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Yet Another Z Axis Mod


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at


Looks great! Have you done any cuts with it yet? What type of plastic did you print with? Does the 3d printed clamp stay pretty rigid?


This is a beautiful write up and an excellent design. Great work!


@bar, thanks!

@johnboiles, I’ll confess no cuts with it yet. I’m moving so I had to take my frame apart (a swing-away design I’m hoping to post also) so I won’t get to test it fully until we are re-situated in a couple of months. I used PETG, but ABS or even PLA ought to work. I printed it with 20% infill and it’s pretty stiff owing to its thickness. You could increase the infill some but I doubt it’ll make it a lot stiffer.

It doesn’t have very much play. If you grab the far end of the ring and push up, you can make it move maybe 1 mm grudgingly. It’s flex more than play. Maybe more infill would actually help with that.

I’ll post after I’ve had a chance to make some cuts with it, but I wanted to get the writeup done and files posted now since I’m out of comission, maker-wise, for a little bit.


  • RBW


Nice! what are you planning to do for dust collection? When the standard router shround is removed dust collection becomes harder.


Yeah, still working on that. I was thinking some sort of cylinder arrangement around the collar, kind of mimicking the standard router shroud but bigger in circumference, with a dust port on the left or right (selectable at part-print time). Ideally it could slide out of the way so it’s reasonably easy to access the collet. While my Maslow is disassembled I might play around with modeling that up and printing it.

Ideas and suggestions are welcome, of course.


  • RBW


If you use a ring kit, is there enough room to place the z-axis toward the top of the sled and leave the bottom open for dust collection?


no, there is no room above the router, the chains need to go up to within 10
degrees of vertical


Duh. A second ago I wrote that I could flatten the port shape, but then I went and looked at a picture of the ring system and got what you were saying. “Why not point the dust port straight down?”

Or that. We could do that. :-).

(Needless to say, I don’t have the ring system installed. Yet.)


There is a post directly above the router, and some of that 4cm of clearance is
taken up by the bearings.

If you went with a top mount kit you could rig something up under the center
support, but I don’t think it’s reasonable with the ring kit.


I’m thinking along these lines for the dust collection:

That is effectively a replacement for the collar that comes with the Ridgid router, but integrated with the base. If it is printed ~70mm tall, then the router can slide up and down within it and still have ~70mm of free movement (using 150mm rails & screw). My other thoughts / assumptions:

  • The collar clamp will have to be positioned a little higher than before, being sure to leave 70mm or so of the router body exposed to travel within the new collar.
  • Since the bottom part of the router actually touches the 3D printed part, lubricating it will probably help motion.
  • Like the stock collar for the Ridgid, there is a groove for the lock-nib to travel in, meaning there will just be a single orientation that works.
  • Replacing a metal part with a 3D printed one, and including motion and friction to boot, means lifespan may not be as long. But I don’t see any reason why this kind of a setup wouldn’t last for a couple of years of average use.

Since it doesn’t increase the footprint of the naked solution, I think there is just the possibility that this would work okay with the ring system as is. The real question is whether there is clearance enough for the rails/screw and their housing. When I juxtapose the ring on my model, centered on the router bit, it looks like there’s about 2cm of clearance for the ring bearing attachments (pic):

That might be just enough clearance, or maybe I could find some extra room by shifting the linear rails inwards a tad. (I had liked having them on the same plane because it made some of the math easier, but I don’t think it’s essential.)

I’m going to print the replacement collar this morning and see how it fits on the router body. If somebody with the ring system and a 3D printer wanted to volunteer to improve this design, I’d love to get some feedback we could use to make improvements with.


If it fits, I love the idea.

Also, If the 3d printer is accurate enough, can you make parts that align the ring supports to the router housing such that the center of ring radius is precisely at the center of the router bit? Sort of like you did with the mounting plate “bullseye”?


If you mean print a temporary spacer or something to help you place the housing dead center, absolutely. Just need to dial in what that measurement is. (I find 3D printers pretty accurate, but I know there can be slight variations between models that can affect dimensions slightly. I try to build my models with tolerance for that sort of thing.)

If I could get my hands on a ring kit that would help, but I don’t see where you get those from. The model is helpful of course, but I can’t print in metal (yet). Didn’t those used to be available in the shop? Not seeing it on offer there.


Yes, either temporary spacer or a permanent one. One of the theories is that for people experiencing poor calibrations, their router bits are not perfectly centered with the rotation point of their triangulation kit (ring, linkage, pantograph). Having a way to align one (if not all) of those kits with the center of the router bit would be a big improvement over the “do your best to measure correctly” process that exists today. It’s a bit off-topic for your zaxis mod, I apologize, but what you produced looks real nice and when I thought about the bullseye you included, the idea of aligning the linkage kits came to mind.


Sure, makes sense. Since the new collar (assuming it works), like the bullseye, ought to give you a reliable known location for the router bit itself, it makes sense to take that out to the sled attachment points, especially for the ring setup where that’s critical. One idea may be to include a slot so the collar is a known distance from the top bracket, and centered. Better still maybe would be to use a spacer / template system to center the collar within the three brackets that hold up the ring. Of course, that gets very ring-system-centric, but maybe that’s just an optional-print piece of the kit you can ignore if you have a different style sled.


yeah… and you (or someone equally as talented in 3d modelling :wink:) could add optional pieces for aligning the pillars needed to support the wooden linkage kit and the top-mounted pantograph. It’s critical for all linkage kits, not just the ring kit. People can pick and choose what they need.


Well I’m game to try and accommodate all comers of linkage systems with optional templating systems. But since I only have the standard (non-ring) kit, I’ll need collaborators and/or specimens of the other styles to do all the modeling / testing necessary.

For now I’m going to try to get this z-axis working for my standard linkage kit, though I will try to keep the dimensions small enough that I know it’ll likely work for the ring system as well.

Meantime, if anybody has resources they’d like to share for the other linkage systems I’d love to know about them. And if anybody is in a position to print out and test this Z-axis kit (after I finish getting the dust collection integrated), that would be helpful as well.


User QTandAT on Thingiverse (do we know who the corresponding forum user is?) posted something similar on thingiverse recently


Nice. Figures I’m reinventing the wheel a little. I searched these forums but didn’t think to search for Maslow on thingiverse.

I may borrow a couple of ideas from this, but since my design is a little integrated (and already roughly modeled), I figure I’ll stick with what I’ve got so far. Still, thanks @johnboiles for pointing it out.

  • RBW


Are you saying that you using quadrilateral (the two L-brackets?)