Step 3 Carriages

Layout the Aluminum Rail Extrusions

Examine the three Aluminum Extrusions layed out in the photo below. Notice that all 3 are slightly different.

  1. The extrusion labeled Holes, has mounting holes for the Controller in its middle as shown in the image below. This Extrusion should be placed on the left side, running from the Front End Plate to the Rear End Plate.

  2. Place the Extrusion with the Shapeoko decal logo on it running from the left to the right as shown.

  3. The final Extrusion plain will be placed on the right side, running from the front End Plate to the rear End Plate as shown.


Preparing the Carriages

Remove the three Carriages from their boxes:

  • Y-Axis Right Assembly box
  • Y-Axis Left Assembly box
  • X/Z Assembly box and place them carefully on the MDF Baseplate

The X/Z Assembly box also contains two extra packages; place these near the X/Z Carriage as show in the image below.


XZ Assembly

The X Carriage and Z Carriage are shipped together in the same box along with two small bags that contain two springs and the Idler Assembly.

The Z Carriage is the smaller of the two carriages shown in the image below. Carefully remove the Z Carriage from its protective wrapping; ensure that the belt is not damaged or removed from its initial installation location.

Install Idler

The Idler Assembly ships already assembled in the proper order. See the image below to verify the ordering of the various components.

Carefully remove the nut while ensuring the remaining components stay on the bolt. Insert the bolt through the slot located at the bottom of the plate shown in the image below. Secure in place by finger-tightening the nut on the opposite side of the X Carriage.

Once the idler assembly is through the slot, loosely attach the nut on the backside of the plate. Some adjustability will be required to get the belt in place, so leave this lightly finger tight for the time being.

Install Spindle Mount

Align the spindle mount with the bottom set of through holes on the Z-carriage. The carbide logo should go right side up, but the position of the pocketed hole on the spindle mount does not matter (left or right is fine).

The fixed pulley location should be on the left side of the plate, as shown in the photo. For further reference: the eccentric nuts will be on the left side as well.

Turning the Z-carriage over, secure the spindle mount by installing (2x) of the M5x16mm screws through the back of the plate and into the rear of the spindle mount.

Tighten these screws down at this point in the assembly. Using some thread locker will help keep them secure and reduce the chance of vibration causing the screws to become loose.

Z-Carriage

Flip the Z Carriage and orient the Z Carriage so it is as shown in the image below.

Align the Z-carriage with the bottom of the X-carriage, making sure the eccentrics on the Z-carriage are positioned on the left side, as shown in the image below.

When aligning the carriages, make sure the groove in the V-wheel is aligned with V-rail on the X-carriage. The wheels will slide up the V, seating evenly and securely on both sides.

Examine the four bearings on the Z Carriage and take note of the V-shaped gap between the two black wheels as shown in the image below.

Routing the Belt

When the Z Carriage is attached to the rails properly, a portion of the belt should be exiting the top and bottom of the Z Carriage as shown in the image below.

Slowly pull the bottom portion of the belt and loop it over the Idler as shown.

The Idler can move up and down in its groove. You may have to loosen the nut to move the Idler.

Carefully wrap the upper portion of the belt around the top pulley as shown.

Tension Screw

Carefully place the X/Z Carriage on its back (resting on the motor) as shown in the image below. Slide the Z Carriage all the way to the top until it stops at the two posts shown in the image below.

Ensure that you have only finger-tightened the Idler Assembly before tightening the Tensioning Screw.

Use the hex wrench to tighten the Tensioning Screw as shown in the image below. As the Tensioning Screw is tightened, it will push on the Idler Assembly.

The belt should be tight enough that it doesn’t slip off the Idler and does not flex as the carriage moves up and down.

When the belt is tight, use a 4mm hex key and 10mm wrench to tighten the Idler Assembly as shown in the image below.

Install Springs

Lay the X/Z Carriage on one of its sides as shown in the image below. Place one of the spring’s loops around the Z Carriage post as shown in the image below.

Pull up on the spring and attach the other loop to the X Carriage post as shown in the image below.

Turn the X/Z Carriage on its other side and attach the second spring in identical manner as shown in the image below.

Using the 2x M5x55mm screws, install into spindle mount. Do not tighten at this point, we will secure these screws after we install the spindle later in this guide.


Installing the Y-Axis Left Carriage

Locate the bag labeled EXTRUSION that contains 24 M6x12mm button head cap screws. You will also need the 4mm hex key.

The X-axis Extrusion Rail is the one with the Shapeoko sticker-label attached to it. Examine this rail and note it has two distinct sides. The V-Rail side, and the square side.

The Y-Axis Left Carriage will be bolted to the X-Axis Extrusion Rail using four (4x) of the M6x12mm screws.

The bearings on the Y-Axis Left Carriage will ride on the V-rail of the left Extrusion Rail; this means the Y-Axis Left Carriage must be bolted to the X-Axis Extrusion Rail with the bearings facing outward (or to the left) and the motor pointing in (or to the right) as shown in the photo below.

Before bolting on the Y-Axis Left Carriage to the X-Axis Extrusion Rail, place the empty carriage boxes underneath the X-Axis Extrusion Rail to hold it up and allow for easier attachment of the Y-Axis Left Carriage as shown in the image below.

Attach the Y-Axis Left Carriage to the X-Axis Extrusion Rail with four (4x) M6x12mm bolts as shown in the image below. Be careful not to cross-thread the bolts. Note that the motor will be behind the X-Axis Rail when the Y-Axis Left Carriage is properly attached.

There is no need to tighten the bolts completely. Later in the installation, you will “square” the machine and tighten all bolts.


Installing the X/Z Carriage

Carefully slide the X/Z Carriage onto the X-Axis Extrusion Rail as shown in the image below. Use the empty carriage boxes to support the rail and be careful not to let the X/Z Carriage slide into the Y-Axis Left Carriage.

Aligning the V-wheels on the X/Z assembly with the V-rail on the X-axis extrusion, slowly slide the assembly onto the rail. Pay special attention to the wheels to ensure the V-rail is seated in the V of both the top and bottom wheels.


Installing Right Y-Carriage

The Y-Axis Right Carriage will be bolted to the X-Axis Extrusion Rail using four (4x) of the M6x12mm screws.

The bearings on the Y-Axis Right Carriage will ride on the V-rail of the right Extrusion Rail; this means the Y-Axis Right Carriage must be bolted to the X-Axis Extrusion Rail with the bearings facing outward (or to the right) and the motor pointing in (or to the left) as shown in the image below.

Before bolting on the Y-Axis Right Carriage to the X-Axis Extrusion Rail, place the empty carriage boxes underneath the X-Axis Extrusion Rail to hold it up and allow for easier attachment of the Y-Axis Right Carriage as shown in the image below.

Attach the Y-Axis Right Carriage to the X-Axis Extrusion Rail with four (4x) M6x12mm bolts as shown in the image below. Be careful not to cross-thread the bolts. Note that the motor will be behind the X-Axis Rail when the Y-Axis Right Carriage is properly attached.

There is no need to tighten the bolts completely. Later in the installation, you will “square” the machine and tighten all bolts.


Previous Step Back to Index Next Step
Baseframe Index Rail System

×

Subscribe

The latest tutorials sent straight to your inbox.