Z Control Malfunction

Good Afternoon Makers. I wanted to share this video with you. I run my X-Carve Pro everyday and I run into issues every now and then. I figure I’d share my experience with this group so you can learn from me.

So, I was carving out some 0.60 plywood and everything was going great until the first cutout was completed. My machine was about to move to the next cut out but the Z control didn’t move up enough before shifting. You can see how it cut across my material and broke my 1/4 bit. I run my carves very conservatively. Feed rate 150, depth per pass 0.09 with a 1/4 bit.

Once my bit broke I hit the kill switch and started to assess the issue. Once I gain control back on easel, I was unable to raise the gantry. The controls only allowed me to move down; not up. I even tried to home the machine and you can see how that didn’t work. So I used my key board controls and lifted the gantry with my hand to raise it. I noticed the gantry just needed a little assistance with my hand. After that I homed the machine and used my vacuum and air hose compressor to throughly clean out any saw dust that collected on the screw shafts X,Y and Z. I used a little WD-40 to lube up the shafts and jogged it back and forth; side to side and up and down the full lengths or the machine. I also jogged the Z up and down through every setting possible. 1”, 0.10”, 0.01” and 0.001”

After all that I ran the carve again and had great success.

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I suggest checking the Z axis belt tension. If it’s loose it’ll skip teeth with the weight of the spindle and resistance from the dirty components that you cleaned off. So it’s best to check the belt tension on all of those belts on a regular basis.

It could also be loose stepper motor wire, even one loose wire with intermittent connection will cause it to not operate properly, usually falling down when UP is pressed. Just something else to take a look at… BUT since the clean and lube fixed it, I doubt it’s this, its more likely belt tension is right on the cusp of barely being tight enough/too loose…