AXIS Identification

After a short break from this I realized something is missing, the obvious for idiots like myself. Axis identification. After reading and rereading instructions, forums, videos, etc etc…one thing is clear, i thought i knew what was what,either contradicting statements or misinterpretation on my behalf…can someone provide a diagram, finger painting, sketch, anything that clears this up? I could not locate any axis identification diagrams for the X carve.

Besides, this would be a helpful tool for people just getting into this. It seems that much is catered more towards where the fun is, the more experienced crowd, perhaps the obvious isn’t so obvious to new folks and something as simple as this would lend way towards a more enjoyable experience vs searching for the “obvious”…which can be confusing and result in posts like this. lol : )

X-axis moves east and west, Y-axis moves north and south, and the Z-axis moves up and down. Is that what you are asking about?

Yes sir,thats it. I appreciate the help. I had printed off a cnc axis diagram and it had the axis listed differently, the x & y were reversed. Thought i was losing my mind. thx again.

No worries! Some machines can have their axes different from what I understand…it’s just a matter of what your setup is.

If you look in the bottom left of the waste board there is an X with an arrow pointing to the right and a Y with an arrow pointing towards the back. As far as I know that’s the only thing on the machine itself that identifies the X and Y axis. I’m assuming every waste board has this marking.

Thanks, I didnt know that. I didnt purchase the waste board, but good to know. I guess my biggest point in this post is that, I couldn’t locate anything from Inventables that clearly shows what is what. Maybe I haven’t looked long enough…lol.


How about this? [Edit - new picture ]

<img src="//" width=“432” height="258

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wait…man i am soo confused now.the picture above on the waste board and individuals description shows the x & y differently.

The Z axis moves vertically, and holds the spindle. The X axis is the gantry that holds the carriage that the Z axis is mounted to and moves it left to right. In the above photo it has the X-Carve logo on it. The Y axis is the 2 fixed rails on the left and right side that the gantry moves on, controlled by 2 stepper motors. In the photo above, if you could reach out and grab the Dewalt router and pull it towards you it would be moving in the -Y direction, push, and it would +Y. Slide it away from the X-carve logo would be -X, towards the X-Carve logo would be +X.
Hope this helps

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Yep that makes sense now. I now understand what he meant in the pic…very nice!! thx!


Check the new picture and see if that’s better.

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Leave it to me to muddy the waters. I built my CNC the opposite of that because it is on a shelf against a shop wall. My fixed rails are 1500mm; gantry is 600mm. So, my Y axis is on the gantry and moves toward me and away from me; X moves left and right. Some commercial CNCs are also built the way I did mine.

It’s funny how 2 little red lines can change how one interprets something,lol. Yes, much more clear. Thanks Larry!

Wish I had room in the shop for something longer than 1000mm. So many tools so little space[

No muddy water here, just individuals building individual machines. I thought of the possibility of unique builds, so referencing LarryM’s photo allowed for some clarity on a stock machine.