Instant Z Axis Assembly

Whenever I had to build another small CNC machine, I always found that the X and Y axes were fairly simple to build, but the Z axis was more difficult. While assembling a slide for a chap up in New Hampshire, it occurred to me that a standardised slide with a bunch of mounting options was a good idea. The Instant Z Axis is the result.

$165.00 plus 12 shipping for Instant Z with Iron/Copper bushings,

$185.00 plus 12 shipping for one with Thomson Linear Ball Bushings,

$225 for a 6" travel unit with Thomson Linear Ball Bushings .(plus 14 shipping.)

(Spindle not included!)

The slide rods are Thomson 1/2" rods in either Iron/Copper bushings or Thomson linear recirculating bearings. The slide is approximately 2.5" wide by 3" deep by 12" long (with the stepper motor installed.) It has approx. 3" of travel. It has several holes in the back plate for mounting; 4 holes 17/64" and 4 holes tapped 1/4-20 in addition to a hole in the center for locating.

The lead screw is 1/2-10 acme with a direct steel flex coupling to a size 23 stepper motor. Thrust is taken up by a pair of constant preload ball bearings. Single full step resolution is .0005". I have one like this on my PCB machine,(see picture below) and have been using it for 5 years now with no part replacements. The holder you see on the slide holds my motorised spindles for PCB engraving.

To my mother,Lucille Annetta Jones, who left us January 24/03, thanks for always being amazed and delighted at my little gadgets.You were an island of compassion in a sea of indifference.

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