Upgraded Z-Axis Design

I’m not sure who else has gotten theirs up and running so far?

I feel like I’m in sort of an awkward position to offer a review of the product, because what any current or future buyers receive should have taken care of a number of issues that we early adopters ran into. Hopefully Kyle will have addressed those things for all the second-wave buyers.

With that said, as of this evening I finally have mine installed once again, this time in what could be considered a relatively ‘finished’ state. It seems to be performing well for me so far (cutting some acrylic dust boot brackets as we speak…) but I’m kind of curious - what would be a good challenging test cut that people would like to see to demonstrate the performance of the new Z axis?

FWIW, it’s been doing a great job cutting acrylic, which went pretty poorly for me back when I had the stock Z-axis:

5 Likes

Kyle,
I hope you will read this.
In the sprit of transparency I am posting here on the forum.
I initially told him that I simply wanted to return the unit.
However, I am reconsidering my decision.
While he has had several hiccups, I believe that he will make things right and ultimately end up with a good product and I know it will improve the performance of my machine and will continue to support his endeavor. (I want to have faith in the people on this forum)
I’m going send him a private message and hope to simply do a simple exchange when he gets the bugs worked out.

3 Likes

Thank you guys for posting these reviews and opinions. Definitely hope to see more.

I have been in contact with Kyle and he is currently working out the bugs and Z depth issue.
When I get my new unit I will report the results along with pictures.
I still believe he will end up with a quality product.

4 Likes

I agree with the above. Kyle , working with me, has been good to work with. He’s replied to every email and phone call on any issue. I do like that the unit uses the same acme screw and motor mount. A benefit is it looks like it was stock, with the black anodizing.

2 Likes

My review and first impressions:
The product arrived on time and in great condition. The packaging was perfect.
Installation was fairly straight forward.
My only complaint is the documentation. I couldn’t find documentation on the website, and only a PDF here on the forum. Even then it may have been out of date. I really had no idea how to use the spring washers.
After some trial and error I got it installed.
No play or slop. The Z axis feels much more sturdy.

Surprisingly I got the Z axis plum to my waste board on the first try!
Here is some boring surfacing video, but you will get an idea of the Z axis.

I also got my SuckIt Dust Shoe working. My only problem is that the brushes will only reach 1/2" or thicker material, because I had to raise the aluminum rails. I’ll get longer brushes and report back.
I also used spacers (aluminum cylinders) between the shoe and the magnet pieces, due to the wider Z - Axis.

I will post more impressions as I make them, but so far I am quite satisfied!

2 Likes

@JeremyJohnstone thanks for the feedback. I am curious if it will reach the waste board with the Makita router and a small-diameter end mill / router bit (1/8" / ~3mm)? I am not sure how the dimensions of the Makita router differ from the DeWalt.

I do need to update the documentation and I will do soon – I wanted to include details for both the standard and extended plate versions as well as how to adjust the anti-backlash nut etc. and include more images / diagrams which I need to create. I don’t want to make an unnecessarily long post here but I can send details on how to utilize the parts included in the bearing preload kit in the meantime by PM if you need them. It is not absolutely necessary to use but can potentially eliminate a few thousandths of and inch of vertical play from the bearing race.

As for the status of the project in general – I have completed the first batch of the 30mm offset plate and have them available to ship to anyone who needs them. Please contact me by email or PM if you haven’t already. I have also done some testing on an updated design for the acetal bushings. The new design uses a precision fit milled, fluted bushing with a friction retention ring rather than the press fit and reamed ID of the existing bushings. This allows for better fit and easier maintainability. Existing units do not need to change out the bushings but this will make replacing them if necessary significantly easier, requiring no special tools to install.

I haven’t posted in a while and didn’t intend to due to abuse earlier on bit it seems the :poop: posting has ceased so I am happy to post back here and provide new details as they arise.

Kyle,
I responded to your PM. (thank you for the update) but are you making any progress with the suckit dust boot?
I would really like to install it at the same time.

@KyleKronyak,The _dust shoe brushe_s were not reaching; the spindle reached fine.
The dust shoe doesn’t reach due to how I mounted the T-Track to the X carriage.
I will follow up with more pictures explaining what I did.

@JeremyJohnstone thanks for the clarification on that.

@JanVanderlinden I have not heard from Mark recently about the updated Suckit bracket and have not received a test unit. I don’t know if they are waiting on me to send one of my units. Due to the issues which arose surrounding the Z height I have not sent one yet, but I should be able to send them one very soon. In the meantime if anyone who is getting a replacement plate wants it I can include a simple 3d printed spindle-mounted dust shoe. The work-around @JeremyJohnstone has shown could also work if you don’t mind doing some temporary modifications.

Jeremy,
Can you expound the dust shoe modifications that you did.
Maybe some pictures also.
Thanks.

Once all the kinks are worked out and the suckit can be adapted I am very interested. Haven’t pulled the trigger on an ebay unit because of price, too shiny, and lack of dust boot. What does this unit cost?

I just talked to Jenn yesterday and she will be sending out some test kits sometime next week. I would suggest that you contact her and be prepared to send them a unit. I know she is still interested in working with you.

Hey, Clyde, I was told some wednesday or thursday of last week. Must have been pushed back?

My workaround:

Yes, she was going to send them out this week but they decided to wait until they finished some updates to their designs. She’ll mail them when she has everything together. Be patient. What I was lobbying for was a design that would work with anything from the stock unit up to 7" to 8" so she had to order some parts. Remember, this is just the beginning test stage and there will a few revisions before they get it to where they are happy with it.

Jeremy,
Very nicely done.
I like it, thank you.

Just a quick update – I’ve made some changes to the manual PDF and added it to the product page on my store. I still need to make some renders / diagrams but the updated text should make things a little more clear.

Here is a direct link to the updated manual.

Manual

3 Likes

I got the new extended plate in and bolted up after we came back from hurricane evacuation. I’m making a checker board for my son. Everything is coming out good. I’m running a lot faster than I used to with better results over the stock z axis

2 Likes

My update.
Kyle gave me the option getting a new unit or waiting until he got the 30mm drop plates finished.
I opted for the later as my gantry is also raised with Charlie’s plates.
I received the new unit this week and installed it Saturday.
Sunday I finally got to try it out.
This thing is FANTASTIC.
It made a world of difference in the stiffness and it is absolutely smooth as glass.
There is zero chatter when running a cut.
And the black color just makes it look like its part of the Xcarve.
Thank you Kyle, you have a great product and I hope you have much success.

On a different note.
During my conversations with Kyle, he gave me the option of either returning the unit or donating it.
Therefore it will not be for sale by me and wherever it goes will first be approved by Kyle.
I live in Columbus Ohio and will deliver in this vicinity or it can be picked up by Whom ever Kyle approves of.

My first project with the new Z Plunge


6 Likes