Help for sourcing and building a Z-Axis kit for total beginner

Hey all, I got my Maslow kit but I waited to get the z-axis until after I picked out a router… kits are sold out it seems.

After a little research it looks like I have to source my own parts and figure out the configuration and honestly, I have never done anything like this before.

I know nothing about getting motors to talk to software, what cables are needed for Arduino stuff and I’m generally out of my depth.

Can anyone point me to a step-by-step or want to help me make one using my lack of knowledge as a use case?

Questions I have:

  1. What kind of motor, cable or stuff do I need and why?
  2. where can i get that stuff?
  3. what does a motor need to talk to an arduino and why?
  4. how to I identify a quality part or vendor?

I’m at that stage where I don’t know what I don’t know, any help is much apreciated.


@MakerMadeCNC are now supplying Maslow kits again, which include the Z-axis kit. Soon they will be offering spare parts, so if you can wait I’d suggest getting a Z-axis kit from them when it’s available.

To answer your questions, you need a motor with a built-in encoder and gearbox, and a 6-pin wiring harness to plug into the Maslow motor control PCB. You need a bracket to hold the motor onto the router or sled (or not, depending on your choice of router). You need a coupler to connect between the motor output and the screw thread that drives the router up and down.

The motor ‘talks’ to the Arduino by generating signals from the encoder. The Arduino counts the pulses and can determine how much the motor has turned, and in which direction. This is necessary to be able to ascertain the depth of the router bit.

Again, getting a hold of a kit if you can would save you a lot of trouble.