introduces lots of other problems.

    Anything you can thing of will certainly help.

    I can send pictures, etc.

    Thanks!

    Buildyourcnc response
    What router/spindle do you have installed?

    User response:
    The one you sold me - 110 V, 1.5KW water cooled.

    User response:
    This problem of the z axis drift has been evident since I first started using the machine a couple of years ago. Lithophanes, stipples, topographic and other heavy z axis users have been particularly bad. It is to the point that I am turning away opportunities for lack of capability.

    Buildyourcnc response:
    I think all options may be exhausted. We will design a new mount that holds a large motor. Please give us a call so we can arrange to send that out to you.

    We just determined that the existing mount need to be adjusted by about one millimeter for the main mounting hoes for the larger NEMA 34 motor to fit. The overall mount will look the same but the outside hole spacing will be adjusted by a very small amount to match the larger motor mounting holes. This new adjustment will be included with all new machines. We will send you the new mount (consisting of two structural pieces) and the longer screws that will be needed to extend to fit the motor frame thickness.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    They didn't send the longer screws, nor the new required coupling, but I finally got it together and it works just fine. It returns to precise Z zero every time.

    But the motor runs pretty hot because I think it should be run at a higher voltage than the current power supply provides.

    Any new sales of Blacktoe 4.1 should include this modification.

    Cheers.

    Click the link to respond:
    What would I need to purchase to increase the Z axis stepper motor up one size from the one that comes with the Blacktoe 4.1 with computer? I can't get Patrick to answer e-mails, so I'll try here.

  • I am converting a 12x36 lathe over to CNC, I am interested in a 2 axis kit. I would love one stepper motor to be no smaller than 1200oz. , and another at 6000z. Is this something that you could offer? I have two other cnc machines but this is my first converstion on my own.

    We may be able to source those motors. Curious, the 6000 oz-in motor is pretty big. Do you mind explaining the application of the CNC machine and the structure that would require the large motor?

    Additional Information:
    The largest motors we can offer is 3900 oz-in without any mechanical help. 6000 oz-in can be resolved by mechanical means as an alternative.

    Click the link to respond:
    I am converting a 12x36 lathe over to CNC, I am interested in a 2 axis kit. I would love one stepper motor to be no smaller than 1200oz. , and another at 6000z. Is this something that you could offer? I have two other cnc machines but this is my first converstion on my own.

  • 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 respond:
    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

  • If I understand correctly, the greenBull kit comes with a spindle and laser. What else do I need to have a working machine. Obviously a table, do I also need the computer, software, wires, pump and plumbing, electronics, VFD, steppers and controllers?

    The greenBull kit (not the assembled) will need the table (the rails for the table is supplied), wires/cables for the stepper motors and stepper motor drivers, smaller gauge wires for digital wire connections (limit switches, drivers to control interface, etc), wires for the spindle connection to the VFD, tubing for water flow to and from the spindle, and a pump and reservoir (we are just about to introduce a small pump/reservoir/radiator/fan system for use with the spindle. The VFD/spindle, stepper motors/drivers and interface board are included.

    Click the link to respond:
    If I understand correctly, the greenBull kit comes with a spindle and laser. What else do I need to have a working machine. Obviously a table, do I also need the computer, software, wires, pump and plumbing, electronics, VFD, steppers and controllers?

  • At 3:29 in the video "blackToe version 4 2x4 step 9 0001" it shows you inserting a bearing into the hole that the x axis shaft exits the router. That hole is 3/8ths on my parts. No 3/8 OD, 1/4 ID bearing came with my kit, but I do have a 5/8 OD, 1/4 ID bearing. Should I bore out the hole to 5/8 so I can insert those bearings?

    This turned out to be a side-effect of the "foot logo" now being bored entirely through the gantry legs. On first inspection this made the two legs identical. I didn't notice that the hole for the X axis axle was bored out to 5/8, but only on one side. Not too surprisingly, I installed them on reverse sides.

    Pulling the legs off and swapping the side they were mounted on fixed the problem. I would suggest adding a note to the building instructions page to avoid this annoying problem.

    On the good side, the X axis now rolls much more freely on its rails after un-mounting and re-mounting the legs.

    Additional Information:
    Good catch and thank you for the information. We will clarify this on the video.

    Click the link to respond:
    At 3:29 in the video "blackToe version 4 2x4 step 9 0001" it shows you inserting a bearing into the hole that the x axis shaft exits the router. That hole is 3/8ths on my parts. No 3/8 OD, 1/4 ID bearing came with my kit, but I do have a 5/8 OD, 1/4 ID bearing. Should I bore out the hole to 5/8 so I can insert those bearings?

  • 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 respond:
    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 respond:
    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?

  • May i have more detailed Information aboute the 4 Axis Electronics Combo? We're using EMC2 and i wanna check compatibility first before I'll buy some. https://www.buildyourcnc.com/Item/electronicsAndMotors-4axis-425-elcombo

    The electronics packages come with standard stepping motor drivers, stepping motors, power supply (36v and 8.8amps), and a breakout board (USB or parallel, depending on the option you select). The USB will not work with linuxcnc, but the parallel breakout board works fine with linuxcnc. All of our drivers work well with the linuxcnc software. We use this software with some of our machines and we also sell the CNC electronics / computer system (redLeaf and redSprout) with linuxcnc installed and tested (if the customer selects linux over windows or requests a dual boot system).

    Click the link to respond:
    May i have more detailed Information aboute the 4 Axis Electronics Combo? We're using EMC2 and i wanna check compatibility first before I'll buy some. https://www.buildyourcnc.com/Item/electronicsAndMotors-4axis-425-elcombo

  • Hello, I have a BlackToe 2 x 4 machine. I was wondering if it could be beneficial, or even possible to install two motors on the x-axis (one one each chain drive sprocket). I am noticing a slight shift in the gantry with each reversal of direction. If so, do you have a kit or schematic for this? Thanks

    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 respond:
    Hello, I have a BlackToe 2 x 4 machine. I was wondering if it could be beneficial, or even possible to install two motors on the x-axis (one one each chain drive sprocket). I am noticing a slight shift in the gantry with each reversal of direction. If so, do you have a kit or schematic for this? Thanks

  • Hello. I'm currently building my first CNC router, and I'm powering it with a 3 axis electronics kit that was purchased through your site. I chose to get the Mach 3 USB Breakout board, but now I'm wanting to try to use Linux CNC to work with the computer I have available. Will that work with this board?
  • 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 respond:
    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 would like to design my own CNC router around one of your electronics bundles, either the 3 Axis - Heavy Gantry or 3 Axis - All Large Motors. Do you have the data sheets for the motors so that I can use the dimensions in my model?

    You can find the datasheets to our motors be going to the the stepping motor category page https://www.buildyourcnc.com/category/nema and selecting the motor. This will bring you to the product page for the motor and all of the motor information will be found there.

    Click the link to respond:
    I would like to design my own CNC router around one of your electronics bundles, either the 3 Axis - Heavy Gantry or 3 Axis - All Large Motors. Do you have the data sheets for the motors so that I can use the dimensions in my model?