I think I broke my Z axis

I tightened up the C bolt the other day to remove some slack in the gantry. Everything ran great the entire weekend (about 4 hours of cutting).

Today I tried to setup a make-shift dust shoe. I remembered reading that it wasn’t recommended attaching anything to the z axis, so I tried to keep things light. I don’t think I had enough slack in the hose. Everything went great until the 3rd time the Z axis tried to lift. Something clicked and my Z axis has been unreliable since (even with the dust shoe taken back off).

I noticed ‘that smell’ and pulled the controller out. The Z axis driver was significantly hotter than the other 2.

I guess I learned my lesson about extra weight on the Z axis. I’ll get a new driver… Then I’ll find a better way to attach a dust shoe. I’m thinking about something that can screw onto the back of the gantry and then use something flexible to attach it to the spindle. That way the gantry takes the brunt of the weight.

Here’s a video of the make-shift dust shoe in action. It actually worked surprisingly well… while it worked.


I’m thinking it isn’t a weight thing but when you tightened the bolt you made it hard for the Z screw to move. See if it still moves freely.

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I loosened the C bolt and put the new driver on and I’m back in business.

I did notice that the drivers are getting hotter than I first thought. I threw a 40mm fan on them and at the end of a 20 minute program for the wife they were still nice and cool.

I guess I need to finish my RAMPs enclosure design with the fan on the end. I’ll have to pull the RAMPs off of the Arduino so I can put a header on the 12V pins on the RAMPs board.