Going Cra-Z - Z-axis changes

Issue: The actual z-depth of the router and what GroundControl thinks it is, keeps getting out of sync.

I’m new to Maslow, bought from East Bay, sled from MakerMade. I have the basic kit with the Z-Axis motor. I have spent several days and several sheets of plywood to cut one 8"x12" piece. I’ve read the forums and I’ve got a bungee cord and all the other chewing gum solutions. It’s not slipping. The motor isn’t jammed. If I tell it to move it moves. The code is right. If the code tells it to move, it moves. I’ve even set it at 1mm pass with 9mm depth and speed of 200 to avoid “confusing” it or putting “strain” on it - no help. And the bit hasn’t slipped. At different points and different places it the cut plan it just simply gets out of sync with the physical depth and what GroundControl believes it is. I’ve even been watching it and double checked the code, which was right. It’s like it’s randomly skipping a depth change, but then it must be losing accuracy of Z-Zero because it doesn’t correct itself with the next cut instruction with Z-depth. Same gcode, it’s happened shortly after starting, and once at 98% complete. Issues have included

  • cutting at “-3mm” while floating above the board
  • being at “-3” and thinking it’s at 5mm (and slicing my work in half while traversing a travel path)
  • going into a traverse path and not reaching full travel height until part way along the path (so made a slopped receding cut as it traveled and rose)

It’s a month old. I should be up to date on the firmware. I’m using a Rigid 2022 (but router isn’t an issue). I am running GroundControl as I have Windows 10 and not sure how to run WebControl until I get a Raspberry. At this point I’m out of ideas. Except for the Z problem, this seems an amazing contribution and project but this z issue is effectively making it unsuable. I am inclined to bite the budget bullet and get the M2 Upgrade but also fear it won’t be any better if it’s not the z-motor that’s the issue. Any insight is appreciated.

What firmware are you using and before you spring for m2, try webcontrol.

Welcome to the Maslow forums. There is a windows version of Webcontrol ( no raspberry pi needed) The Z axis is probably the biggest weakness of the original Design. The router’s depth mechanism was never really designed to be automated.

We have an all metal upgrade solution that is very popular and only $150.

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Firmware 1.26
Windows 10
“PCB v1.4 TLE5206 detected”
Grbl v1.00
Ground Control 1.26
Inkscape 1.01
GCodeTools v1.7
Rigid 22002

I’ve installed WebControl for Windows. Getting similar but different results. I have repeatedly set z-axis to 0, and though it says it’s plunged to -3mm, it’s barely scratching the surfce.


You z axis pitch is likely wrong. What sled z axis setup do you have? Check your maslow settings and use the default pitch if you have the rigid base.

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Semi-update: I reset the z-axis a couple of times, moved the sled around, and verified it went back to 0. Seems to be cutting better. Not sure it’s at 3mm, but it’s not skimming the surface any more. I’ll let it run and see what I get, takes about 2 hours.

For setup and Z-axis, I followed the GroundControl setup and callibration. After that I used the Ground Control Z-Axis calibration, and am now using WebControl Z-Axis (raise,lower, zero). I didn’t adjust it, but in WebControl, z-axis pitch is set to 3.17, which is says is the default.

The basic z-axis kit with the ridgid router (black brackets and the motor atop the acme screw with the orange engagement push know) has a standard pitch setting of 8.
If I interpreted your z-axis setup correctly, you need to change your pitch.

You might try something other than the abandonware gcodetools. The last time I used gcodetools, probably 10 years ago but the same version iirc, I had to edit the source code to use the correct header for my non-Maslow router, and while basic ops were ok (after some learning adventures), I could never get v carving to work. Nick and his team in Russia stopped supporting the software a long time ago. The last time I looked the english language support forum was still there but low traffic. Good in it’s day but that was a long time ago.

Today I use mostly Carbide Create, but there are a number of excellent supported tools. Kiri:moto, all online, would work for a quick test.

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I was going to suggest the same thing.

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:wave:t2: I seem to have a very similar issues. I have an M2 setup by now. It starts out fine going up and down as it should. After a couple of minutes it goes crazy. The same area, a word, all of a sudden goes much deeper than it should, and after a couple of very deep cuts it goes up all the way and no longer cuts at all. The information display in Makerverse always tells the correct (and identical) information, just in reality it does do something completely different.

Hardware here is MaslowDue v20200915 and MakerVerse 1.1.2-dev
Software: Using easel for G-code generation.
I hope I did not mistakenly have a completely different issue, and highjacked your thread with this post.


And now it is in a state, where even a tiny (0.1mm) up or down command via the MakerVerse web control, will move the Z-axis to the extreme and trying to go over it. Luckily the M2 Z-axis construction seems to be stronger than the motor :slight_smile: - I will go ahead and do the default: Turn everything off and back on, and see if that helps any… – It did NOT help :frowning: - Will go ahead and see if any of the Z settings got screwed. Somehow.


Yes, I would suggest you go in and run the Z-Axis calibration again, after checking your Z-Axis resolution settings.

This sounds like the situation where the arduino is not correctly reading the feedback from the encoder. I don’t have much experience with the M2 software or machine, but my first hunch would be to unplug and replug the cables if you haven’t done that already.

I unplugged everything, kept it off for 10 seconds, and plugged everything back together. As soon as the USB connection is made, the Z-axis goes crazy and goes all the way up :frowning:

Is there an option to reset the arduino due somehow?

I can’t do any kind of calibration, as it goes crazy as soon as I try anything with the Z-axis.

I had that exact same problem and found one of my pins for the connection to the Z Axis motor had bent and was not in the connector.

I shall verify this.

I want to thank everyone for their responses. I’m a weekend wood warrior so I’m usually limited to weekends at best but since posting I’ve been dealing with an illness so haven’t been able to follow-up. I greatly appreciate everyone’s feedback and I do plan to continue to try and make this work. Nice to have such a great community to collaborate with.

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Ok, for me, the testing seems to have come to a stop for now :sob: - my Z-axis motor is now no longer going crazy, instead, it is, depending on the amount of movement it should do, clicking without moving. Is this a sign of a dead motor because of it hitting the limit of Z-axis travel arm? Me killing the cable connection?

In case anyone has an idea that will bring some bright light into this, I’d appreciate it… a lot.

Thank you.


When mine kept topping out, the gear box loosened from the motor. Try wiggling the motor where it meets the gearbox and see if it is loose.

Mine eventually just fell apart.

If it is loose, you will need to remove the z axis motor, remove the cover plate from the gear box and tighten the one screw which holds the gear box to the motor.

I have the motor in my hands and made a small video. What part do I have to remove?

Z-axis motor working half-way…