Wiring Help for x-Carve, Shapoko, and any RepRap type of machine

Here is a part that might help everyone wire up their X_Carve/Shapoko or other 3D CNC device.


Basically it allows you to do this…

There is a video on the store link that shows more uses for it. I can test my steppers without unwiring them, I can check voltages without disrupting the connections and much more.

Right now this is in proto-type stage and you can get them at a discount. The MakerHive is looking for more feedback on it before final.

I’m not sure where to provide feedback, but I would much rather see screw clamp terminals than the spring clamps. I’ve worked with too much industrial equipment to trust the springs to keep a permanent connection. Other than that, it looks like a very useful item.


I agree with Rick. Spring terminals are a bad idea, especially for something that vibrates a lot.

Not sure why someone would buy this instead of a $3 barrier strip.

I have to respectfully disagree. Screw terminals are subject to loosening by constant vibrations and temperature differences. Those are the primary reason for creating the spring clamp tech. Just do a search for Spring cage vs Screw terminal and you will find all type of supporting documents. Just a few,

As for the spring “wearing out” won’t be an issue as part of the reason for the Header block is so you don’t have to keep removing the wires to trouble shoot unless you are changing a part. Like you, I too have seen a lot of electrical experience, I am a EE, and Spring cage wins hands down. I can’t tell you how many boards I have replaced becasue the screw terms came loose and over heated, melting the connectors. (Number one issue with the RAMBo boards by the way).

Screw Terminals heat up and cool down causing loosening - Vibration cause loosening and screw terms require maintenance. The spring cage is immune due to the constant pressure on the wire.

Yes these are a bit pricy at the moment, but I am working to reduce cost, I probably will eliminate the screws and standoffs, this will reduce the cost a lot.

Here is a good video outlining the differences

I’m with @GlennBerden on this. Screw terminals can loosen with vibration. I’ve been an automation-professional for almost 30 years now, and have significant experience with this.

I’m no pro, but everything I’ve ever taken apart to repair uses screws. Now I don’t believe that just because everybody does something one way, that that is the best way,.

I would think that if the spring contact was so good one would see them in more devices.

They are used heavily in industrial equipment.

I would not feel confident connecting my stepper motors through a spring connector. For one thing it is difficult to verify the connection is solid with an enclosed spring connector. A screw type barrier strip provides an easy visual verification that the wire is secure.

I would not be a customer for the connector system you are offering.

@LarryM : You are correct, Screw terminals are usually cheaper than spring cage so most opt to save a few bucks, but in my 25 years of experience, I’ll take Spring cage any day. But thanks for your viewpoint.

@AllenMassey : I must admit I can not verify a screw is tight by looking at it, I usually tug on the wire to make sure it is secure, that’s easily done with spring cage as well, and if it is inserted properly then you KNOW the wire is secure. In testing I can usually pull wires out of a screw terminal (with a pair of pliers) before I can pull them out of a spring cage. Maybe I should set up some testing Videos? If this connection block was offered with either Spring Cage or Screw terminals - would it possibly look more appealing?

This block is more than just using spring cage terminals. the Jumper blocks make it much more versatile than a barrier strip. It would be much more difficult to add a fused output or a indication LED to a barrier strip. To Jump multiple outputs on a barrier strip you must make small jumper wires and put multiple wires into a single connection with the YJ-PAD you simply add a Jumper block and done.

I appreciate everyone’s comments, all of use at The MakerHive love the Idea so it is good to get some unbiased opinions. I’ll review everyone’s comments with the group this Thursday.

@GlennBerden - My problem with your connection system is based on my admitted bias toward screw connections. I have used screw down terminal strips for decades without any issue, so I trust them. I know you can make a good argument that the spring cage connector is better with respect to holding force or vibration resistance. But based on my personal experience the advantages you claim for the spring cage are not justified by the additional cost. Just like a titanium body for my smart phone would provide much better heat resistance than the aluminum body. The heat resistance properties of the aluminum have never been an issue for me so I would not consider the additional cost of a titanium case to worthwhile.

The second reason I would not be a customer is that with the terminal strips I am using now I already have easy access to measure voltage and it is very easy to remove and reconnect the connections if needed.

Sorry, but I just do not see any reason to change from my fully funcitonal and inexpensive terminal stips to a more expensive system that in my opinion does not provide any significant advantages,

But good luck, maybe others will perceive some advantage that I don’t see.

Now if you really want to make something I would purchase, how about a system with a camera and microphone that mounts above the mill and monitors the spindle activity. If it sees the spindle approaching the rail at high speed or hears the bit gouging into the material then it would automatically power down the mill. Then I would not need to monitor the system while it is working. That is something I would gladly spend some money on.