Definitive list of stiffness/rigidity mods for SO2 / Xcarve?

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secretspy711
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Definitive list of stiffness/rigidity mods for SO2 / Xcarve?

Post by secretspy711 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:58 pm

After a 2-year long break from using my SO2, I am getting back into it, and finding myself wanting to increase the stiffness to enable better aluminum milling. I've searched all over this forum and the wiki but it is difficult to gauge what are the most effective mods for the money because information is scattered all over the place. But I am starting to see a pattern. Is there a definitive list of mods that can easily be done to significantly increase the stiffness of my SO2?

I will summarize what I've found but would like some advice on where to start.

X-axis makerslide twist:
I believe the main culprit is twist in the X axis, which in my case is 1000mm long. I have already bolted the 2 makerslides together by drilling 4 holes along the center of the face of the X axis, and using a stack of washers in-between the rails to act as spacers. I think I am still seeing some twist around the X-axis. I am unsure what to do next:
-The 30-minute mod:https://discuss.inventables.com/t/a-30- ... tter/15775
-The 60 minute mod: https://discuss.inventables.com/t/a-60- ... tter/20073
-T-shaped extrusion? https://discuss-assets.s3.amazonaws.com ... e5d45.jpeg
-Make an I-beam and stick it between the rails: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQJKxtc8bf4
-Replace the double markerslide with the single wide makerslide: https://www.inventables.com/technologie ... makerslide
-Move up to a larger extrusion (6060? 8060? 8080?) with OpenRail? Megarail80? Openbuilds CBeam and convert to leadscrew X-axis while I'm at it? Would require completely new Y plates and carriage plates, but would potentially be stiffer than SO3. A lot of work.

Y-axis rigidity
My Y-axis rails are stock length and seem fairly rigid. Probably not high on the list for upgrading.

Carriage rigidity
Couple of options, here, which one is better?
-Extend the V-wheel bolts. What spacers are required to do this? https://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopi ... =20#p37126
-1 piece X-carriage extrusion. That would require also upgrading the Z-axis Nema17 to a Nema23. Can the stock gShield and power supply handle that? https://www.inventables.com/technologie ... -extrusion

Z-axis rigidity
Things I have already done:
-Aluminum mounts for my Makita router: https://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopi ... =20#p40978
-3rd set of wheels because the Makita is physically shorter, causing the lower Z wheels to roll off the Z slide when the workpiece is thin.
Possible Upgrades:
Linear Rail upgrade (https://discuss.inventables.com/t/best- ... ever/42282) (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Z-axis-CNC-Slid ... 2712810756)

-Anything else?

Are there other areas I should be focusing on?
Last edited by secretspy711 on Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Shapeoko 2 #5510: 1200 x 500 mm, Makita RT0701

Gadgetman!
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Re: Definitive list of stiffness/rigidity mods for SO2 / Xca

Post by Gadgetman! » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:47 am

You want the dual X-axis beams to bee bolter together with no spacing between them. At all.
Then you can add plates on top/bottom to further stiffen them.

Replace the motor plates with 6mm Aluminium.

The endplates on the Y-axis can also be replaced with something stronger.

9mm wide belts if you haven't already upgraded.

Some of my upgrades can be seen here and in the next few posts;
https://shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.ph ... 140#p52605
Weird guy...
Shapeoko 2014F: 1000mm X/Y, 300W Quiet Cut spindle, Arduino Uno/G-shield and GRBL 0.9i
15x30 drag chains, custom spindle mount, 9mm belts, 8mm endplates, 6mm motor plates.

secretspy711
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Re: Definitive list of stiffness/rigidity mods for SO2 / Xca

Post by secretspy711 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:59 pm

Gadgetman! wrote:You want the dual X-axis beams to bee bolter together with no spacing between them. At all.
Then you can add plates on top/bottom to further stiffen them.

Replace the motor plates with 6mm Aluminium.

The endplates on the Y-axis can also be replaced with something stronger.

9mm wide belts if you haven't already upgraded.

Some of my upgrades can be seen here and in the next few posts;
https://shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.ph ... 140#p52605
-Are there 6mm plates available somewhere or would I have them cut them myself? Where's the best place to have custom plates cut?
-Is there an upgrade "kit" for 9mm belt upgrade? Can I use my existing idler wheels? I think they are only 8mm wide?
-Are there existing plate designs that will work with mega rail 80 or 8040?
Shapeoko 2 #5510: 1200 x 500 mm, Makita RT0701

secretspy711
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Re: Definitive list of stiffness/rigidity mods for SO2 / Xca

Post by secretspy711 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:14 pm

also, what is the consensus on the stiffest wheel/bearing setup? I have read several times on this forum and others that the steel wheels are much stiffer but they also destroy the aluminum rail.
Shapeoko 2 #5510: 1200 x 500 mm, Makita RT0701

Gadgetman!
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Re: Definitive list of stiffness/rigidity mods for SO2 / Xca

Post by Gadgetman! » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:14 am

Making the plates yourself isn't much of a job.
I used a hacksaw to cut the rough shapes out of 6mm plate, then placed one on the ShapeOko, and used it to 'peck' drill holes on it with a 1/8" bit.
Then I took the 2 plates, clamped them together, and used my drill-press to finish the holes.

I don't think there's a 9mm kit available?

I got at least some from Cvoinescu's shop. These should be an old thread here about 9mm parts.


Steel wheels are rather rough on the aluminium rails, yes. And the difference in rigidity isn't really worth it.
I added extra 'bracing' on the bolts holding the V-wheels, and figure that 6mm plates + those probably added just as much rigidity to the machine.

There are no plate patterns for MegaRail or 8040 X-axis, yet.
I'm slowly redesigning the carriage to fit a MegaRail myself, but when it'll be finished, who knows.
(I'm designing it for a 300W DC spindle and 2x NEMA14+Acme rods. One stepper on either side of the spindle, so that there's no threaded rod between the spindle and the X-axis. Shorter distance = less flex)
Weird guy...
Shapeoko 2014F: 1000mm X/Y, 300W Quiet Cut spindle, Arduino Uno/G-shield and GRBL 0.9i
15x30 drag chains, custom spindle mount, 9mm belts, 8mm endplates, 6mm motor plates.

secretspy711
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Re: Definitive list of stiffness/rigidity mods for SO2 / Xca

Post by secretspy711 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:52 pm

Is this the extra bracing you mentioned?
https://shapeoko.com/forum/download/file.php?id=5909
Does that actually add stiffness to the V-wheels? It looks like you were trying to reproduce a version of what you did on the carriage (putting 2 wheels on one bolt) but I'm not sure this configuration has the same effect?

I feel like I almost need need a 2nd machine to make parts for the first one, and they can continually make upgrade parts for each other, forever...

I started CAD'ing up my current machine last night, which will serve as the basis for the upgrade design. I'm thinking I will add provisions for a leadscrew conversion at a later date, using non-captive steppers to lessen the degree of reconfiguration I will need to do. I'm thinking I will go with the 8040 (or maybe even 8080?) X-axis rail.
Shapeoko 2 #5510: 1200 x 500 mm, Makita RT0701

Gadgetman!
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Re: Definitive list of stiffness/rigidity mods for SO2 / Xca

Post by Gadgetman! » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:39 pm

Yeah, it adds a little bit of rigidity.
Normally, you have the bolts sitting directly on the plate(head and washer on one side, eccentric nut on the other side), and if forced, the bolt will use the hole as a fulcrum point.
With my modification, you not only have the compression-force of the bolthead against the nut, but you also have to force another bolt to also move. In addition, there's the fact that you have multiple instances where (because of the precision spacers) the compression force will be increased and 'fight against' the bolt being out of position.
How much the effect increases rigidity in the machine I have no idea.
(And I'll be very cross if anyone manages to debunk my theories)
I may add thicker spacers later.

Most parts you need to make (such as the motorplates) have a lot of leeway in them. Get the holes for the X-axis within 0.5mm of where they need to be, and use a slightly oversized drill bit, and you're set on that. The motors can sit anywhere as long as the belts gets to where they need to be.
(I run it with outside belts because I like that look better. Also, the idler wheels around the motors are held on both ends, so are more rigid.)

The only change needed on the motor plates in order to go to MegaRail, 8040 or even 8080 is to add a couple of new holes.
And if you plant it from the start, there's no reason that you can't add those from the beginning.
Weird guy...
Shapeoko 2014F: 1000mm X/Y, 300W Quiet Cut spindle, Arduino Uno/G-shield and GRBL 0.9i
15x30 drag chains, custom spindle mount, 9mm belts, 8mm endplates, 6mm motor plates.

Homeworker
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Re: Definitive list of stiffness/rigidity mods for SO2 / Xca

Post by Homeworker » Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:20 am

Gadgetman! wrote:Making the plates yourself isn't much of a job.
I used a hacksaw to cut the rough shapes out of 6mm plate, then placed one on the ShapeOko, and used it to 'peck' drill holes on it with a 1/8" bit.
Then I took the 2 plates, clamped them together, and used my drill-press to finish the holes.

I don't think there's a 9mm kit available?

I got at least some from Cvoinescu's shop. These should be an old thread here about 9mm parts.


Steel wheels are rather rough on the aluminium rails, yes. And the difference in rigidity isn't really worth it.
I added extra 'bracing' on the bolts holding the V-wheels, and figure that 6mm plates + those probably added just as much rigidity to the machine.

There are no plate patterns for MegaRail or 8040 X-axis, yet.
I'm slowly redesigning the carriage to fit a MegaRail myself, but when it'll be finished, who knows.
(I'm designing it for a 300W DC spindle and 2x NEMA14+Acme rods. One stepper on either side of the spindle, so that there's no threaded rod between the spindle and the X-axis. Shorter distance = less flex)
I hope you guys don't mind me jumping into this conversation but I just wanted to add that I couldn't observe any roughness of steel wheels on aluminium rails YET. I don't know if it depends on the type of steel but I also used a grade that has been additionally hardened. So I'm curious as to why it is considered to be a universal fact that steel wheels + aluminium rails = bad.
Last edited by Homeworker on Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CrazyBillybob
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Re: Definitive list of stiffness/rigidity mods for SO2 / Xca

Post by CrazyBillybob » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:00 pm

Homeworker wrote: I hope you guys don't mind me jumping into this conversation but I just wanted to add that I couldn't observe any roughness of steel wheels on aluminium rails YET. I don't know if it depends on the type of steel but I also used a grade that has been additionally hardened. So I'm curious as to why it is considered to be a universal fact that steel wheels + aluminium rails = bad.
The steel wheels v Aluminum rail is not seen in the short term. It's a long term thing. With the plastic wheels the wheels are the consumable part. With steel wheels the Aluminum rail becomes the consumable part. Steel is harder than aluminum...Period so over time those steel wheels will wear away the aluminum rail. It may take some time to get through the Aluminum oxide coating (the clear anodizing on the rails) , but once it gets through the thick layer it will start wearing away the base metal. You will see some smearing in places first , then it will get worse. The harder wheels are also going to grind in the dust from machining into the rails. If you're machining pine not a big deal. But if you're machining aluminum, brass, or Stainless steel (yes folks on these boards have made exhaust flanges out of stainless on their Shapeoko's before) it becomes more of a concern.

It really is a choice that each user must make. Is the gains in stiffness worth the cost of replacing the rails? If you don't use it much, but need the rigidity for the parts you run... Maybe it is to you. But if you use the machine a lot and don't need the minor increase of rigidity than it might not be.

CBB

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