Z axis grinding / twitching / not moving

Hi Everyone,
So after many months of delay I am up to the calibration of my x-carve (Australian XYZ Version), just following the instructions after first connecting it to the computer.
The X axis works great
The Y axis works great
The Z axis wont move when given an input, kinda twitches but doesn’t go anywhere. I’ll try and attached a video to explain.
I removed the belt just to make sure it wasn’t a tension issue, but problem persist.
The motor is a NEMA 23, and with power removed I can move the spindle freely with my hand.
I was only able to troubleshoot this for about 30mins before having to leave for work, so I am hoping I could get some good ideas on where to start when I troubleshoot it next.
Any help would be greatly appreciated,

Try the link for the videos. Doesn’t want to work here so I added them to youtube.


I would first try to rule out a bad motor by hooking up another axis to the z and the z to say the x and try to jog.

Start with the easiest fix and adjust your potentiometer

Thanks, I’ll add it to the list :slight_smile:

I tried adjusting it briefly, probably half turn each direction… no change:(

Ok then the next check would be to make sure your wireing is correct at your terminal block. Color to color etc… And make sure there are no stray wires contacting an adjacent connection. I know that may sound dumb. But I have literally seen a million dollar operation shut down because of a single strand of wire out of place.

The Australian XYZ X carve doesn’t use the terminal blocks, rather the motors have longer cables which run to the CNC shield and a filter board. I’ll double check those connections though and make sure I haven’t mixed up the paired wires for the Z axis. :slight_smile:

Ahh I did not know that. See your already teaching on this forum! So I’m not sure how your connections look exactly then. But if they check out( I’m serious about the stray wire thing lol) then it’s a bad motor or a bad controller board. Not much else it could be.

Cool, So luckily its narrowed down to 3 relatively simple things to test.

  1. Correctly wired/no shorts
  2. Controller (luckily they shipped with a spare)
  3. Motor ( unluckily didn’t ship a spare :frowning: )
    I’ll update hopefully tomorrow.
    If any one has any more suggestions I’d love to hear them.
    Also, does anyone have a cheat sheet for correctly/easily setting the driver current limit POT. Out of the box they seemed to work fine but the motors got really hot quite quick.
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There’s a couple ways to do it, but I made a video showing how I adjusted the pots on my machine. It’s in this thread: X-Carve Maintenance/Troubleshooting Videos - Add Your Own!

Thanks for the link that will come in really handy :slight_smile:

So, Luckily for me the first thing I did was change the stepper driver for the Z axis (was the easiest thing to test) and had success!
On the down side while testing my limit switches on spontaneously exploded in to a thousand pieces lol ( may have driven the Z axis through it). Luckily I have a spare and after a quick phone call to the manufacturer here in Oz he emailed me instructions to check and correctly set the limit switches using Universal G-code sender. Failing that he will post me a new version of the card which comes pre assembled ( the old version came as individual components for the limit switch filter board).
So with any luck I’m carving this weekend!
Thanks again for the advice, tips and suggestions

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