Happy new year I love my Carvey, but I’m experiencing a new problem with it… I’ve already contacted support, but figured I’d post here as well to see if anyone else has experienced similar issues.
In the past few days I noticed what seemed like a bit of jittery movement in the X-axis, specifically while the gantry was moving left (-X). It wasn’t affecting my cuts at first, but it quickly got worse. Now when I try to run anything with X movement in it, the machine will sometimes get “stuck” for a moment, and make a shuddering/grinding noise before continuing. This results in the machine skipping and losing it’s X-position, messing up the cut. After it happens, the rest of the cut is off by a few millimeters in the X-axis. Initial observations:
- The skipping/shuddering only seems to occur while the gantry is moving left (-X). Both +X and -X movements seem like they are not very smooth, -X is just much worse.
- It can occur during any -X move, even when the machine is NOT under load ie. cutting something. It even happens when the machine is just returning to the Home/Park position.
- I powered off the machine and unplugged it. Then I gently moved the gantry back and forth (-X/+X) by hand. It does not move very smoothly. I can push/pull it but it sometimes “catches” or binds up a bit while moving left & I have to push harder to move it. I’m assuming this is the same thing happening during the “skips”.
- It makes a bit of a vague grinding/metal-on-metal noise while I move it from left to right - I wonder if one of the linear bearings that slide along the X rails might be damaged/broken?
At this point I decided to take off the back control box panel to check on the X motor/belt/pulley system. Observations:
- I did not see any obvious debris or damage to the X belt, pulley wheel, or gear on the stepper motor that might cause issues.
- The belt seems to be under good tension, I plucked the bottom belt and it vibrated like a guitar string
- The belt teeth maybe look a little worn, but not badly enough to cause issues
- I was able to manually spin the pulley wheel to move the gantry - again, it didn’t feel smooth, but the belt didn’t seem to be the culprit.
- I ran the machine with the back panel off and observed the problem again. I couldn’t tell if the belt teeth slipped or not, but if so, it seems like a symptom (of sticking in the rest of the gantry), not the cause.
That’s all I’ve done so far. I am thinking about taking the spindle and shroud off to see if it reveals anything else. I currently have two theories, do either of these sound likely?
- One of the linear bearings could be broken, so the gantry doesn’t slide smoothly (leading theory).
- It’s possible the gears inside the stepper motor are broken/grinding? I would have to remove the X belt to know whether the sticking is coming from the motor or the gantry itself.
I’m not sure how to test or remove the linear bearings to see if they’re the problem… Has anyone else had issues with them? Thanks in advance for any help!