Z axis assembly

Aug - 12 | By: jmgiacalone | no comments.
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  1. 1 Goal
  2. 2 Tools
  3. 3 Before starting the Z axis assembly
  4. 4 Step 1: Z axis assembly
  5. 5 Step 2: Nozzle mounting
  6. 6 Next step


By the end of this stage, your machine will look like this

id=”" align=”aligncenter” width=”300″ caption=”x and z axes assembled” [1]


You will need the following tools

  • Knife
  • Allen key

Before starting the Z axis assembly

Now is a good time to ensure the Z smooth rods are square to the Y axis smooth rods. place a set square on the Y axis smooth rods and adjust the bar clamps at the bottom of each Z smooth bar in turn to get it square.  On machine #248, the distance from the Z-axis bottom threaded rod clamp surface to the Y-axis motor mount corner block was 91.6 mm; this will get you close to square if you machine has the specified corner block to corner block dimensions.  Side to side the gap between the Z-axis rod clamp surface and the Z-axis bottom threaded rod clamp was 38.9 mm.

id=”" align=”aligncenter” width=”300″ caption=”Squaring the Z smooth rods” [2]

Step 1: Z axis assembly

RP parts Quantity

id=”" align=”aligncenter” width=”300″ caption=”Z axis motor and couplings” [3]

Hardware Quantity
NEMA 14 stepper motor 2
Poly tubing 15mm 2
M3x16mm screw 8
M3 nut 8
M5 full nut 2
M5x165mm Threaded rod 2

Begin by cutting the Poly tubing into 2 equal lengths, each of which should measure approximately 15mm, and slide each onto a stepper motor shaft with a flat on it.

Insert an M5 full nut into each of the X ends and screw the M5x165mm threaded rods into these.

NOTE: Ensure the threads of the M5 threaded rods are free from dirt/grit. It is also a good idea to lubricate these rods.

id=”" align=”aligncenter” width=”300″ caption=”Z threaded rods screwed in” [4]

Loosely assemble the couplings.

id=”" align=”aligncenter” width=”300″ caption=”Assembled couplings” [5]

Loosen the clamps holding the Z smooth rods, and lift these up out of the way. Place the Z motors onto the Z motor mounts, and fit a coupling to each poly tube covered motor shaft.

id=”" align=”aligncenter” width=”300″ caption=”Coupling fitted to Z axis motor” [6]

Tighten the top 2 coupling screws enough to hold the couplings in place, then screw the M5 threaded rods into the bottom of the couplings.

id=”" align=”aligncenter” width=”300″ caption=”X/Z axes loosely fitted” [7]

Rotate the Z motors such that the wires face inwards to the machine, and screw the motors to the Z motor mounts using 2 M3x16mm screws (each with a couple of M3 washers) for each motor.

Tighten the coupling screws and slide the Z smooth rods down through the Igus bushings and into the bar clamps at the bottom of the frame.

Using pliers, twist the X tensioning wire to pull the X axis toothed belt tight. Also tighten the M3x16mm screws which push the X axis smooth rods from the X idler end. When you have this correct, the X smooth rods will run centrally through the Igus bushings, with the X axis assembly at both the top and bottom of the Z smooth rods.

Rotating the Z axis motors by holding onto the couplings should move the Z axis freely from top to bottom.

Step 2: Nozzle mounting

RP parts Quantity  
Hardware Quantity
#4×1/2″ Self tapping screws 4

Screw the nozzle mount to the X carriage using the 4 self tapping screws.

id=”" align=”aligncenter” width=”300″ caption=”Assembled X and Z axes” [8]

Next step

Heatbed assembly

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