Shapeoko 3 Assembly – Part 2

I ended up helping a friend with his computer for a while yesterday so I didn’t get as much done on my Shapeoko 3 as I wanted. But I did get some stuff done.

This was the state at the end of the evening:

Mostly assembled.
Mostly assembled.

All the parts for the base, plus the build tag that I thought was missing. I took all the foam and parts out of the box and then the build plate just turned up on the floor. Must have been stuck to one of the pieces of packing foam.

Base parts.
Base parts.

Assembling the base wasn’t too bad. I laid out the metal parts in their approximate location and set one of the waste board pieces on top.

Pro-tip: You can insert the hex key wrench through the holes to line up the pieces.

Base Half Done.
Base Half Done.

After loosely bolting on the first half of the waste board, I set on the second half and bolted it down. Then I tightened all the bolts.

All your base are belong to us.
All your base are belong to us.

After the base was assembled I moved on to adjusting the v-wheels to fit to the rails. First was the Y plates.

Fitting the  Y Plates.
Fitting the Y Plates.

After the Y plates were fit, I bolted the first one up to the base. I used my machinist square to get the rail square to the base and my depth micrometer to get the ends the same height.

Squaring the rail.
Squaring the rail.

I set a 1-2-3 block on the rail so I had a flat surface to measure from.

Checking the height.
Checking the height.

Unfortunately I couldn’t get the two ends to be the same height within the tolerances that I chose. So I ended up removing the rail and drilling out the holes to give more adjustment.

I used a 9/32″ bit (I think.)

Drilling out the holes.
Drilling out the holes.

I cleaned up the shavings and refit the rail. This time I got the ends much closer. I also realized that with the 1/2″ thick waste board and the base just sitting on the PEM nuts I had no idea how flat the waste board is, so I decided to just run with it.

A torsion table base just moved up the list.

Anyway, next I fit the second rail. I did adjust it for square and made it as close as I could to the same height above the waste board as the first one.

I just now realized that I did not measure the distance between the two rails, so I don’t know if they are parallel in that plane. I’ll have to borrow my friend’s long internal micrometer again. Drat.

Both Y rails fit.
Both Y rails fit.

Next I fit the X carriage to the rail. At first I laid the X carriage on it’s face, but it is tippy that way and the rail shot out and just about made it to the floor before I managed to catch it. That would have been bad.

Then I realized that you could stand it upside down and adjust the wheels with ease.

Upside down is the X way.
Upside down is the X way.

I bolted the X rail to the two Y carriages and adjusted it for squareness and height. While checking it for square I discovered that the front and back of the rail are not necessarily parallel. I don’t think that’s inherently bad, but it means you should probably check for square by measuring against the carriage plates.

I’ll have to keep that in mind when I build the torsion table base and remount the machine to it.

Squaring the X.
Squaring the X.

I also did not drill out the holes on the Y carriages yet, since they were all assembled and I didn’t want to take the machine apart again last night. I will be opening them up a bit later on to get some more adjustment.

Checking the X height.
Checking the X height.

I mounted the electronics just to see how the cabling was going to work and then I quit for the evening. I should be able to get the machine running tonight and then it’s time to play with software for driving it.

The Carbide 3D controller application is Windows/Mac only, and all my laptops are Linux. So I may have to update UGS to support the new string returned by the Carbide 3D Grbl board. Or play with Wine to get the Carbide 3D app to run.

Fun times.

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