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TBD CNC Supergrade Z axis

Finally got my TBD CNC Supergrade Z axis running. Complete with Hitachi M12VC router upgrade.

Upgrade itself is incredibly easy. Calibration was as simple as typing in a few numbers and using a digital caliper gauge to ensure the height is as perfect as can be.

First few cuts and it’s noticeable immediately what a difference it makes having a linear direct drive axis versus belt driven.

The OEM X-carve does a very admirable job considering how simple its design is. The sheer accuracy of this Z axis makes it worth every penny you spend.

There is absolutely zero play, slop or chugging as I call it.

I’m now hell bent on selling some more in order to afford the direct drive upgrade they have for the X and Y axis.

My only beef here is I wish it were possible to get a screw drive Y axis that would afford 1500-2000mm in length as it would give us the ultimate hobbyist CNC.

For what it’s worth this is the best CNC investment out there. OEM is less than Shapeoko out of the box and with the savings you can easily upgrade to a very Formidable machine.


Agreed on the comments, I enjoy using my X carve its simple to learn and use. Up grades will come to mine in the future as well.

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I just received my kit, but I don’t see any mounting hardware or limit switch adaptor. Did it come with your package? Or did you have to order the limit switch adaptor elsewhere? Thanks in advance!

Mine came with longer hardware to mount the switch.

For the belt drive version, longer screws and spacers are included.

For the direct drive version, there is a switch adapter (black plastic part) included in the hardware bag, which mounts in the right side slot of the Z Axis extrusion

If you need a replacement, shoot us an email to and we’ll get one headed your way :slight_smile:

I did’t receive it with my package, that’s why I was asking. I already wrote you to your support mail on Sunday. Thank you Luke!

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How is your Screw Drive performing over the long haul? Its been over six months since you installed it? Do you still recommend it?

Also How noisy is the screw drive vs the Belt drive?

Thanks in Advance,

Does @TbdCnc have any milled mounting options for the Hitachi M12VC?

It still runs as smooth as it did on day #1.

Also you DO NOT want to use an aluminum mount. The weight is enough to make the Y axis twist slightly out of square which is not fixable.

I have mounts for the M12VC as well as the Bosch 1617 routers made if you’d like to order one.

Those are the only two routers I would conceivably recommend. I still can’t fathom why default is the dewalt 611. The Bosch 1617 is incredible but it’s also a bit more expensive vs the Hitachi M12VC.

We’ve used both Bosch 1617 and Hitachi M12VC and we would give the edge to the Bosch.


Just a heads up if anyone is planning on ordering a z axis from tbd you might be waiting a very long time to get it. I waited over 2.5 months and they eventually cancelled my order. Very disappointing. My advice: find another company

Got my new TBD CNC Supergrade Z axis and it keeps drilling past the work past and through the waste board and it other cuts the item all the way through or shoots out across the machine. Help!!!

If you changed the z axes you will need to recalibrate it. You need to contact TBD and get a close idea where to set it then calibrate from there.

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I believe they sent me a list as a starting point, from here I ran calibration to dial it in.


As Wayne and Steve suggest, you need to change your $102 value to match your new Z-mechanics as the old value dont apply.

What value it need to have depend on the microstep setting of your stepper driver and screw pitch. (Pitch in this regard = travel per rotation).

This is from the TBD link on the Supergrade z axis page. It looks like $102=49.909:

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