M4 Assembly possible tips and some questions

Ok, so I’m part way through the assembly of my M4 and I must say as someone who has assembled some very delicate and wild pieces of equipment (Ex Mechanical Technician of CERN for the LHC) this has been a fun and challenging build.

A few suggestions, notes, etc.

The instructions, in many steps, don’t state which nuts should be locking nuts and which are normal, I’m nearly out of normal having only used mostly those and very few locking.

Speaking of nuts, the hexagonal holes could be a little smaller to allow for a nice push fit and not easily pushing the nuts out when holding with one hand and trying to screw in with the other, thought these hexagonal holes do make things easier with only having one set of hands.

Not sure why but my instructions loaded weird and i ended up screwing the small “ethernet” board to each of the tape arms instead of adding the stepper motor first, i was more reading than looking and a step missed while loading on my instructions. Needless to say this created a whole 2 hours of trying to remove the screws with loctite unsuccessfully and finally drilling them out very carefully.
Due to this and the difficulty of one pair of hand assembly, I would suggest a modification where the board is screwed to the stepper motor and then the board screwed onto the arm.

The tape, I had to unravel it from.the bags and then reravel onto the “cartridge” to glue them, it would be nice if a small clip or something was included to prevent them unravelling while the glue is drying and during.assembly.
Also the “2nd hole” for the tape to pass through is rather confusing when passing the tape bewteen the rollers at first i struggled to get through one hole and then realised it was the other.

The cartidge order during assembly seems to be different in the gif to what is written above it in the instructions.
The instructions state power cable down then assemble upper left, lower right, upper right and lower left, but the gif shows the cord the the right and then assembled in the order of upper right lower left, upper left, lower right (based on the cord location not the angle of the gif).
It.mighr be easier as you state the notch of the ring positions where the cord is on the motor that you number around the ring, 1, 2, 3 and 4 for the assembly positioning.
Also @bar can you clarify which on the instructions is correct please :blush:
Also how did you guys get them reeled up so much in the gif? I dont think there is enough space between the pin for the gear and the tape itself on mine.

When assembling the 4 legs (2 with bearings) I suggest to use the hex key provided, put throughnthenhole from.the outside in and slide the nuts down into place (I used the locking nuts) carefully slide the screws through and twist to just grip the nut x3 and then in one hand hold the 2 parts at a distance from each other while making 2 or 3 turns on each screw and gradually pulling the 2 parts together - I took a picture but not sure how to upload

Lastly I personally would suggest a T8 Torx or Hex Key bit with ratchet screw driver for assembly, i have a Kobalt one that had a ratchet grip which acts as a double drive, it made only having 2 hands a lot quicker. - also have a pic it it is of interest and helps.

Thanks in advance for any feedback. I wont be continuing till hopefully the order of cartidges is confirmed and may have further tips when finished.

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I agree. Because of the timeline we didn’t have a chance to do any test fit parts for those, if I had the choice I would tighten them up a little bit.

I would only recommend putting locate on the screws going into the motors. Everything else is meant to be taken apart and the screws in the motors are the only ones which I’ve ever had issues with them coming lose.

This is a fantastic idea! I was struggling with exactly that today.

Can you think of how we could word that step better?

I know, this step is super confusing. If you refresh the page we actually added a video to help clarify a couple days ago.

Both the description and the gif are correct, but the description is as described from the top of the router and the gif is shown from the bottom of the router so they look opposite.

Let me know if that step is still not clear with the video there.

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What I did with these was just pull out enough length from the plastic bag to connect to the arm spool and leave the rest in the bag until the glue had set. I didn’t take a photo so cannot show what I mean. Then when the glue had set, I rolled the belt onto the spool.

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Hindsight is a great thing, that makes complete sense.
I unrolled and then rerolled around the cartridge and placed upside down after it unraveled several times :rofl:

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Ill take a look once this episode of Halo is finished :face_with_hand_over_mouth:.
I installed like the written instruction states and will confirm once I take a look, thank you.

I didn’t loctite any others only where the instruction stated but didn’t see that they were required to screw into the motors rather than a nut :grimacing:, the nut protruded almost enough to get pliers on but not quite hence the need to drill off :flushed::upside_down_face:

I completely understand the potential for changes once use occurs and after previously having an M2 from makermade i can see you guys have made an amazing product, I look forward to starting to cut and having some fun.
Thanks for the information

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The instructions, in many steps, don’t state which nuts should be locking nuts and which are normal, I’m nearly out of normal having only used mostly those and very few locking.

I assembled my machine entirely with the locking nuts. the only place they are
questionable is on the belt ends.

Speaking of nuts, the hexagonal holes could be a little smaller to allow for a
nice push fit and not easily pushing the nuts out when holding with one hand
and trying to screw in with the other, thought these hexagonal holes do make
things easier with only having one set of hands.

good idea.

Not sure why but my instructions loaded weird and i ended up screwing the
small “ethernet” board to each of the tape arms instead of adding the stepper
motor first, i was more reading than looking and a step missed while loading
on my instructions. Needless to say this created a whole 2 hours of trying to
remove the screws with loctite unsuccessfully and finally drilling them out
very carefully.

the only place I used the loctite was on the motor screws and leadscrew screws.
For everything else I used the nylock nuts.

Due to this and the difficulty of one pair of hand assembly, I would suggest a
modification where the board is screwed to the stepper motor and then the
board screwed onto the arm.

that would be hard as it’s one set of screws through everything.

My suggestion is to see if 3 can be used instead of 4 and rotate the holes so
that the motor and encoder can be mounted after the rest of the arm is
assembled.

The tape, I had to unravel it from.the bags and then reravel onto the
“cartridge” to glue them, it would be nice if a small clip or something was
included to prevent them unravelling while the glue is drying and
during.assembly.

hmm, I just used the outer end of the roll so the rest of it stayed rolled up

Also the “2nd hole” for the tape to pass through is rather confusing when passing the tape bewteen the rollers at first i struggled to get through one hole and then realised it was the other.

I think the new belt guides will help this.

The cartidge order during assembly seems to be different in the gif to what is written above it in the instructions.
The instructions state power cable down then assemble upper left, lower right, upper right and lower left, but the gif shows the cord the the right and then assembled in the order of upper right lower left, upper left, lower right (based on the cord location not the angle of the gif).

I think the difference is if you are looking at the router from the top or the
bottom

It.mighr be easier as you state the notch of the ring positions where the cord is on the motor that you number around the ring, 1, 2, 3 and 4 for the assembly positioning.
Also @bar can you clarify which on the instructions is correct please :blush:
Also how did you guys get them reeled up so much in the gif? I dont think there is enough space between the pin for the gear and the tape itself on mine.

it’s very tight. I could not do it manually correctly, but extending and
retracting the belt let it wind up correctly

When assembling the 4 legs (2 with bearings) I suggest to use the hex key
provided, put throughnthenhole from.the outside in and slide the nuts down
into place (I used the locking nuts) carefully slide the screws through and
twist to just grip the nut x3 and then in one hand hold the 2 parts at a
distance from each other while making 2 or 3 turns on each screw and gradually
pulling the 2 parts together - I took a picture but not sure how to upload

I would load several nuts up on the hex key and drop them into place one at a
time. with the legs I would load them high up on the key, put the end of the key
down through the hole, then drop a nut and jiggle the hex key as needed to get
it aligned. Sometimes as I pulled the hex key out I would catch the nut I just
placed and have to try again.

going from below may help this, but I would want a longer hex key.

Lastly I personally would suggest a T8 Torx or Hex Key bit with ratchet screw
driver for assembly, i have a Kobalt one that had a ratchet grip which acts as
a double drive, it made only having 2 hands a lot quicker. - also have a pic
it it is of interest and helps.

the instructions are for the minimal tools, but yes, a light power or ratchet
hex driver makes things easier.

David Lang

@bar
I received an extra D opening gear and was shorted a round opening gear for the idler gear. Any chance I can get the correct gear?

Or, if you can point me to the correct gear on Amazon I can pick it up there.

Thanks

Yes, absolutely we can send you the correct gear right away!

You sent us a message through the website contact us page too, right?

I forwarded that to @Anna so I would expect a message from her imminently. She’s sorting all the parts from the second shipping container right now so I’m betting she is deep in moving boxes and not on her computer, but she is on it!

Yes. I did send to the website but I remembered you said you liked the forums better, so I went with both.

Thanks for the response. I will work with @Anna to get the part.

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Hi Dave, sent a new gear your way yesterday :slight_smile:

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Thank you so much. I received the tracking notification.

Chomping at the bit to get this cutting. I tore down my M2 already when the M4was do to arrive.

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