Test Z-axis motor without Ground Control etc


I am working on a z-axis mod/design, but haven’t built my Maslow frame or installed Ground Control yet (waiting to move into a new house with a garage!), is it possible to power/run the z-axis motor on it’s own so that I can do some testing?




Yes! Applying 12 volts to the ± terminals (red and black on the cable) will make the motor run. Swap them to reverse directions.

The other pins on the motor should all be 12 volt safe, but I would try not to touch them anyway to protect the encoder.


@bar great - thanks, will document and share it if the idea works!


In case of interest, I am making slow progress - currently waiting for a cable to arrive to be able to test the motor - the idea is to be able to re-use a Bosch POF 500 router base/stand which has a 43mm router clamp, because this is the same as a Kress or similar router which can give low rpms. I am also hoping it will give options to make a much lighter weight sled in preparation for faster travel speeds in the future. Changing bits should also be very easy as the router comes in and out with just a hand knob to clamp it.

I tapped the top of one of the ‘slide posts’ for a bolt with which to mount a plate to hold the motor. The motor then turns the threaded rod via the coupler, which moves the threaded nut up and down the rod - pushing the router down in one direction, and allowing the springs to push it up in the other. The threaded rod is kept in place (to pull against) with a ‘c clip’ underneath the base.

Hopefully a video next week showing it in action, and being able to test how accurate the Z-travel is, whether there is too much friction or binding etc.



remember, we are still adding weight to the sled, if we want a lighter sled,
just don’t include the weights :slight_smile:

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Good reminder, thanks - I guess two bricks is around 5-7kg so much more variation there than changing for a lighter router.

I have some 20t sprockets on order and so was guessing that double the speed would like to be around half the weight. With the mechanics page giving an ideal weight of 18lbs, I was aiming for 10lbs, which I think is less than the weight of the Ridgid 22002 on it’s own. A kress is about 4lbs, leaving me plenty of room for the sled with a UHMW base, z-axis, ring, vacuum hose etc. My current worry is how much is enough weight to push the bit into the material. Of course the other driver for low rpms is the relative silence.

On the other hand, if the max force on the motors is at top-middle, then raising the top bar higher above the workpiece would probably be an easier way to avoid any motor strength limits - even before the new driver board and more powerful motors etc.

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we haven’t had anyone do testing on weight and angles since we added chain sag
compensation, but before that, we found that there were problems without any
bricks on the sled.

moving the top bar higher will help in the middle, but it will make the bottom
corners (where the angle is steepest) even worse. so you may want to go both
higher and wider.

keep us informed on how the testing goes.

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Absolutely will do - am currently twiddling my thumbs waiting to move house and finally get a garage, hence trying to contribute by messing around with the sled/router while I wait.

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Hi, @bar, if the motor turns when I add the 12V and does not turn when installing onto the Arduino, must the board be changed?

several things:

  1. loose connector
  2. ground control settings set to something very small like 0.1mm pitch so motor just makes noises and moves tiny amount
  3. power cord plugged into Arduino, instad of the motor shield
  4. bad board.
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Hi, Thanks for the prompt respons.

  1. Checked 10times
  2. GC is set to 3.17mm
  3. Power cord into GRBL
  4. Bad board i think, i remoced yMotor cable installed it into MP2 and also didnt move, just makes noise.

Usually when the boards fail they fail completely so I wouldn’t expect any noise, but it seems like you have done a very good job of testing and eliminating the other options.

@bar do you know how to get in contact with The guys from Makermade cnc? I bought the machine from them.

I don’t have any special relationship with them, other than that I spend a lot of time in the forums. I think if we mention them as @MakerMadeCNC they will respond reasonably soon.

Hey @Hidden_Customs you can contact our support team at info@makermadecnc.com !