Having issues with axis consistency - Mach 3

Hey all, i’m having issues with accuracy on my cuts. If i understand correctly, loose belts/gears slipping are what happening. I tell my machine to move an inch and it does it perfectly, but when i tell it to move back to the original spot i marked, it misses it.

On my X Axis, it’s missing the mark by about an 1/8" - see picture

This is my Y Axis, and as you can see, the original starting point. Then the ending point when i told it to move back, missed it by probably 5/16!

Here is some finished results of some cuts.

My machine is not an X CARVE just to be clear, its a custom built 48x96 table. The guy who built it is the one who refferred me to this website, so i’m assuming he bought some of the materials for my machine from Inventables.

My running program is Mach 3, so i’m hoping theres someone in here that can walk me through the fixing process of this.

Any help would be awesome.


If for some reason a 2" jog to the right, and 2" jog to the left do not return the bit to its starting points you either have a huge backlash (slack) issue or the motors are loosing steps.

Do you get the same discrepancy moving in the Y-plane and X-plane or just on one of them?
What motors do you use / motor drivers?

Is the system belts, rack and pinion, or ballscrew? If its belts a 48x96 is an awfully long span to use timing belts on.

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I’m not 100% sure, would pictures help? haha.

Edit. I found a youtube video on tuning axis’s and motors. It seems to be finding its zero perfect again!

How do I know if its rack and pinion or ballscrew?


Rack and Pinion

Timing Belt


Oh okay, its definitely a ball screw!

Anyone here know where i can order another bearing block? I can’t seem to find any on inventables.

I think i over tightened the set screw when i was doing maintenance :sob:

I just assumed they would have it since they have a section in their shop titled “Machine materials and components”.

Those are “SBRxx” blocks where the xx=diameter in mm.
Maybe SBR16 blocks, search for those on Amazon / Ebay etc.

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Good to know thanks man!

Awesome! Thanks for the help man

One more question if anyone in here has an idea.

I’ve tuned all the motors for my X and Y axis’s. However, i’ve noticed i have to dig my bit into my material about 1/16" to get a clean cut all the way through the material. I currently dont have a caliper (need to get one) so that could be one issue, but having to dig my bit into my material is something fairly new i’ve been having to do.

So with all that, am i supposed to be callibrating my Z axis as well?

The video that i watched that helped me understand calibrating didn’t mention anything about Z axis.