I am in the middle of upgrading my Shapeoko 2 to an XCarve. This will initially be a 900mm (Y) x 1000mm (X) build and eventually be 2700 on the Y (supported by makerfoot). I am using a TinyG as the controller and NEMA23 motors.
One issue I have with the Shapeoko/XCarve design is that endstops are REQUIRED for both max and min. They are vital safety devices on a machine with a dangerous handtool attached to it.
Something I would really like to do is to minimize the length of all the wires and in particular eliminate the need for any electronics on the Y axis. It seems to me that the best way to do this would be to put the TinyG on the Z carriage. This would mean that the only wires absolutely needing to go through the drag chain are:
2 Stepper motor Y (18 AWG shielded 4 core)
(one approx 1 m, the other 2m to go back through the gantry to the other side)
2 End stop signal wires (22 AWG shielded 2+2 core)
In addition, need the following to the carriage but not necessarily through the drag chain:
- Dust collection hose
- Power to router (110V)
- USB to TinyG
- 24V Power to TinyG
2 through 4 could go through the drag chain or be connected to the dust collection. That will connect up to my overhead DC line
To make space on the new carriage, I am thinking of lengthening the Z axis to 250mm or perhaps a bit more and raising the drag chain by 25 mm. This gives me a space between the top of the carriage and allows me to re-use the space set aside for the junction boxes to place a mounting strip on which to attach the end stops.
This should allow me to isolate the moving gantry from the Y which allows me to lengthen or shorten it as needed.