New Z-Axis Assembly for Probotix Asteroid - Router Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Default New Z-Axis Assembly for Probotix Asteroid

Well, I'm finally getting around to building a new Z-Axis assembly for my Probotix Asteroid. I've had a terrible amount of slop in the stock setup since I purchased this machine used a year or so ago and have had this design in mind for awhile now. I know there will still be some flex in the gantry, which might be a project for another day, but the Z bearings are my biggest headache. I have made a new plate that replaces the stock piece that connects the upper and lower X axis bearing plates, so this will be a direct bolt-on replacement without having to cannibalize the stock assembly. It should be up and running in another day or two. All milling is being done on my Sherline CNC mill.

The first drawing is the original Probotix setup.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 07:25 PM
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Nice work Ed . I’d love to have a cnc mill
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 07:25 PM
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That looks far more robust, Ed! Did you measure the flex before so you can do a before/after comparison?

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by difalkner View Post
That looks far more robust, Ed! Did you measure the flex before so you can do a before/after comparison?

David
It has been hard to measure the gantry flex because I had so much slop in the Z. With the router near the spoilboard, I could hold the collet in two fingers and move the bit .030" or more. There is no doubt that will be fixed and if gantry flex becomes my next issue, I've already got plans to address that. Won't be able to mill gantry risers on my little Sherline though. lol I was pushing its limits with this Z plate. Had to mill the bottom half then reposition to finish off the top and maximum Y travel was only .5" more than the width of these plates. It's been a fun project though.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 12:28 AM
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Looks like it would be better and should solve some of the slop. You might also check to see how much twist you might have in the gantry plate.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 12:36 AM
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Looking at your Z carriage build, with your skills I’m suprised you didn’t just scratch build an entire cnc router table .
I suspect it would be pretty heavy duty

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RainMan 2.0 View Post
Looking at your Z carriage build, with your skills Iím suprised you didnít just scratch build an entire cnc router table .
I suspect it would be pretty heavy duty
Thank you, Rick. I have created CAD drawings for several CNC Routers and would love to build one of them if I could afford it. lol
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 10:08 AM
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You will notice that Probotix has moved from 30mm x 60mm to 60mm x 60mm gantry extrusions, make sure you set up plate to allow the same change when you can, that will correct most of the rest of the flex.

Looks great!
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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You will notice that Probotix has moved from 30mm x 60mm to 60mm x 60mm gantry extrusions, make sure you set up plate to allow the same change when you can, that will correct most of the rest of the flex.

Looks great!
They came out with that change right after I purchased my Asteroid. The only change necessary would be a taller plate between the two X-axis bearing plates. One thing I probably should have done is increase the Z travel a little to accommodate a taller gantry in the event I ever do the upgrade (if/when they offer one) or build my own. Some form of gantry upgrade may be necessary simply due to the added weight. This assembly with a Dewalt 611 router and mount is going to weigh close to 25#.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 12:03 PM
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Excellent work! I've also drawn up a few alternatives to their Z axis design. I asked Len why they don't change it and he stated that the current design was the product of several revisions and is used because it can be produced more precisely with less needs to remount parts after milling/drilling operations.

I've drawn up parts to make something similar to your solution, but will likely prototype the parts in 1/2" BB plywood to verify alignment before trying to get them cut in aluminum plate.

4D
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