Jeremys Phantomm upgrade

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
  • couplers
  • nut-blocks
  • spacers
  • lock-collars

@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)

Before Z-Height.

After Z-Height

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.


Great breakdown @JeremySimmons … apprreciate the pics. From what I see, doesn’t look lke the z upgrade wouldn’t be impacted by this (good to know)

Did you upgrade motors? Or are they stock?

Would love to see a video of it carving…,

doesn’t look lke the z upgrade wouldn’t be impacted by this

Which one? I’m fixing to throw a cnc4newbies z-axis on mine. Notice a theme? All parts should be black before attaching… planning to 3d print some covers for where the motors mount to the end-plates

Would love to see a video of it carving…,

Anything specific?


I have the same … look forward to seeing that on yours…

And nope. Nohing specific for the video. Anything you have on tap would be fine. Just curious to see it and hear it …


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I went in from the side/Back not the top, and had no issue with my standard wrench.

Absolutely right. There was a compensation error in the water jet software for holes smaller than 2mm. The new batch going forward has a fix in place already and I’ll be tapping all the holes myself.

What I did was I reused the screw and nut from my original limit switch. Works like a charm.

Thanks for all your hard work documenting the process. :two_hearts:

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Check my YouTube channel. I posted some test runs.

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I would like to check out your you tube channel what is it.

But its with my test plates

This is @Phantomm’s YouTube channel

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Lookin at your pictures, is there any reason that the Y motors cant be put on the rear of the machine.
If I do this, I would like them at the rear so they would be out of the way.

No reason it can’t. I did mine that way to I can move the machine back more.

I really need to update the channel :scream_cat:

Yes. You sure can.
You have to change “ $3 direction port inver, mask “ setting to reflect the orientation

Put the Y limit switch on the Y end plate that doesn’t move

Mock that up with the standard limit switch… not saying it can’t be done, but it’d be challenging without an extra bracket and a through hole.

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I can’t tell what I’m looking at. can you post the url?

Bah. You won’t be seeing it any time soon. I snapped the screw-nut pushing it back into the plate. Time to get a new one starts now…

No good looks like it may eat up some travel. The main reason my plates have a large flat front is for squaring up the machine before powerup.

If that switch plate were 90degree so it could be mounted to the end-plate it’d work.

I think what phil is suggesting is to put a screw in the side-plate where the switch currently mounts. (maybe even further away)
Then attach the microswitch to the end plate. No travel in that axis used.

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Put the Y limit switch on the Y end plate that doesn’t move and put a solid trigger (screw) on the moving parts.

what was the original consideration for this? Is the theory that the switch is more likely to not have a fault if it’s stationary?