Assembly step 8
Note: if you have not yet tapped your Makerslide, read the section below. Otherwise, skip to the Full Gantry Assembly section below.
Tapping the Makerslide extrusion
The Inventables kits comes with the Makerslide untapped. The premium and full kits include an M5 tap and appropriate t-handle. If you purchased the mechanical only kit, you will have to buy an M5x0.8 tap and #0-1/4" t-handle to complete this operation. For those who are unfamiliar with tapping and who have access to a 3D printer, this M5 Tapping Guide for MakerSlide may be useful.
Tapping means to cut threads on the inside of a hole. There is an entire industry based around this process, and some people take it very seriously. If you look around the internet you can find 1,000s of site with "drill and tap" charts. These charts tell a person how big of a hole is required to be tapped to a certain thread size. There is a great write-up over at Wikipedia describing Tap and Die.
For instance, if you want to have a finished, threaded hole that will accept a standard M5 bolt (.8 pitch), you'll actually need to start with a hole that is only 4mm. This is because as you're cutting the threads into the hole, you'll obviously need material to remove. Always try to start as straight as you can in respect to the hole, or part, respectively.
Some people use a t-handle (which is my preference) something like this from amazon works well. You would also need a tap like this. Other people just put the tap into a hand drill and set the torque to a low setting (something like 10 on a scale 1-21, where 21 is "drill"). Because Makerslide is made from aluminium, which is a "soft" metal, it's fairly easy to tap. But, you'll need a cutting fluid to make it easier - any kind of lubricant, e.g. WD-40, should work well. And others just grab onto the end of the tap with a pair of vise grips or other pliers. This is obviously not the recommended way, but can get you by in a pinch.
When tapping, it's important to not just torque down and twist as hard as you can. Remember, as you're cutting the threads into the hole, the tap is removing material. That material has to go someplace. Ideally, the tap will be trying push the material out of the way either by bringing it back up the hole, or pushing it out the bottom. (If you're doing a through hole you can watch the material start coming out the back of the hole.) But if you encounter resistance, it's probably due to chip buildup along the tap. Slowly reverse the tap until it's out of the hole, clear the chips from the tap, and start again. Depending on how deep the hole is you're tapping, it may take several times of cutting/removing to accomplish your depth.
Rule of thumb:
- The deeper the flutes in the tap, the more material it will be able to hold before clogging.
- Cutting fluid (or lubricant) enables debris material to flow more easily up the length of the flutes.
- If there is enough lubricant, it may be enough to back a turn or two to get the chips flowing through the flutes, without the need to remove the tap all the way.
The PDF instructions do not document the belt anchoring. I've seen it done a few different ways, but I guess it's not critical that it's perfect. Use the insertion nuts and belt anchor parts to mount the belt to your X-axis. You'll have to cut the supplied belt from Inventables in half (if it came with one 940 mm belt) and save the rest for the Y-axis! There is some discussion on alternate Belt_Anchors methods.
Here is a video of my X-axis moving during a test of the belt and motor:
An image of the belt anchors and dodgy alignment!
There are also other ways of doing the belt clamps, as documented here. It is also important to note that the belt needs to be tight. If the belts are not tight, then there will be significant slop in the machine. Tighten the belts so that when turning the pulley one step, the machine tracks perfectly.
Full Gantry Assembly
This is the assembly of the previous three sub-assemblies. The image does not show the belt anchors in place. These are best added after the machine is otherwise completely assembled since they have sharp corners and are harder than the Makerslide.
- Clean ends of extrusion of any debris.
- Snug bolts on Gantry - Y Idle Mount Plate.
- Slide X/Z Assembly onto Makerslide Extrusion
- Snug Bolts on Gantry - Y Motor Mount Plate
- Work your way from each side in a X pattern.
- Align top of extrusion with top of plate.
- Keep square
Note: Ensure eccentric wheels on SM-XZA1 are set to their widest position before attempting to slide onto Makerslide.
In order to mount the belt, it may be necessary to cut the full size belt in half.
Bill of Material
|1||1||Assm 4||Assembly from Step 4|
|2||1||Assm 5||Assembly from Step 5|
|3||1||Assm 7||Assembly from Step 7|
|5||6||SM-H07||M5 x 10mm SHCS|
|6||6||SM-H03||M5 Flat Washer|
User Submitted Notes
(This is the section to add your own notes pertaining to this sub-assembly) If you run into a problem or find yourself asking a question, please post the solution here to help the next person who has the same problem/question)
This image here is missing the belt anchors.
The hole diameter for an M5 0.8 tap is 0.166". If your tap doesn't easily start you may want to drill the holes up to 0.166" (at least for the first 2-3mm of the hole).
The holes only need to be tapped 10-12mm deep for the M5x10mm screws, but may be tapped deeper if using longer bolts.
Recently shipped kits may have the belting already cut into 2 pieces.