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The Meticulous Z-Axis


I like that one better. Your sled will be quite a sight when it is done.

Thanks Bryan, I’ll think about the clamp while I work on the holes for the bushing blocks. It looks like the kit comes with SCS8UU blocks, does that ring a bell?


Here she is with all of the holes transferred and counterbored. Plenty of room for the counterbore with the 18mm thickness.

Also I finished up the Leadscrew Nut Bracket. I figured we could use the M8 heat-set inserts for mounting that to the Z-Carriage as well since we had to buy a 10 pack. Planning to have socket head cap screws on the bracket side with the inserts in the carriage. I think the bracket will work printed with a high infill. Should be very stiff in PLA.

I went with 10.5mm for the diameter on the mondo counterbores in the Z-Carriage for the inserts (for the leadscrew bracket) because we are pulling the other direction. I’m hoping for an easy install on those two. The ones on the clamp are the ones to fuss about. I guess we could pre-heat them on the print bed so the soldering iron doesn’t have to do all the work.

I’m hoping to start the Z-Carriage print tonight. I’ll let you guys know what the print time is. I have the 0.25 nozzle in the mk3 right now so it might be some time next week. :stuck_out_tongue: I need to play with the router itself tomorrow though if I get time anyways, so having the printer occupied is probably a good thing.


One-Piece Z-Axis Carriage for 3D printing, also includes the bracket for the Z-Axis leadscrew nut (also for 3D printing).

Note: A little too big for a 200x200 print bed.


The listing says it comes with 4x SC8UU 8x34mm Slide Bushings, so they’re probably pretty close. If you go @aluminumwelder’s route you could always get some push-fit slide bearings to go into the printed carriage. I had meant to add all the holes for the slide bushings myself, but I never got around to it. I might have to, though, because I’m beginning to think that I should be replacing my plywood carriage plate with an aluminum one. We’ll have to see what scrap I can get my hands on.

Liking the printed designs so far! I think in flat objects because I’m so used the CNC process and I am only just now getting used to the forms we can get from printing. My current printer is limited to a 200mm cube, which is how I broke up the dust shroud.

I like the leadscrew bracket you’ve designed. I made mine from a piece of 1 1/2" x 1/8" steel angle scrap. I’m not sure if we do need the additional strength there, but I believe most of the forces are side-loads from cutting, and those mostly will translate to the linear rails.


Most of us can find angle iron laying around, too. I’m extremely lazy and prefer robots to do my work whenever possible, though. :yum:

Maybe you can transfer the holes from my part to a sketch and copy the sketch? I’m not sure the best way to do that in Fusion360. I can share the higher level product if it helps. I feel like you will end up clicking on every circle twice even if you do copy that sketch.

I’m really happy with Fusion360 so far, but it has its moments. AutoCAD was my first CAD system so in a way it is a bit of a homecoming.

The textures are beyond me. That’s why it looks like plywood still.


Certainly understandable, drilling the holes and grinding out the slot for the lead screw is tedious. Had I thought to print that part myself, I would have followed the same tack.

Now that I’ve drilled the holes in the physical carriage plate, it should be pretty easy to add them into the model from here. I just haven’t gotten around to it yet :upside_down_face:

Fusion is pretty solid, IMHO. I mostly have been sticking with it because I already have modeled quite a few parametric parts and assemblies. It just helps to stick to one program.

Textures are actually fairly user friendly. By default, the “A” key brings up the “appearances” menu, which controls all the textures used. There, you navigate through the different categories (metals, woods, plastics, etc) for the texture you want. Some of them you have to tell fusion to download to the model file to use. Then you just drag the appearance onto the part you want textured. If you search “Fusion 360 appearances” you should be able to find a tutorial on it. I would post a link here but I’m on mobile right now.


I’ll try it again sometime. I had been all in with FreeCAD at home until it was time to start doing CAM for Maslow. I think I could do well at that in FreeCAD but the rest of the community was already using Fusion360, and I do get tired of having to keep track of which files are on which computer, etc.

The part is done, but I’m at work. 11 hours and $11. Can’t wait to get home and see it. Switched to the 0.6mm nozzle, 2 perimeters and 15% infill, and set the minimum solid infill area to 320mm^2 which gave me a solid part for the end of the clamp that I’ll be setting the inserts in. The last 70 layers or so are solid.



Which slicer are you using? I almost have a spot to get my 3d printer set back up… I’m definitely going to join this project and making one…


I use Slic3r PE (Prusa Edition) for the Prusa Mk3 and the non-PE Slic3r for the older Prusa i3.

I think I got my Z axis working well enough to get the machine calibrated and cut the sled. My router and router body are not happy together though. There will be babysitting and firewood, I can feel it.


Carriage looks great.

The leadscrew nut bracket says it will take 49 minutes to print and costs 31 cents. :grin:


That certainly looks better than anything my printer is capable of. I have to actually get around to building my Prusa!


I saw your adventures earlier, can you run PLA in that thing? PLA has pretty great layer bonding and less stress from shrinking so it is way less likely to crack or pull up during printing. You are correct that the mk42 heat bed will help you with these issues, but for parts that aren’t getting a lot of heat PLA is the answer.

I think you could ditch the electronics that came in that thing and put a duet board in it, and run whatever filament you want. Not sure what kind of extruder it has, but I would consider working on that machine after the Prusa gets built even if it lives in a closet most of the time. Having a 2nd printer around comes in really handy. Also eliminates the need to stockpile printed spare parts.

Programmed and posted the sled today. Got to get going on calibrating!

Edit: Here is the bracket.


Gotta admit, Fusion360 felt like hitting the easy button for a lot of this.

I’m sure FreeCAD wouldn’t have been that difficult but there is no way it could be this easy. I can’t wait to have this sled / axis done and working. That will allow my OCD to focus on making good parts instead of my jank router body.

Edit: I noticed the extra travel move in the top right of the above picture, it is moving from the last hole to the start of the outer profile, and after one lap around it moves to the right to do the rest of the profile above a tab location. I’ll allow it since it basically did everything for me on its own and it looks solid otherwise.


My printer is an XYZ DaVinci, which, from my understanding, is actually better at running PLA than it is with ABS. Up until now, I’ve defaulted to running ABS in it, but I think that might change to PLA! xD

@Bee had mentioned replacing the board to “unlock” the machine as well, which i may pursue. Originally, I had been planning on canabalizing it for my Prusa, but it may in fact be wiser to have the two printers. I’d have to do some research on the extruder, but honestly, if it’s a terrible one, it may not be too difficult to just replace that as well! :stuck_out_tongue:

Good luck with the calibration, and happy chip-making!


The i3 is a kick’n machine. I just refuse to pay the hundreds in shipping. And I was flat out lied to, " We have something in place to deal with that soon", 2 minutes later " We are making enough money the way we do it now " Same person. I’m an adult I can handle “No”. So sadly I will have to build 2 equally compatible clones for the cots of one from the factory. My first clone performs extraordinarily well it ran about $400 total. If you can afford to rock the real deal I tip my hat to you. Great looking prints. I bet @MeticulousMaynard would give you .35 cents for each print. I kid of course. Keep up the good work!

Thank you


Is a $3 antibacklash nut a good idea for this set up? Seems like it would help, given how heavy the rigid router is. I have zero experience in building CNC z axis so it’s all a learning experience for me.


I put 2,000 into my first i3 by rebuilding it time after time. At that time Prusa didn’t sell printers so there was no such thing as a Prusa clone. All Prusa i3’s we’re home built from a combination of very terrible kits and frantic eBay purchases when you realized you should have got this part or that for a few dollars more.

Dropping $1100 (shipped) for an assembled mk3 seems like a bargain for what the machine has to offer.

There is a kit on eBay with the frame and extrusion for the mk3, seems like a good deal. Home building one is an easy option it is just a time vs money tradeoff like everything in our lives.

Plywood is the cost that I’m afraid of. That’s why I want this axis going, so I can make less scrap! :grin: I’m hoping to build a 16 foot sailboat next summer using Maslow to cut the parts.


I saw those, but my thinking is the weight of the router and carriage should keep everything loaded to one side. The forces from plunging could momentarily load to the other side. Sure wouldn’t hurt. How’s your machine coming along?


Dust Hood printed in t-glase.


That T-glase is amazing! Quite attractive prints. :smiley:

I did order PLA today, so I will begin experimenting with that to see if I get higher quality prints from it.

Also, just wanted to note that we’ve somehow hit 200 posts. That’s incredible. I’m quite impressed with the discussion we’ve had so far and think we’ve come a long way since I posted the original design in the Garden. Keep it up! :sunny: