Yes, I know it’s already mid Feb and my announcement is a little late, but a lot has been happening and there is only so much time in the day….
I made a number of changes last year and have been testing them for a few months on 2 different machines.
The main change being the Z axis rack, pinion and gas strut have been replaced by a leadscrew and nut. This meant a total re-design of the Y-car, which I used as an opportunity to make some other improvements as well. The accuracy and repeat-ability have improved considerably, so I think it was worth the time and effort it took to make it happen.
The re-design allowed me to increase the Y axis gear ratio to match the X axis, which makes it more powerful and accurate as well. Another benefit is now you only need to keep one size of belt as spares.
While I was at it, I also decided to reinforce the V-bearing shafts with some laser cut steel brackets. They may not have been absolutely necessary but I figured they won’t hurt either.
And finally, I changed to using inductive limit/home switches for all axis. Being non-contact type switch, they are very accurate and don’t wear out.
Overall the new kits have a number of changes all aimed at making them easier to assemble and maintain.