CupCake CNC XY Stage Installation

This page is part of the CupCake CNC build sequence.

Attaching the XY Carriage

UPDATE: Bearing and Rod installation tip - When you put the bearings into the holes of the X stage, sand down the holes so that the bearings slide in easily and then hot glue them into place with the rod in the hole. This does two things, first it makes sure that the bearings aren't being compressed by the wood and adding friction and second it makes it so that the bearings are in alignment with the rod. The rods should go back and forth like butter. Also, we like to use 3 in 1 oil very liberally.

Rod Tip - Kits from MakerBot Industries ship with precision ground rods wiht a 10-micron finish that do not need to be smoothed at all. If you are supplying your own rods, you want them to be very smooth. Either get drill blanks, or get normal smooth rod and sand them down. We find that sanding them down with some 300 or 400 grit sandpaper and then rubbing super super superfine steel wool along the rods, makes them VERY smooth and luscious.

Put the rods into the holes


See how handy it is to only have one bolt on the covers? You can slide the M8 threadless rod into the holes… don't put them in all the way yet!

Put the XY carriage into your CupCake CNC MakerBot


That's the enigmatic Adam Mayer putting the carriage in the bot.

Attach the X belt


Before attaching the rods to the carriage, it's important to get the belt all set up. Luckily, it's easy to adjust and attach this wooden encased bearing to the middle layer.

Tensioning is important here. You want to make sure this belt is under some tension and you can adjust it with this pulley and tighten down the bolt when you've got the placing right.

NOTE: the pulley height is important, too. On Build 9 at least, my pulley was too high if installed like in the picture. Get the XY stages at the right height by installing the rods. Then ensure that the belt remains horizontal and isn't bent upwards by the pulleys on either end. Remove the motor to change the pulley height. If you press it down too far, use a screwdriver to pry it back up from the bottom of the pulley. Do not pry on the pulley flanges, or they will snap off!

Rod 1


Put the first rod into the carriage

Rod 2


Put the other rod through it too. See how the pulley is on the front side and the stepper motor that pulls the Y stage is on the far side of the platform? That's how it should be! You can now add the other nuts and bolts to the threadless rod covers.

UPDATE: You'll notice that the X and Y rods are a bit longer and stick out of the ends by 1-3 millimeters. That's because when we made our first prototype, the rods were a smidge short and they vibrated back and forth during printing and made a racket. So, the rods are a bit long and thats so that you can clamp them down. If you don't like that they are a bit long, you can make them shorter with a file and about 10 minutes of elbow grease.

Next step: CupCake Z Stage Assembly

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