Belt upgrade for 2000mm machine

I am going to be increasing the length of my Y axis from 1000mm to 2000mm, as part of this project, I would also like to upgrade the belts. I have Nema 23 motors and was wondering what would be best, changing to Openbuilds GT3 Timing Belt 5mm wide or Inventables GT2 Belt 9mm.

I know the other stuff I would have to change for either, but I wanted to get some opinions from some of the members here.

i believe the GT3 belt would be better but I dont know for sure.

Thanks for your help.

Give any thoughts to rack and pinion versus belts?

I have looked at that and would love to do something like that, I think if I end up building a 4 x 8 machine I will defiantly go this way, But this is just a cheap upgrade as I already have the Makerslide and have to order new belts anyway.

I upgraded to a 2000mm Y rail and the G3T belts with good results.
Though I never tried it with the G2 belts so I don’t know if the extra thickness was needed. I just figured sense I was order new belts anyway…

there is always chain drive… Converting to a Chain Drive

Inquiring minds want to know - did you go with the GT3 belting? I’m looking to upgrade the y-axis to 1800mm and since I need new belting, I was wondering if I should go with the next step up (like @AaronMatthews).

The rack and pinion is a beaut but I think I’d rather keep it simple with belting.

I’ve just installed G3 x 6mm belts to my X axis and the difference between the two was night and day. All you need to do is replace the motor pulleys and reset your configuration.I purchased the belting and pulleys from Open Builds. Once you compare the G2 belts to the G3 belts you will never regret the change.


Susan, Sorry I haven’t had time to do it yet but I was leaning to the GT3 option.

Clyde, Thank you for your feedback. That has made up my mind, going to order the parts in the next week.

Clyde, what is the difference that you are finding between the two belts? Less likely to slip? Less stretch?

Thickness of the belt itself and it also has larger, deeper teeth.It has a 3mm profile as compared to the 2mm profile of the gt2 belt so it has a slightly less step pattern than the 2mm belt. That caused me some pause but when I settled on my machine design there wasn’t any other choice since I am running a Hatichi 12vc 2/14 h.p. router on a linear slide and there was no way the puny 2mm belt was going to cut it. I dont have any way to show you the difference between the two but can tell you that the 3mm belt is about 3 times the total size of the 2mm belt. I bought from Open Builds and it cost me around $38 dollars for one meter of belt and 2 pulleys. I also strapped on another X axis carriage and a Makita 700 series router on another linear slide so I had to get a pulley for that one too. So that means my X axis belt has to be able to handle at least twice the stress as a normal machine. I am using Mach 3 to be able to drive my 5 axis machine. As I said, Go for it and you will have NO regrets!

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I also bought 10 meters of gt3 belt of E-Bay for $19.00 so that the belt is reasonably price if you look for it. In fact I would take that route and buy my belts that way instead of the O.B. store. If I remember correctly their pulleys were around $6.25 and was the best price I found for the pulleys.

Please see the answers I posted below for some guidance on what I found was the best route to buy the parts.

Check the posting for info on what I found was the best route for buying parts

Thanks for the upvote on the belting. I’ll definitely implement this on my own machine update.

I think I know the answer (but I’m going to ask it anyway) - were you still able to use the same clips that came with the original x-carve with the GT3? It’s the same width (or close) but with the thickness, I didn’t know if you needed to modify the clips at all?

No, I didn’t have to change anything except for the motor pulleys and the software configuration. That’s the great thing about it. I don’t know why inventables doesn’t make these standard. It won’t cost them anything in retooling and it’s a much superior drive system.

Forgive the lack of belt terminology knowledge but I just saw a 6mm belt that is steel reinforced. It looks like a nice drop-in replacement for the 6mm belts on the X-Carve, but again, not sure. Can one of you belt aficionados confirm/deny the ability to use these belts as direct replacements on a standard x-carve?