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I ordered a set of 3 NEMA-34 motors and power supplies and drivers. It also came with a breakout board. Now I want to use dual drives on the Y axis instead of a single drive in the center. So I need an additional motor, power supply, and driver for the Z axis. Can I use a NEMA-23 on that without confusing the breakout board or Mach 3? Similarly, can I use rack and pinion on the X and Y but a ballscrew on the Z without confusing the system?
 

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David
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As I understand your question you're asking if the NEMA 34 motor planned for Z can be used for Y and then get a new NEMA 23 for Z - correct? I don't see why you can't do that, assuming it matches up to your BOB. You'll have to calibrate accordingly in Mach3, of course. I may learn differently when others chime in and if so I'll learn right along with you. :grin:

Our machine has R&P for X and Y and ballscrew for Z, so yes, you can do that. Many machines have that configuration.

David
 

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As long as you know how to calculate steps/inch for each axis, no problem mixing drive methods. More important is ensuring the steppers have the torque/rpm curve that fits your application.
 

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A lot of people end up with under powered Z axis, which reduces the performance of the entire machine. The Z does a lot of heavy lifting, so be careful when going with a smaller motor.
 

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Mike
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It is all in the setting for Mac3 so that won't be a problem. As Gerry suggests, I would go with another Nema34 for the Z-axis like your original plan so all the motors have similar specs, it does not have to be the exact motor and driver, it just needs to be wired correctly and configured correctly in Mach3.

Now is the time to do it instead of finding out later because a lot of other things need to change if you replace Nema23 to Nema34 motors, plus it won't cost as much, just the difference between the 23s and 34s.
 
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