Driving me Cra-Z

I’m still working on my first print and I’m pleased with how much I’ve learned (that’s fun) but also frustrated with the Z Axis issues using the recommended Rigid router.

2 questions:
1 - Is going the way of the Meticulous-Z the best approach to solving this for good and is there a “Kit” for that or is piecing together from the BOM the only way to go?

2 - I’ve read some posts about switching to a 1.5kw spindle. Several of the ones I’ve found seem to be a lot easier to mount. Can the maslow (arduino, controller, webcontrol) control a spindle or would I be looking at separate software at that point?

  1. the meticulous is a great way to go. I made one similar, but much smaller, so you can make that one or a variant. It is the linear bearings and clamp mount that make it work well.

  2. Regarding the spindle. It can be and has been implemented. The truth of the matter is that the arduino reads the gcode and moves the sled. As long as your cutter is centered on the sled, the electronics do not care if it is a spindle, a laser, or a sharpie marker. It will work. If you are asking if the arduino will control the spindle speed the answer is “not that I’m aware of.” On the forum I’ve read about manual speed controllers / dimmers used to set spindle speed, However controlling spindle power is already in the firmware and is the aux1 pin on the shield. You can flip power to a router or a spindle using the M3 (on) and M5 (off) gcode commands as long as they are set up with a relay triggered by the Aux1 pin. I don’t know if a spare pwm is available on the arduino to be used for spindle speed, but it is likely not out of the question to do it.


True. The original Z-axis kit doesn’t always hit its mark, but it gets the job done enough of the time. I learned a lot from experiencing its ups and downs and tinkering with it first before I decided to upgrade. This Z-axis mechanism (intentionally) has a lot of play, the Ridgid worm gear only drives from one side, and the spindle assembly sticks sometimes, like when you try to open an old sash window with one hand. Some folks have successfully added bungee cords to pull the router spindle towards the wood. Z-axis inaccuracies also come up when you mill warped stock.


I also got fed up with the rigid z axis, and looked at the meticulous, but it looked like it would need a lot of Z axis movements to cut, and my Z axis was failing, so I ended up getting the metalmaslow sled and C-beam Z axis upgrade with the rigid mount. It works much better than the old rigid z axis.

It looks like he’s got a different design now, I haven’t tried it, so no idea how well it works, but it looks pretty decent. It appears he’s done away with the c-beam and gone to a more meticulous like build. You’ll need to transfer your ring, z axis motor, and router from your current sled.

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