OK to move xyz by hand?

Does it hurt anything to move xyz axis by hand for positioning before cutting

The steppers do generate electricity and feed it back to the motion controller, but as long as you aren’t moving them fast, you’ll be alright.

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Just do not move any axis by hand after you have zeroed it.

Generally no. Sometimes you have to though, so like @Rusty said, move them very slowly otherwise you can risk burning out the gshield.

I have been moving the machine by hand (slowly) for some time now. I got my machine in early June,

I keep an eye on the arduino/gshield and if i start to see lights i’m moving too fast. Once one finds what rate of movement generates current, you can stay below that. I havent had any adverse effects yet to my knowlege but your experience may differ.

Thanks guys! I find it a lot easier to line up the xy first then hand crank the z down. Compared to toggling with the steppers.


Ditto! I’ve been handling my SO2 that way since first firing it up last February. No problem so far!

One other consideration aside from electrical feed back when moving by hand is that when you do move the gantry by hand you most likely move the machine out of square.

If you move the gantry by hand even slowly, check that each side measures the same distance away from the Y end plates. This is even more important when there are 2 separate stepper drivers for the Y-axis.

So, as others have stated… avoid moving the gantry by hand as much as possible.

Yes, it hurts. The gshield can tolerate pain, though. The problem is there’s no feedback, so the way you tell that you’ve hurt it too much is that it stops working.

couldn’t you protest the gshield with a diode or something? IIRC a diode can be used to block current from going backwards…
I’m really rusty on my electronics, so forgive me if this won’t work.