I’m running into frustrating issues with my Shapeoko 2 Z-axis, that have been persistent since I upgraded to a 611 Router. When I use the manual jog function, Z-axis movement is perfect within a couple thousandths. When I carve a design, it’s so unpredictable that each feature has an equal chance of either dragging the bit through the work piece, or missing the work piece entirely.
I just carved this test project:
Holes were designed at depths of .6, .5, .4, .3, .2, .1", with a depth of .060" per pass. What I got was .330", .245", a drag at a depth of .135" when I stopped the cut. The .600 (.330) hole made the first 2 passes were in the air missing the work piece. The .500 (.245) hole made 1 pass in air, then seemed to cut normally, except the Z-axis raised for 1 or 2 passes.
Here’s a video of a 2nd botched attempt where the Z axis hits it’s limit due to losing retraction steps:
Edit: I just noticed that when my Z Axis moves, all 3 axis lights come on. I wonder if my gshield is suspect:
If you’d like a history of my setup for troubleshooting reference:
My machine started as a 500x500 with an ACME screw and NEMA 17 Direct Drive motor with a Dremel which worked well. When I upgraded to the 611 router with mount, I used the new mount, inverted the 17 and added the belt drive. I would have issues where the Z axis seemed to be losing retraction steps, and would end up cutting deeper and deeper after each move. I assumed the NEMA 17 was underpowered so I upgraded to the NEMA 23 from Inventables. The issue seemed to get better, but the Z axis now seems to lose or gain steps in both directions. I can’t tell which. I thought maybe my power supply was limiting, so I upgraded to a 24V 5A power supply. This hasn’t seemed to fix anything. At the same time, I expanded the machine to 500x1000, and mounted it to an optical breadboard (giant metal sheet with tapped holes), which should be immaterial to the issue, but worth mentioning. The Z-axis components are all the same, with the exception of longer leads on the stepper motor. Again, when manually jogged in 1" or .1" increments, I get repeatable moves within the limits of my calipers measuring ability, so I’m really scratching my head here.