Early review of Phantomn screw drive system

I’ll try to give as much information as possible. If I didn’t answer it in review. Do not hesitate to ask.

Background info)
I work in physical therapy visiting people in their homes and make them exercise. I have no prior experience or even heard of a CNC since last year. Heard of it from my brother mention it in passing at a holiday. Seemed like a great hobby and challenging activity (understatement) hahah

Reason getting screw drive system)
I personally just wasn’t getting the belt system. I tried the zip tie method and fish weighter to calculate proper tension. I honestly couldn’t keep proper tension or would loosen up . G shield failed me also and waited for x controller. I had the machine since last august and have performed more maintenance then projects…Ask @PhilJohnson if you don’t believe me. I was to the point I was gonna pay him to fly to my house and to the point of selling it. My wife was upset because I was frustrated and dedicated my life to fixing this nightly

The review)
@Phantomm came out with the screw drive and I was out of options so I took the chance and thank god I did.

  1. set up was fairly easy. @Phantomm was in the process of moving and his shop was packed up. He provided tons of pictures and personal cell number being able to call him from 8am to 10pm anytime. He was very accessible l. There was no written directions because 90%, It Was just switching screws and the y plates to custom water jet cut ones. He provided all screws, bolts, lock collars. Like I said he provided very detailed pictures. The hardest part of process is on the gantry drilling 2 holes to attached the nutlock for the acme rod. If you screw it up, move over 5-10mm and do it again. You want that rod perfectly straight. I had it off a little and recut 1x. Blow I provided pictures of my process

  2. testing. First let me say yes I know I could’ve pushed it harder but this is the best I’ve ever done. I didn’t wanna screw it up. That’s why this is an EARLY REVIEW.
    After set up and blue loctite.
    First test

Deep cut

V carving at 70ipm

Repeatability (I forgot to hit use same xy position, so you’ll hear tiny shaving on toolpath)

Projects completed

Overall I’m very pleased with the screw drive system so far. This is so much fun now creating and not dealing with constant maintenance. Truly I’m not a salesman for this, but this has been fantastic and if your struggling with the belts please look into this.

A huge thank you to @Phantomm for creating this and reignite my interest in making stuff and to @PhilJohnson for assisting me and troubleshooting tons and tons of my problems can’t thank you enough.


Let me be the first to say “You could have pushed it harder”


the first thing that poped out to me was the elevation of the gantry. How much more Z clearance do you have over the stock system?

2 inches more. I had to put down a couple MDF sheets to raise up my project material. Also @Phantomm can customize them. I know he asked me what height I would like. Others who were in the first batch may have more clearance.

Great review! Thanks for providing this :slight_smile: This kit does not include the Z screw drive, right? @Phantomm @SeanNaylor

1 Like

No the linear z-axis I purchased over eBay because the stock once again the Belt System I did not like or work for me. I seem to do very well with a “screw” operation

I have provided a few in the past.

As in the full kit, or just the screw itself? One of my big hesitations is getting different parts from various sources and then hoping they work together. Id personally rather get everything from one source to ensure it all plays nice together.

Full kit and kaboodle. 2 options. Retrofit the Inventables spindle holder worst case you break it or option 2 you buy new holder.

Another picture of why I love the screw drive. I absolutely know I could’ve never done this with the belt system. I’m 100% a believer!! Thanks again!!


Nice! I have seen a few people post these. How long did this take you on the screw drive?

1 Like

From all the posts I’ve been reading and everything I stayed At 100ipm with 50 plunge. I know I could’ve pushed it more but it cut everything in 3 hours. This is 21.5" image

I know I could’ve probably pushed it more but I’m still trying to get comfortable

I took a little video of it cutting I’ll upload it later


With screw drive and decently capable motor drivers I would increase acceleration also. This, if possible, will decrease carve time by a decent amount.

Really nice. My recommendation would be when v carving your plunge should match your feed.

Exciting. Can’t wait to get mine!


Sorta like a drill press in a way.

If your feed is 100 then it’s moving 100 in a “weaker” direction. Straight down is stronger in a way. My thoughts. Not an engineer. :roll_eyes:
Will also save a bunch of carve time. If the bits can handle it of course.

I would just match your z to your feeds n speeds.
3D carves and v carves are only as fast as the slowest speed.

Ummm I guess maybe you missed the fact he has a linear z?

Nope I didn’t forget :grin::grin:. However I was familiar with his machine and setup. I also knew that his x&y leadscrews were the same as his z. Therefore unless I’m mistaken they should all be 4 start 8mm leadscrews. (2mm pitch?)
So all should be the same 100spmm @ 1/4 stepping.

(And as a side note, Inventables is the only machine I have seen with these slow pitch z screws. Most other similar price/class machines I have seen on the market and have researched all have faster screws or belts.)

But leaving technicalities aside, what would be your recommendation for his setup to cut down on carve time and speed up the process?

That’s a very good point. I do believe he changed that since upgrading. I did post some settings a while ago about setting the max of all to 4K.


On my non-Xcarve, un-tight and with its own issues, I use the generic ACME rods with Nema23/269oz with separate drivers set at 2.6A and 1/2step.

After playing a little with my speeds and acceleration values I have for the time being landed on the following:
My max speed for X/Y = 5000mm/min and acceleration = 500
Max speed for Z is 3000mm/min and acceleration = 500
Steps / mm = 200 for XY and 206 for Z for full disclosure.