User Assembly Tips

There might already be a place for tips for assembly but I could not find it so…

  1. As I assemble the different carriages I started using a small non-marring vise to hold the carriage still while aligning and tightening parts -much easier than trying to hold the carriage or plate and a tool for each side, try it! BE SURE you use a vise that wont leave marks and don’t over tighten it and only tighten on a flat plate with no parts being clamped!

  2. When building the Y plates (2) , I had better luck putting on the nema motor Before the smooth idler pulleys as they are right next to the nuts for the motor and otherwise hard to get to.

I will post more as I go, got off to a late start today but this is a BLAST!

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Hi Don
I have put up a video with a few tips as well if you want to check it out https://youtu.be/VIzwq9xlv34

Cheers
Warren

Warren,
Thanks for putting up the video, it was a nice addition to the ones Inventables put up.

Thanks for that Bart hope you found it useful, i definitely had fun building it.

Thanks for that Warren!

Bob from I Like To Make Stuff has another video with some assembly tips: http://www.iliketomakestuff.com/how-to-assemble-the-x-carve-cnc-from-inventables/

So I am trying to keep the wiring neat. So I am putting braid around the motor wiring, and using crimp terminals on the terminal block rather than just trying to wrap the wires around the screws. I’ve found that in machines like this, whatever you can do to keep the wiring organized and the connections good, will pay off.

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Chris, you read my mind! I use the wire braid in most of my r/c planes to neaten up the wiring as well as protect them from chafing. I get mine from HERE
Just ordered my X-Carve last week so Im hoping to see it by the end of the month, I have plenty of projects already planned for it.

What diameter(s) of flex do you recommend based on you experience? It looks great.

so far that is 1/4" braid. It seems to be fine for the four motor wires, and might fight another wire or two. I also got some 3/8 flex, which I thought would work when combining the wires. The crimp connector is a #8 ring for 18-22AWG. The motor wires are a little small, so I fold them over a little bit after striping them to make sure the crimp gets a good hold on the wire.

As for the green screw terminal blocks on the g shield and psu, I was planning on just using one of the forks of a spade connector, and probably clip off the other fork. Unless someone knows a better crimp connector for using with those kinds of blocks…

I hate just jamming wires into those things, especially if it is a wire braid, (those little connectors turn into a little birds nest). I suppose you could just tin the ends of the wires with a bit of solder to make them work with the terminal blocks a bit better.

I was also planning on using the plug pictured below on the DC spindle, so it would be easy to disconnect if switching to an AC spindle. The plug has a little rubber gasket, so it shouldn’t have any issues with dust getting inside.

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Another tip for using the torx wrench included in the kit. There is a hole in the top; use it. I put a large allen wrench into the side once I got to the point where I needed to apply some real torque to the screws. I saw an assembly video where the guy tried to put those in with just his bare hands. Looked painful.

Also the wrench doesn’t seat very deep into the screws, so it is really easy to torque the wrench out of the torx socket. It doesn’t strip the screw or anything, but you might send the torx wrench flying if you are not careful.

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Looking good @ChrisWundram

I can’t wait to start putting mine together. I’ll definitely be using some of your tips.

So my background as an Avionics Electrical technician prevents me from just stripping wire and screwing it to the terminal blocks. Also, I have seen some comments on issues with soldering the switches. I have some pictures below of what the wires should look like before and after soldering to switch posts. The trick to the soldering the wires to the posts is to pre-tin your wires then bend them around round nosed pliers. Then when you apply the solder to the J-Hooked wires and posts you are applying heat for less than a second.
-some additional soldering tips…

  1. Eutectic solder(63/37) works much better than regular 60/40 solder. The eutectic solder requires less heat from the soldering iron than the standard 60/40 solder.
  2. Find a way to support your wires so they don’t move during and immediately following applying heat, if they move this causes miniature fissures in the solder, which appears dull, these fissures create resistance and can cause issues later on.
  3. If you tin your wires, clamp them with a pair of needle nose pliers with a rubber band around the handles, the tips of the pliers act as an anti-wicking tool, essentially a heatsink that prevents the solder from wicking underneath the insulation of the wire.

If anyone has any other tips or questions about soldering please reply.

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REALLY NICE WORK AND GREAT ADVICE ! I learned something I can use today ! Thanks for taking the time to share this.

No problem, I have learned a lot from others on this board so far so I figured I would contribute in a way that I could. I am still in the build process going on day 4 but I am taking my sweet time, I watch the video and read the instruction until I completely understand what I need to do before actually putting tools to hardware. I gotta say I really really value how much attention inventables put into labeling each and every bag of parts. Its been a challenge to complete this 1000mm x-carve while reading the directions for a 500mm x-carve, what especially tripped me up was the z-axis acme rod install/z-axis nema 23, and the drag chain directions are completely jacked up.

James

Can someone tell me what size torx bit I need for the screws on the maker slide,I want to be prepared when it arrives.

Looks like it is an IP25 Torx Plus to drive a Pan Head Thread Forming Screw M5, but the tool kit that Inventables optionally sends has a T25 Torx Driver in it. If they are Torx Plus Screws then either will work, but if they are Standard Torx then the IP25 won’t fit… T25 to be safe I suppose.

Also get the #10 drill bit to ream out the hole prior to using the Torx wrench.

Thanks I purchased the tool kit but I want to get a bit to put on a ratchet instead of using the screwdriver

Oh you need to ream the makerslide? Didn’t see That in the videos good to know

I just finished the first couple steps and made these notes…

X Carriage
Should install stepper motor before smooth/V rollers.
Can’t install stepper socket-heads as shown in instructions with a ball-end Allen wrench
Rollers had bearings not fully seated.

Stepper Pulleys
Should use Loc-Tite, or, the like, for setscrews.

Y-Plates
Several holes are undersize, or, have burrs.
NEMA 17 Motor Mounting: No mention of pulleys beyond the one mentioned in “parts required” table.