Proper Belt Tensioning

Tensioning Mechanism

The tensioning mechanism on the Thingomatic is the motor mount. Instead of holes, there are slots where the motor is mounted. This allows the motor to move in a direction parallel to the axis. To loosen or tighten the belt, loosen the bolts on the motor and slide it towards or away from the stage. When you are satisfied, tighten the motor bolts back down.

This may be a bit tricky on the X motor, and you will need to take the top plate off the Y carriage in order to get access to the bolts.

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Tensioning belts

In general, belts should be tight enough to minimize slack, but not so tight that they start placing a lot of stress on the motor shaft or pulleys. Once a belt is on, turn the motor pulley with your fingers to gauge if there's too much resistance. If the belt makes an audible noise when you 'pluck' it with your fingers, it is too tight. The Thingomatic operation should be nearly silent. If your motor makes a humming or buzzing noise, your belts may be too tight.

To test if your belt is too loose, rotate the motor pulley back and forth by hand. If the stage moves back and forth in sync, then you are okay. If it lags behind, the belt is too loose. A more conclusive test is to print a cylinder from Thingiverse on your Thingomatic. If any of the sides are flattened, then the belt on the corresponding axis is too loose.

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Next Step: Testing Your Bot

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