In case you hadn’t heard, @Phantomm sells a Screw Drive Upgrade & new thread
This post is long overdue. I’ve been sitting on this upgrade for months now, not because there was something wrong with it, but because I’m a lazy bum and haven’t done a write-up. (technically, I had kid a month after this happened, and work was blowing up with a product launch, a role change, and taking technical ownership of two different eCommerce systems.)
I recently helped out another forum member do the upgrade and realized that folks need to know about this.
** full disclosure. I got in on the first run and received a discount on my order in exchange for helping with instructions, photos and a review. **
This is a great upgrade. This is the machine I wanted when I had researched and dreamed about DIY CNC years ago. I can cut deeper, faster and smoother than I ever did with the stock GT2 belts. I regularly cut 1/4" deep with a 1/4" upcut at 125ipm. I can cut one of these guys in 20 minutes or less family monograms
There are two boxes.
One box contained 4x end-plates, 2x side-plates.
** I had my plates anodized black. They were delivered in unfinished aluminum **
A second box is drop shipped from openbuildsparts. This contains all the hardware
- linear drive screws
- motor-to-screw couplers,
- all kinds of M5 screws
- spacers for mounting the motors
@Phantomm did not make a profit from the drop shipped parts. He probably ought to be charging a nominal fee of $5-10 to make this order for you.
Machine Pre-Install. See you later stock x-carve.
End plate comparison
Side plate comparison (you can see some of the packing material in the top edge of this photo. I’m not sure where the photos of the packing went. There were plastic pieces cut to shape to separate the plates. Nice touch)
The stock X-carve is limited by belts clamps.
Blocked on the Y axis
Blocked on the X axis
After the install, there’s more elbow room. Lots more
My final overall available space to move is 32.25 X and 32.75 Y.
There are some minor things that some people won’t like.
If you’ve successfully assembled an X-Carve, none of this should scare you.
However, in the interest of full disclosure, here’s the “bad”.
You have to put holes in your X-Carriage.
You have to use a special tool to hold the screw behind the side-plate when you’re mounting the nut. (The tolerance back here is tight, and a standard box-end wrench isn’t going to fit)
I have a skinny-wrench. You might not have one. You may have to find something else.
When I installed this last Sunday, we used a wood carving chisel they had laying next to the lathe.
With a lathe chisel.
The hole to mount the homing switch was too big.
I had to get a new screw and a nut and drill out both the limit switch and the hole a bit. Cost me all of $1.50 at Ace Hardware. (Lowes and Home Depot don’t have the selection of tiny-screws that Ace does)
It’s in the right place and it stays put. I did need some serious needle nose to hold that nut. My skinny-wrench goes down to 8mm and I believe that was somewhere between a 3-4mm nut.
This is the one and only mechanical flaw I had with the upgrade. I had more issues with the X-Carve. (although equally as trivial and solved without customer service sending parts).
The whole kit raises your Z capabilities. I have a-lot extra height at this point. I have to use between 1/2 to 3/4 material under my stock, or I will derail my Z-axis. (I’ve only done this once. Hooray for the e-Stop)
I’m very happy with my machine.
(The white ooze on the right-front end-plate is white spray paint. Overspray from a project I did too close)
If there’s anything specific you’d like to see, let me know. I love taking photos of my X-Carve.
Thanks @Phantomm for investing your time engineering this. I hope you have many more happy customers in the future.