XXL Blues

Assembly questions and answers for the Shapeoko 3 CNC Mill
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DW Woodworking
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2019 11:16 pm

XXL Blues

Post by DW Woodworking » Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:17 pm

Good Morning all,

So I received the much anticipated XXL yesterday and started assembly, however I already ran into a few issues. Wondering is anyone else had the issues and could walk me through it.

1) Squaring the machine-With all bolts loosened I cant keep the Y and Z V rollers to stay in contact. The right side is about 1/4 to 3/8 out when brought forward and the opposite tolerance on the back left when the carriage is sent back. I've tried clamps, straps, walking away...nothing has helped. When the clamps are released the axis just goes back to the original position, even when tightened in that spot under pressure.

2) V rollers don't roll smooth- With no power moving in both axis, the machine sometimes skips as if the V roller isn't in contact. I've repeatedly tightened and it does get better, however it does still occur randomly. It almost sounds like the belt slips? Could I have bad V rollers?

3) Initial homing- Carbide motion loads, start the initial jogging and I have a homing error after the X travels 12 or so inches. Error states that it "GRBL ERROR: Homing failed, cannot find limit switch".

I hope this isnt considered a distress call, but i am taking on a bit of water!

Side note, I like in Washington state, so if anyone is close, I'll buy the beers and maybe we could talk some shop!


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Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:11 am

Re: XXL Blues

Post by EricOlsen » Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:11 pm

I’m having the exact issues with squaring. I’d also love some help.

As to your V rollers, I found that when I have them plugged in to the Controller Board, my carriage does not glide smooth. When I unplug Y1 and Y2, the carriage does glides nicely.

Same side note, but in Utah.

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Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:25 am

Re: XXL Blues

Post by lgoodso1 » Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:45 am

I just ordered my xxl hope I don’t have the same problems;

DW Woodworking
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2019 11:16 pm

Re: XXL Blues

Post by DW Woodworking » Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:09 am


So got the y1 and y2 switched, which solved the homing issue. Apparently they weren’t labeled correctly, but nothing blew up so that’s awesome!

I completely tore down the entire machine and started over. Putting the waste board in last allowed me a bit more room to look for anything misaligned and put focus to that area.

Was able to get a welcome world completed and pushed to check tolerances. Here are it issues I am running into at this point.

1) loose v rollers, like they are always loosening so the Y isn’t staying perpendicular to the X which is causes the gantry to zig zag as its moving. Over tightening is not the answer!

2) lettering misalignment, V carving three lines and some of the wording is .o80 off in the Y axis, almost like a superscript

3) homing to same location doesn’t take me to the same location. Sometimes off just a bit, sometimes quite a bit. Usually one of the two axis shows zero’d out.

Beginning to look for a company to come calibrate this machine or simply sell it.

Posts: 8618
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:11 pm
Location: Pennsylvania --- south of the Turnpike, East of US-15

Re: XXL Blues

Post by WillAdams » Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:04 am

Usually unevenness in movement is mechanical:

- Pulley set screws: http://docs.carbide3d.com/shapeoko-faq/ ... et-screws/
- V wheels / eccentric nuts: http://docs.carbide3d.com/support/tensioning-eccentrics
- Belt tension --- the Z-axis should be guitar string tight (but careful not to bend the motor shaft): http://docs.carbide3d.com/assembly/shap ... 5-belting/ on deep cuts it may help to remove one spring from the Z-axis temporarily, esp. if one hasn't added a spoilboard on top of the wasteboard --- it also helps to install the router as low as possible (installing the Makita adapter upside down will help). Some folks have found it helps to remove the M4 Z-axis tension bolt, apply a thin bead of threadlock along the length of the threads, then reinstalling it after it has dried.

Also feeds and speeds may be a consideration: https://docs.carbide3d.com/support/#tooling-support and see https://www.precisebits.com/tutorials/c ... speeds.htm for a testing technique

Beyond that it's usually a matter of ​Calibration and Squaring the Machine: https://wiki.shapeoko.com/index.php/Cal ... he_Machine c.f., http://docs.carbide3d.com/shapeoko-faq/ ... t-stretch/
Shapeoko 3XL #0006 w/ Carbide Compact Router w/0.125″ and ¼″ Carbide 3D precision collets

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Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2019 2:18 am

Re: XXL Blues

Post by enyoc » Tue Apr 02, 2019 3:12 am

my SO3 xxl arrived last week. i got the new carbide branded fake makita. the fit and finish are harbor freight level; not a good first impression

spent the weekend building a massive workbench for it

opened the boxes after work tonight and got it together in a not-rushed five hours. engineer square and calipers every chance i could

same issue with the Y axes. 3/16ish gap front right and rear left... crap

wait; someone told me i need to think metric in the world of cnc... 4mm maybe?

followed the 8 the 16 axis squaring trick from the instructions. same result

loosened the spoil board, repeated above. same result. calling it for tonight. tomorrow i’ll take it apart and i’m quite sure i’ll find the extrusion ends aren’t square. anticipating shimming

some interesting build moments...
- my fat fingers had a lot of fun with the tiny m3 screws and nylocks for the drag chains
- i don’t expect the adhesive on the other end of the drag chains to last
- the cables are an inch too short, what a pain to reach the control box
- getting all cables through the one grommet was the hardest part of the build. which is pretty impressive
- i sealed the spoiler board with two coats of shellac, not the best protection, but glad i did it and it did took 10 minutes

bellyaching over. this machine is incredibly well built. it is about 95 out of 100, and comparing the price to the market sends it over 100
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open builds c-beam (in pieces)
ancient printrbot
central pa

Roland J
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:22 pm

Re: XXL Blues

Post by Roland J » Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:37 pm

I have had my 3xxl for about two weeks now and have the same issues as described, 4 mm gap on opposite corners on the y axis. Machine is square to less than 1 mm diagonal, and short of re inventing the wheel i'm not resquareing the base again. Was that way 1st time put together and both times after.
I fought with limit switches and homing for two days loosening, tightening,and readjusting everything imaginable, ended up putting 1/4 block on the frame for the y axis, and e-mailing Carbide 3D. this was all after running hello world which came out fine. Got a phone call from Miracle Worker Brandon, went out and turned machine one and limit switch and homing problems gone. No touchie or feelie,just talkie no idea why wouldn't home one hour prior.
Now for the fun part: The machine will cut a 12" x12" square, but don't try and use a 13"x13" piece of material and do it even after aligning it with the spindle, Square will be square ut border will be off about 2mm . North and south cuts are parallel but east and west skewed about 2mm. Have scratched my head and numerous other body parts, and have came to the conclusion that if this is what you need to do figure on doing a profile cut on everything. I used a 90 degree v mill and put a point on the nw corner and one on the other 3 corners of a 30" square using the carbide motion coordinates for setting the points. The square is square but 4mm farther back from the front of machine on east side than the Also have issues with the west, then cut a 13x13 piece of mdf in center of machine, aligned it with the west n/s line and cut a 12x12 square centered except for being skewed just under 2mm. same, as before thus the head and other parts scratching.
Also have issues with the v wheel adjustment on the x carriage, very very touchy, and keeping adjusted is another story too tight won't move too loose and e-nuts back off just right haven't found yet.
Other than this and some issues with returning to 0.000 y seems to work very very close but x can be all over the place and then after re-zeroing if you have cut something and then removed don't try to put back and try retracing to clean up something, going to be off even with re- zero and putting back in same marked spot will be close but not that close.
Still think is a good machine but not as good as could be

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Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:55 pm

Re: XXL Blues

Post by Sanityfree » Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:16 am

These posts are scaring me. My plan was to order an XXL next week. As someone who only gets about an hour a day to work in my shop, I don't know if I want to spend the next 2 weeks trying to align the machine...

Posts: 8618
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:11 pm
Location: Pennsylvania --- south of the Turnpike, East of US-15

Re: XXL Blues

Post by WillAdams » Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:32 pm

Mostly the cuts are quite square, and the machines go together without difficulty, and cut squarely out the gate.

For folks who have such problems, please rest assured that we will work with any experiencing such issues so that the machine works to its specifications and the owner's satisfaction.
Shapeoko 3XL #0006 w/ Carbide Compact Router w/0.125″ and ¼″ Carbide 3D precision collets

Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:11 pm

Re: XXL Blues

Post by MindlessCorpse » Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:16 pm

:lol: The machine DOES NOT CUT SQUARE out of the box. It will cut "skewed" once assembled. The front and back cuts will be off, the side cuts will be straight. Most all are reporting the EXACT same issue, to the same measurement.
The gap we ALL are seeing is due to manufacturing lack of quality checks. Plain and simple.
My first X-beam looked like the ends were cut with a radial saw and NOT MILLED. Carbide3d did send a replacement that looked smoother and felt better, but I still had to add approx .045" shim to the front of the x beam at the right end and .045" to the rear of the left end. Still not "Straight" but I fear losing and re-tightening the screws in the lightly threaded aluminum tabs will cause thread damage.
Would a picture help?
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