Stepper Motors 140 oz vs 262 oz

In looking at the Inventables store, it states that the 140 oz stepper motors are out of stock. It also states that the larger 262 oz stepper motors are NOT recommended for the X Carve because the stock electronics can’t handle them. My question is, are the larger (and obviously more available), stepper motors an acceptable choice with the new X-Controller, which I understand has more robust electronics?

They will work great with the X-Controller.
I am guessing this may be what Inventables had in mind with selling both types.
Remember: The larger motors will not fit the stock Z-axis.

My opinion on larger motors: Only needed if you have wider belts and experience.
With all that torque, things can easily be bent and broken; Limit switches, pulleys etc!

Maybe start with upgrading the X axis to a larger motor. It has to work the hardest and could benefit from the extra torque.

If the larger motors will not fit on the stock Z axis, are there any decent alternatives, as the other motors are not available. BTW, I have not ordered my X Carve yet.

The 262s will fit the Z axis with slight modification. You can either mount the motor on top of the z with offset spacers or you can do what I did and change the button head screws that hold the makerslide for the z on with countersink screws and recess the hole. The 262s will then fit nicely.

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These are nice because they are keyed (I.E. a flat spot on the shaft; less chance of a pulley slipping).

My Z-axis is modified via longer threaded rod and makerslide.

Rick Peterson - Do you have any photos of your modification?

Not with me but I would be happy to grab some for you tonight when I get off work.

The Z-axis really doesn’t benefit much from a larger motor, the weight of the router itself provides all the down-pressure you need to run your tool into the cut, and even a NEMA-17 will lift it brisky and smoothly back out. The X benefits the most from a larger motor, by far.

Rick - Thanks.

Dan - I understand, but I like to keep things, for lack of a better term, symmetrical. I don’t like to mix components. Especially when I have little clue as to what the heck I am doing.

The main reason I used the bigger motors was because I bought them from somewhere else. I was able to get 4 278oz motors for less than Inventables wanted for the 140oz ones.

I have found that the stock Z axis makerslide could be a little longer. The bottom of the carriage falls off the makerslide with atleast 2" of acme Rod left below the Delrin nut. The makerslide can be replaced with a piece 2-3" longer. This may allow enough clearance to mount the larger stepped motor onto the Z axis.

I have not performed this upgrade as of yet. Just stating an observation.

Part details and in some cases, order links are on the Parts page on the Shapeoko wiki: — the only NEMA23 source is Sparkfun though.

I am wondering if one of these might make an acceptable substitute for the Z Axis?

Fair 'nuff! Just watch the weight on the gantry, the router and a dust shoe already add quite a bit. Adding two more even heavier motors is just another bit more. :smile:

This the modification I made.
My main reason for doing this was to allow easier tool changes.
It gives me more room to work with.

The larger motor does seem to give me faster (seeking) Z movement (aka retraction).
I believe I have my GRBL Z axis set to 1000 mm/minute. Which is still too slow IMHO :smile:

I think a few people are using that substitute; at least one forum member and a YouTuber.
I couldn’t find the forum member using it, may have been a Shapeoko forum… Regardless it should work.

Regarding your “symmetrical”, dont bother :wink:
Also since you said “Especially when I have little clue as to what the heck I am doing”
Start small and work your way up!
Custom motors are one thing, but a new Z-axis is another…

Jeremy - In looking at your posts for your Z-mod, you have a lot going on. The Z Axis mod, the laser add (which is phenomenal by the way), etc. Do you have photos and a step by step procedure of what you did? Also it looks in one photo that the top of the DeWalt is hitting the top of the Z Axis slide and is tilted a bit. Could be my point of view though.

Yes, the Dewalt can hit the top of the Z motor plate; this happens with the X-carve’s stock configuration as well.
Rotating the Dewalt into certain position prevents this from happening.

I have a parts list at the topic top but no instructions.
I can write up a post later with some overall instructions and advice.

Jeremy - Thanks.