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Yet Another Z Axis Mod


Just realized I published all new files, but that I haven’t really announced the design changes for those who were following since the first iteration.

All, the updated design is out, and it should be substantially beefier. It has:

  • A double-clamp arrangement
  • A very beefy motor brace
  • A two-piece sliding dust shroud with a removable front door
  • Integrated dust-collection hookup
  • Still all-3D printed (save for the rods, drive screw, & motor which you either get from the stock Z-axis kit or from a kit linked in the BOM)

Thanks again to @gder for beta testing and design collaboration. If you decide to build it, let me know what your experience with it is.

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Hi rwales,
I have a couple of questions regarding the 3D printer. I’ve been having some challenges.

  1. I printed the 6 parts together and the print failed. It did not start all 4 parts together, but first the two large supports and then, seemingly arbitrary, it printed into thin air. Would it be possible that you send me the two large parts and the four small parts in separate stl files? I think that would result in the least trouble to get beyond this issue.
  2. I printed the vacuum hose thingy with support. And it printed beautifully. But then I couldn’t get the support out, and my attempt to drill and pry it loose essentially destroyed the part without e\ven getting close to a useable part. What were your settings when you printed that part? The support inside of the vacuum line seemed much too solid to me and a little hint would definitely help.
    Thanks a bunch in advance. I can’t wait to start with the assembly.
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By the 6 parts, I assume you mean the motor assembly? Sure. I had been trying not to give too many “options” for fear people would go and print every STL, resulting in duplicates, but I’ve now uploaded the motor brace assembly as individually-printable STLs. Look for a sub-directory under “Project Files” named “individual files” and you’ll find a variety of STLs for the individual parts, one-per-file (usually–there is one with both left and right braces for convenience). Remember you need 3 cross-member braces along with the two main (left and right) braces.

(Note: I just checked the “all” STL and I see that the problem is there in the STL itself–the motor braces are too high. I’ve corrected and uploaded a new STL for future downloads.)

I’m not sure what’s going on with your print on the dust shroud, but I suspect your slicer software is part of the problem. It’s up to the slicer how to add supports, and usually, of course, the slicer leaves a several-micron gap between the support and the part to facilitate removal. Either the software isn’t doing that or, possibly, you are printing so hot that even with a gap the supports fuse to the part itself. My recommendation is to:

  1. try dropping your extruder temp a few degrees, assuming you have room to do it, and see if that helps. And/or:
  2. if you have access to an alternate slicer, try slicing the part in that software and see if it generates better (removable) supports.
  3. One other suggestion is to look at your generated gcode file in something like PrusaControl ( and look at the layers view to understand your supports better. It won’t necessarily tell you whether there is a gap between the support and the part, but you still can get a sense of how the software is building support material, and it might give you an insight.
  4. Lastly, if none of the above work, you can DM me on the forum and tell me a) what your printer model is and b) your email, and c) what material you’re using, the bed/extruder temp you prefer, and any special settings your printner needs and I could try generating the gcode with supports for you.

FWIW, I use Slic3r PE (Prusa Edition), but I’ve had pretty good luck with Cura in the past, both are pretty good.

Apologies for the mistake on the “all” file I generated. I hope it didn’t make a blobby mess on your printer. And thanks for catching that so I could correct it.


  • RBW
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Thanks a lot for the quick response.

  1. I’ll try to find the time for downloading today for the motor assembly and then I’ll print as soon as possible.
  2. I am printing quite hot. PLA with 240C which has been giving me very good results. Could be that that is the problem. I’ll have to check my CuraA setting and tweak them a little. I have not really printed with supports before. Maybe I can set the amount of material used and or reduce temperature. It’s a long print, which requires patience, which is hard when you are a few steps away from trying a new solution.

Anyway, thanks again, and I’ll keep you updated when I get there.

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240 is quite hot for PLA, so I suspect dropping that will help. I print PLA around 210. Printing that hot will also likely make overhangs and bridges come out sloppy, so it might give you other benefits if you can tolerate dropping your temp a bit.

Please post updates.

– Robert

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I am printing the next parts as I am typing this. Just a few more days and I hopefully have the set done. Everything else is in the mail, so it can only be a matter of weeks…
I played with the type of support structure for the vacuum tube. Changed it % value and switched to lines, which should be easier to break out.
Not willing yet to change temp just yet as it has been working well for me for a long time without much trouble. (Never change a winning team.) We’ll see how it comes out.

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I just ordered the Maslow kit today and I am also printing the parts. Thank you rwales for designing this. I still need to order the BOM stuff yet but I figured I’d at least get the parts printed to make sure all is well before I order the hardware.

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Welcome to the party, Luke!

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Thanks! I’m getting excited for this kit. Should be a fun project. Gives me a reason to clean up the garage to make a space for the frame lol

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The parts are coming out great so far! I’m trying PLA since its all I have on hand. If it doesn’t work out, I will try PETG. Still a couple more things to print. Parts are on order as well.


Those look super!

I don’t see any reason why PLA won’t be good enough. PETG is only nominally stronger. Just remember to print the clamps with 50% infill or better and you ought to be fine.

I have a Prusa as well. Lovely printers. :slight_smile:

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I am getting there as well, just with a little bit more color.
I’ll be checking my scew inventory next and am waiting for the driver rod kit to arrive.
This is exciting.


Hi All,

Been contemplating finally putting together my Maslow after a year. I know, been organizing the shop and caught up with other projects. This Z Axis mod has caught my attention however I dont own a 3D printer nor have access to one. Any one selling printed parts or know where I can get this printed.

Should I consider investing in a 3D printer to save $?

Thanks in advance!

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Absolutely you should think about a 3D printer. They can save money here and there, but that’s not the best reason to own one–being able to design your own stuff and see it physically realized is still the best reason to me. Same reason you probably wanted your Maslow.

I’d print you the 3D-printed parts at cost if you like. DM me at if you’re interested.


Than[quote=“rwales, post:54, topic:7359, full:true”]
Absolutely you should think about a 3D printer. They can save money here and there, but that’s not the best reason to own one–being able to design your own stuff and see it physically realized is still the best reason to me. Same reason you probably wanted your Maslow.

I’d print you the 3D-printed parts at cost if you like. DM me at if you’re interested.

Thanks for the feedback and offer. Ill send a DM and we’ll go from there. Interested in exploring getting one because I do dabble in fusion 360 a little before building my woodworking projects.

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Hi rwales,
I need to ask for your help.
I started implementing your 3D z-axis design onto my sled.
It looks like a bucket of color exploded on my sled. Nice.
Marked my center by placing a very thin piece of wood over the cutting hole, took down my old stuff, and started dry assembling my 3D printed parts.
Turns out that I ran into a conflict with the location of my chain linkage device. The dust tube points right at the mounting point of the linkage kit.
Seems to me I have to come up with a different dust collection design. I think I have to go out the top with my dust tube.
Any other ideas?
Also, what software did you design this on. Could you share the design files? I have access to solid works (well enough experience) and to fusion 360 (little to no experience). Or would you help out with an alteration of the design?
I think I need to:

  1. Switch location to top dead center.
  2. Lengthen the tube to clear the swivel.
  3. Drop the angle of the tube because it does not clear the height of the swivel arm.
    Any input is welcome. I am kind of committed. Would be nice if there is an easy solution.


Sorry you ran into a problem; you’re apparently the first person using that linkage system who has tried this kit.

Moving the hose connection elsewhere on the dust shroud (while still leaving it at a mostly 90-degree angle and angling up 9 degrees, etc.) is easy. I could whip you up a shroud design that shifts it to the top (or most anywhere you like) pretty quickly; you’d just have to tell me how many degrees to shift it.

It might take a bit longer to reconfigure the hose connector entirely, but I’m happy to work out design changes to accommodate your linkage system.

If we come out dead-center-top, would you still think the connector should have a bend in it, or were you thinking a short connector up top and the hose does all the bending? (If we make the connector too long, I’d be concerned it will eventually break from all the movement without some sort of bracing.) If you sketch where you think the hose connector and hose path should go on your top-down photograph, I can probably work with that.

Regarding the design file, I’m happy to share it if you want it. It’s not a fusion model, it’s done in OpenScad, which is a programming-language-like environment for 3D design. OpenScad is free so you could probably load up the file and figure out what’s what. Reworking the design might take more time. DM me if you want the .scad file.

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I sent you a DM to request the file. Will continue to put the rest of the z-axis together in the next couple of days.

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What do you use for weight? Certainly a color burst! I just have shim plates with some caps over the bolts for now. After I get my YAZAM (Yet Another Z-AXIS Mod) installed it will be closer to looking as cool as yours! :wink:
@rwales hooked me up! Shout out for him!


I am using dive weights, totaling to 12lbs. I used to live in Hawai’i where they wouldn’t have ended up on a Maslow but used instead. Now I am in Colorado. Not so much diving opportunities here and I prefer not to fly with them. Anyway, be aware that the linkage kit may need a different dust collector part. We are just in the process of figuring that out.

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