With the Shapeoko 2 one can manually adjust the Z-Axis during job setup (to set the Z zero point) by either grabbing the flexible connector (awkward, but works) or by installing a knob for the stepper motor.
I like the looks of the new clean Z motor mounting, but I don’t see how you adjust the Z-axis manually, especially if you have screwed on a top cover. What would it take to add a flexible coupling to one of the posts (either off the motor or the Acme or all-thread) and have it poke out of the top of the cover to mount a knob to it?
Or is there a better way that is already designed in that I am missing?
I have a Shapeoko 2 with a knob on my Z axis Nema 17 stepper. I use to use it quite a bit to get my bit down to zero/material height before starting a job since I’m not using a probe plate. Then, I stopped. I now use the keyboard controls to move the 3 axis around using universal gcode sender 1.08. PG Up/PG Down controls the Z axis movement, and I usually have it setup to move in .5mm increments.
I stopped mostly because my system is currently setup to power everything on at the same time but keep the spindle at 0 RPM until the pot tells it otherwise. Moving any of the axis in this state felt like I was doing it wrong since you can feel the resistance and lost steps. So, instead of unhooking the 24v power, I started using universal gcode keyboard controls. Once at my desired position, i’d disconnect the arduino, reconnect, and reset zero.
Right now, the best way is to jog it around using your keyboard and the control software, it’s a little difficult to rotate the pulley manually. We expect to have a hand-adjustable solution eventually, and probably someone will design a 3D printable solution and post it to thingiverse before we get it done