Gantry Upgrade to C-Beam

I am thinking taller end plates. The idea being that we would want to keep the X rail as close to the Y rail as possible. It is the part that moves and we would want to minimize any forces that would cause flex or torsion.

And it seems easy enough to reinforce the end plates by just adding a second y rail under the first.

I tend to agree. I have 40x40 for my X however, I replaced the default makerslides, so I wasn’t so concerned about flex or torsion. In fact I needed to change the hole spacing on the X plates to accommodate the 40x40, that’s the reason I bought the 1/4" aly, however in a rush I just widened the holes in the steel.

I’ll cut the Y plates later tonight, weather permitting (monsoon season forecasted in Chicago tonight), and send an update. I like @ErikJenkins idea of a second set of makerslide below the first, so I’ll probably steal that idea since I have the original X axis makerslide just laying around.

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Right! In my brain the Y plate is the one that holds the makerslide for the Y axis, so qty 4, two on the front of the machine and two on the back. There’s only 2 X plates, but they’re more complex due to the stepper motor clearance etc…

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I wonder if some sort of extension bracket could be designed to raise the x axis “gantry” makerslide aloneleaving the current plates in place to take care of the motors and v wheels?

I tinker with this in sketchup to see if I can illustrate what I am brainstorming here. I am finally getting a very slight handle on how to work sketchup and this gave me some practice.

it’s horrible but it gets my idea acrossendplate.skp (147.1 KB)

Downloading SketchUp so I can see your drawing …

I thought of something similar, but the problem is that unless I moved the makerslide completely up above the level of the current X axis plate, I would need to add additional holes to the stock X plate.

I’ll take a look at your design as soon as the installer finishes. I had something drawn up, albeit on a napkin, and I’m wondering if we’re in the same place :smile:

Hilarious, I had the same thought a few days ago, and honestly did not see your post. I had a sketch of what I thought made sense (on paper), I just viewed that SKP file from @JkWestphal and it’s almost identical to my sketch… and probably yours !

pretty funny

I’m going to give it a shot, just ordered some additional aly from

Great minds think alike I guess…

While an intersesting mental field trip, I have no need personally to go this route since I have my waste board flat down to my table top which gives me about 3" of z travel and if I need more for someting larger I can add risers under the y axis makerslide and raise the whole kit -n-kaboodle leaving the waste board where it is.

But for all of us, I think the XC is an evolving thing, and we share what we are doing which spurs further evolution.

OOh, scary thought of the morning An XC with A.I. (artificial intelegence)!


Chiming in late - but I went with taller x plates because my y axis makerslide is mounted directly to a squared, solid surface, eliminating the possibility of y-axis flex. Wish I had better pictures:


I did more cuts last night. No odd shifts, everything coming out accurate and clean. This cut involved some 265mm circles that came out nice and round :grinning:

I did have to tighten down one of my Y axis pulleys as I had forgotten to use lock tight on it. But I retightened it with lock tight and it seems to be holding fine.

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Yeah, my build is like yours.

I didn’t use the stock wasteboard, instead I built a torsion box and mounted the Y slides directly to the box, with the 20x20 intended for the wasteboard frame screwed in at the bottom of the Y plate and then anchored to the box along the length.

I also added a 1/2" piece of HDPE the length of the Y on both sides that protects the belts as well as anchors the Y makerslide to the 20x20 along the base to make it SUPER rigid.

Changing out my Y plates would mean replacing that 1/2" HDPE as well as having to add another makerslide - which I plan to do, but I’m also considering creating X plates that have multiple sets of holes, so I can raise my 40x40 (I replaced the original makerslides) to a variety of heights above the default X plates… all my 1/2" aly is stacked up and waiting, hoping to get to it this weekend if not earlier…

2 things that paid big dividends when i switched my x plates:

  1. I drilled and tapped the x-axis assembly deeper and with 6mm threads.
  2. I removed the whole x-axis assembly-steel-bar sandwich, keeping it assembled and after carefully squaring my chop saw, I shaved each end so they are perfectly, perfectly square.

Then, tightening down those 6mm bolts left me with a rock solid, perfectly square assembly for mounting my gantry. When I did that, nothing needed any shimming or adjustment to get the spindle squared to the surface. Which was a pleasant surprise.

No troubles, plenty of sidewall. I did this on two prior machines when for one reason or another when the 5mm hole stripped or once when the 5mm tap snapped off in a hole.

You can probably retap for m6 without drilling.

I’ve been looking at this thread and trying to figure everything out. I think I’ve got it all under control now.


Order X axis bundle and Z axis bundle (actuator bundles) parts separately minus the X end stops (replaced by your end plate), X and Z gantry plates (replaced by R7 gantry plates)

Machine/buy R7 XZ gantry plates (plates) Bottom right 2 plates

Machine your own XY gantry plates (the large plates you designed).

Follow applicable steps in R7 assembly instructions (instructions) and using parts called out in instructions. Substituting your own XY gantry plates in.

Am I correct or did I miss something?

You will need a 20x20 beam the same length as the x gantry. It is used to help keep the plates parallel. it also doubles as a cable chain support.
If you order the plates already made you can also order the rail and gantries from them, they will cut and square it to match the X gantry.

If you cut the plates yourself the counter sinks are important.
It is the remaining thickness that is critical, so if you go with a thicker or thinner material you need to adjust the countersink depth to keep the remaining thickness the same.

On the custom side plates, there didn’t need to be a counter sink.
I will see about getting an updated template posted for them this week.

Using the instructions covers everything, however there were 4 screes I felt may have been a bit too long. Then screws used to bolt the Z axis end plated on. The last 5mm was very hard to screw in. I will have to check my notes. I believe they were 25mm long? I would have liked to have tired 20mm instead. I don’t know if it was the screw was too long or if that particular rail had just not been taped deep enough.

If you buy your plates make them the OX set. The R7 plates are designed for a C-Beam with the stepper mounted at the end. There’s no hole cut out for it.

did you ever get a chance of making a template for the y axis plates???

I am about to tackle this project myself. Using 4040 vslot for my y axis.

Would save me a ton of headache!!!

Don’t know who you are asking, but I just did mine for my second machine. They are exactly the same as x-carve plates but have a pocket to receive the 40x40 rail and the holes are in the right place. Attached is an SVG (you need to delete the .txt extension). That’s why there are two - a right and a left.

YAxisPlates40x40Vrail.svg.TXT (19.5 KB)

Here are my brackets attached in an SVG (you need to delete the .txt extension).
6061 R7 Hybrid Brackets (final).svg.txt (33.2 KB)
The extra outlines are for doing a pocket cut first to give the bit a little extra room on the final profile cut. I found that this prevent the bit from binding during the last bit of the cut. (probably due to excessive run out)

Thanks guys.

I feel dumb but i don’t get what you mean by removing the text extensions.

Sadly i even googled it and couldn’t understand…its been a long day…

@Earwigger @AaronMatthews