|C-Beam Bundle Pack
|C-beam Z-Axis next to Stock Z-axis for X-carve
Additionally, I purchased the following items to make this build.
- 1 x Router/Spindle Mount
- 4 x Black Angle Corner Connector - to install router/spindle mount
- 1 x Low Profile Screws M5 (Length: 10mm) - to install router/spindle mount
Optional items purchased for belt reduction / install motor behind C-beam
Note: while building this, be sure to insert any t-slot nuts before placing both of the end plates on. I added 2 t-slot nuts to the two middle slots on the back side to install on the X-carriage. I also added 1 t-slot nut on each of the 4 side slots for installation of a dust shield at a later time.
|T-nuts in two center slots of C-beam (view from back)
Installation onto X-carve
This was really easy. First, remove your spindle from the X-carve.
|Stock Z-Axis with Spindle removed
Then remove the stock Z-Axis. Next, to install the C-beam, line up the TOP SET of t-nuts you dropped into the middle two slots on the back of the C-beam with the top holes on the X-carriage. Add screws loosely so you can still slide the C-beam up and down.
|TOP SET of t-nuts attached to X-Carriage
Next slide the C-beam down, and align the BOTTOM SET of t-nuts with the bottom holes on the X-carriage. Add screws loosely, then slide the C-beam all the way up before tightening all the screws.
|BOTTOM SET of t-nuts attached to X-Carriage
Belt Reduction FunInstead of mounting the motor over top of the C-beam, I opted to mount it behind the C-beam similar to how the X-carve does it. The only issue is that the 140mm belt that comes standard with the X-carve is too short.
For a temporary solution, I purchased qty:10-200mm belts from amazon utilizing a 8mm bore and a 6.35mm bore GT2 pulley (12mm diameter). Well the 200mm belts were too long, so I rigged up a few bearings to give a 200mm path so I could start carving. It's not pretty but it will work for now.
Since the standard belts didn't work I figured I would improve on the belt drive by adding in some belt reduction gears to improve my Z-accuracy and increase the torque. After much reading from here and here and here and here, I found my solution. I purchased this gear reduction from ebay with the 8mm bore 50T pulley (diameter ~ 51mm) and the 6.35mm bore 25T pulley (diameter ~ 26mm) and sent a message to the seller to get a wheelbase of 70.2 (length of belt ~270mm).
[Insert picture - once installed by 02/10/2017]
ConclusionsWith the stock Z-axis on the X-carve, I was experiencing lots of side to side chatter in the Z-axis. This was due to the eccentric spacers and v-wheels not being tight enough no matter what I did. Many other people have upgraded their Z-axis to a linear slide like this, but I did not want to drill into my X-carriage or make any adapter plates. The C-beam linear rail is a bolt-on, un-doable and upgrade-able option that costs around the same as the linear slide. Overall, it has removed any Z-axis chatter I was seeing; now the weakest point is my X-axis (which I will upgrade to the new wide makerslide extrusion once it arrives). After about 3 hours of run time, I can already see the improvement! I am able to run slightly faster that I was with no signs of chatter!
Now its time to make a new dust shoe...