Thoughts on Stiffening mod

With the right set up and wire tension the amount of sag will be less than you can measure.
There would be no need to change the orientation of your machine. This method would come in handy on machines that have been lengthened to 1.8 meters long.


I used aluminum tee 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 by 3/16" just trimmed about blade width from both sides my cnc width is 59" no chance is will sag the aluminum was not very expensive bought online at orange aluminum

JosephSmith, did you mount the tee on the top or the bottom of the X axis? And, did you bolt through like you would for the steel mod or fasten it from the top/bottom?

I was thinking of aluminum T as well. Haven’t done the mod yet, but I did buy a piece of flat aluminum. I would love to see some pictures.

The tee is upside down cause it would hit belt idlers just drilled threw middle with bolts


Used my x-carve to cut out some notches in my dust shields for the y-axis support brackets so they will sit flush against the makerslide and further increase the rigidity.


I think I prefer the tee idea. It seems as if it would provide better rigidity for both twisting and sagging. Not that there is anything at all wrong with the steel bar sandwich. Keeping the weight down is a plus too for long-term motor and belt wear.

From the pictures above, it looks like you could do both. Horizontal connecting bolts/nuts through the middle–like the steel plate… and then tee nuts/M5 bolts in strategic locations in the bottom slots. I can’t imagine that the X axis would have any flex at all–in any direction.

My X-Carve is still on its way, but I like this tee idea for my solution when the Inventables boxes appear on my doorstep. JosephSmith did a great job.

Man, that “T” looks absolutely perfect. Talk about stiffening, with that bolted in place, no chance at all of flex! Not just shearing on the bolts holding it in place any more.

Found this on McMaster-Carr. Seems about right, would have to trim to length from the 4’ (or use the 2’ and leave a little at either end not tied together). About $20 (less if you go with just 2’).

If I do this I’m thinking of drilling thru at about the bottom insertion nut slot even though that means drilling thru more material, to avoid the Y-axis motor wiring channel.

thanks its a learning experience i ordered 8’ of the aluminum tee i think with shipping it was 38.00$ just made a jig and used drill press when you feed your stepper motor cable thru then bolts was not hard and from what i can tell rock solid i just got to finish my y axis braces and i think all will be well. not bad for a cnc that is 1500x1800mm and i can easily make y axis longer at any time.

I designed my stiffening mod so that the front of the makerslide with the logo is not altered, which I think looks nice. I 3D printed the gray inserts shown in the picture and drilled a larger hole in the back of the far makerslide to accommodate the fastener heads. This way the y-axis motor cable can pass through the makerslide unobstructed.

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I see the principle you are using. I am just not understanding how you are getting threads to hold in printed parts. How are you getting the inserts down to the holes close to the center of the MS


The purpose of the printed parts is to allow the nut and fastener head to have a surface to rest on and distribute the force over a large area inside of the makerslide. The threads of the fastener are held by the nut, which is held in place with its corresponding 3D insert. The inserts slide down the inside of the makerslide similar to how you slide a t-nut in the t-slots.


OK I see how your doing it now. I don’t have a 3D printer but I do have a CNC milling machine so I’m wondering if I could make the inserts from Alu. I would drill and tap the nut side and drill and counter bore the bolt side. Just need to come up with a cutter to get the outside profile.


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This turned out well. There is enough room for the y-axis motor cable to easily pass through after the hardware is fastened. The printed nylon inserts flex enough so that when the fasteners are tightened they conform to the contour of the makerslide, distributing the force very nicely.

I ordered the steel through McMaster. Unfortunately, it arrived bowed. I asked for a replacement, and that was also bowed; I suppose it may be due to how it’s stored in the warehouse. I was able to work the steel bar until it was straight. Other than that, their steel is nice, but it may be worth sticking with a local store so that you can select the best steel bar for your project.


If VHB tabe is used, then the metal thickness will have to be reduced to 1/8". The tape is 1mm thick, so when applied to both sides it would take up 2mm (1/16"). Not to mention it would be permanent. If you could ensure perfect alignment then it would certainly work.

Hello. Sorry, total newb here. I am researching easy mods to do to my XCarve when it arrives in a couple of weeks. Do you need to drill holes for these screws/bolts (on the extrusions I mean)? What kind of screws and washers are these? I found the metal part itself (McMaster-Carr) but not the screws.

You will have to drill your own holes. The fasteners I used on mine are furniture bolts, which I got at Lowes. You can see my build video, which has Lowes SKU numbers for the bolts at X-Carve Maintenance/Troubleshooting Videos - Add Your Own!


Has anyone considered just using aluminum bar and taking it to someone to TIG weld it? I’d imagine just a series of 1" welds on both sides and top and bottom would be pretty quick. The only concern would be keeping it all cool so it doesn’t warp.