Inventables Community Forum

Z Axis doesnt cut proper depth (Upgrade kit 2021)

Just upgraded the X carve with their new kit. Everything works perfect except for the Z Axis height/depth. I already had that issue before the upgrade but never took the time to figure it out.
Can someone help me resolve this issue once and for all!

Thanks in advance!

Here’s a picture of my Inspector

go to machine inspector, delete cnc and reinstall follow instruction

I have already deleted my old cnc. Now with the new setup I cant run multiple machines unless I have easel pro and cant delete this one either.

there is another reason that the Z does not plunge to the correct depth… the $102 is a setting for Z calibration and Yours IS set RIGHT, BUT that is reliant on the Dip Switches inside of the X Controller also being set per factory specs. I presume that yours are not set correctly and this will throw off Z movements.

this is the correct setting for switches

And here are the instructions for assembling a xcontroller from scratch in case you want to see what you’re getting into before you remove the lid…
https://x-carve-instructions.inventables.com/1000mm/step8

I’m willing to bed that the Z switches (far right in the above photo) are set differently than the above photo.

Now, somewhat of a side note: IF you want to make another change (improvement) while you are in there, check out this change that will help the machine hold position during bit changes, this will lock the motors in place better than without this change being made. (it’s really simple, just changing switch #4 and changing a grbl setting back in easel)

Have you calculated the steps per mm for the Z, and checked this against $102 ?

Thanks a ton Seth. Through searching a little I figured that it could be my issue. Since my CNC is at my shop I just can’t wait to go back tomorrow and try it out!

Also thanks for the the stepper motor hack. I noticed that his carriage moves very easily compared to mine. I’m not sure of the proper amount of tension in the belts. When setting my new 9mm belts the only instruction was that they should feel tight as a guitar string which is kinda of an obscur way to measure the tension. Is there any device I can use to make sure of the proper tension not to wear em out prematurely?

Thanks again for the help!

I’m not sure if I am answering correctly to your question but for the Z axis only 1 inch step in Easel would result in 1/4” step when measuring with a ruler on the router.

The rule for the 6mm belts was about 3-4lb on a fish or luggage scale when lifted 1" above the frame.

I just keep a complete set of spare belts in the shop and just kinda wing it personally :man_shrugging:

So if you enter 1 inch in easel and the z moves only 1/4 inch, then your $102 value is incorrect. Look up a steps per mm calculator and recalibrate all 3 axis

Yes, that is true in part,… However if the Microstepping is set wrong that will also cause the calibration of movement to be off as well, and the fact that it is an exact multiple of 4 off when the grbl setting is set correct for his model cnc indicates that the microstepping is set different than factory defaults.

Sure, one could leave the microstepping settings alone and adjust the $102 value, however depending on the microstep settings that can cause issues with holding tolerances, AND if he has to perform a new machine setup in Easel, Easel will automatically re-set the $102 to factory, so he would need to remember the re-calcuated $102 and make sure to change it after a machine setup, before he runs the next carve or he’ll be right back here.

Hence the recommendation to go into the X Controller and set the microstep settings back to defaults.

I’m betting that Oliver’s microstepping is set to 1/8 across the board instead of Z being set to 1/2 as it should be. because this would cause the exact issue he is experiencing.

The Red Box of Switches here should be set differently for the Z compared to the X,Y

Hi Seth, sorry I forgot to reply to you earlier. It was in fact the X Controller switches! Thanks a ton for you help. I also took the opportunity to try your motor lock hack and loosening my belts a little. It works like a charm.

I have to say though I’m not sure if it’s the new Z carriage or maybe my Z steps settings, it runs super smooth but the Z axis doesnt sound so smooth while going up or down.

Thanks again Seth, you’ve been a tremendous help! I did sub to your channel and watched a couple videos while I was there :wink:

Glad you got that calibration part sorted.

The noise is due to the z lead screw being directly connected to the stepper now and the linear rails do a good job to also amplify that sound as well. Verses the old method that uses a belt and vwheels which both dampen the stepper noises. So that sound is just the new normal…