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Trouble Cutting Final Sled, Z-Axis Issues

Hello Maslowvians, Maslowites, builders, and makers. I am a newbie trying to get my Maslow up and running, and need some help.

I’ve tried twice to cut the final sled, and both times the bit failed to lift and started cutting where it was not supposed to (sorry for the lack of technical terms, I’m a newbie). Here are pictures from both tries:
IMG_9914 IMG_9916
(Sorry, if those pictures are a little confusing. I tried to reposition the second run close to the first to save on plywood, but made it too close.)

For the first run I generated the g-code from Easel using the instructions in the video here: It started cutting the brick holders first. The bolt holes did not go all the way through, the bit started cutting across the top of the piece, cut the outside profiles, then finally started moving to a new cutting position without lifting the bit, and then I stopped it.

For the second attempt, I used MakerCAM, and that started off well doing all the drill holes and countersinks, but then when it cut the profile for the center circle, it did not go all the way through, and when it started moving to a new position, it did not lift the bit all the way before moving to the new position. And, then I stopped it.

System Info:
Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
Ground Control 1.20
Firmware Version 1.20
Easel and MakerCAM versions are the latest online

Some ideas I have for troubleshooting:

  • Run the g-code without the router in the sled to see if I can use the Ground Control output to identify where the issue is.
  • Get a known working .nc file from someone else to see if it’s the g-code, firmware, Ground Control, or…

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

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at first read this sounds like a mechanical issue. Are you using the rigid router?
Then it could be that orange thingy.
I assume the Z has worked at some time, right?
Other things to look for:

  • screws for z-motor to coupler set tight on both sides
  • z-motor cable firm in the sockets on motor shield and motor
  • z-motor cable zipped to something on the sled, so the motor plug does not get movement when the sled is moving
  • z-motor cable away from the router power cable

To be sure you can also upload the .nc and we can check if there are issues in there.

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Thanks for the quick response. Yes, it’s the Ridgid 2200. Do you mean this orange thingy?

Yes, z-axis movement works sometimes.
I’ll check the coupler and other hardware.
Here’s the .nc file from MakerCAM: (7.5 KB)

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I will look into the .nc now.

I don’t have a Ridgid but there are a couple of posts about that orange thing and upgrade exaples here in the forum. The fastes way to find things in the forum is to copy this from the browser you are just using -> then open a new tab ond go to giggle or duckduckgo and paste that. Adding a ‘blank’ and ‘z-axis’ and then switching to pictures. I got pretty fast :slight_smile:
Once I see the piture I like I’m in the forum post discussing and asking.
1 link I found Cheap fixes for z-axis slop on the Ridgid R22002

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Great tips. Thanks for all your help, Gero. I just ran a test without the router in, and it did execute a G0 Z0.2 before making the move, and the z-axis motor turned and the “thingy” moved up. So, it’s looking more and more like you’re right about it being a hardware issue.

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The .nc looks clean on the z-moves :+1:

Except the zigzag that costs time. That can be cleaned up for bigger projects.


OK, I shouldn’t have ignored the fact that when I was trying to zero the z-axis, it did seem to be moving differently up than down. Now that I’m looking at it in this light, I think that “slop” is the source of my issues.

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And pretty dirty on a closer look ;-). The red lines you see in the picture above, you can ~ triple them to get the mumbers Z is pulled up to safe height.
First all counterbore are cut at z-0.1, then all at z-0.2 and finally all at -0.25
Clear gcode saves time and wear and tear, In this case I estimate more then 33% of both could be saved.