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Shapeoko Up And Running… And Down Again

Dec 17, 2012 by     No Comments    Posted under: Arduino, Shapeoko


After a few setbacks, the Shapeoko is finally up and running- sort of.

Part way through the build, I found out that I had only received 16 nylon spacers instead of the 18 I needed. I called the folks at Instructables, who are incredibly helpful by the way, and they shipped the missing pieces out right away. That set me back a couple days while I waited for the parts to ship.

Then there was the whole broken tap inside Makerslide issue. Long story short, I was trying to use a drill to tap the Makerslide which turned out to be a bad idea. The tap snapped off inside the rail, with no material sticking out that I could use to pull it out. I tried to drill out the tap, but didn’t get anywhere. Finally I brought it to the motorcycle shop of one of my coworkers. He was able to weld a steel bar onto the end of the tap and use that to pull it out. Victory!

With those obstacles out of the way I was able to finish the build. Some of the M5 screws were a little loose, so I bought longer ones and tapped out longer holes for them. With everything in place, I ran my first test job with a marker. It worked. Then I tried a second one with wood and the rotary tool, but the tool didn’t have enough cutting power to keep up with the machine. I must have messed something up, because when I switched back to a marker test I only got halfway through before the motors started making a weird humming noise and the machine stopped working. That’s what you can see in the picture above.

I tightened some of the bolts that had come loose and took apart the Z-Axis, which helped but didn’t completely fix the problem. Today I’m going to get back to work trying to get everything up and running. There aren’t a lot of parts to the machine, so I’m hoping it won’t be too hard to narrow down where the problem is coming from. Stay tuned for some exciting pictures when I (hopefully) get this thing going again!

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