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screw or belt drive?

Discussion in 'CNC Mills/Routers' started by lexi chambers, Feb 28, 2019.

  1. lexi chambers

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    hi all can someone tell me what are the benefits of both screw driven vs belt driven i guess belt drive would be easier to maintain? but screw drive is more accurate ? ill be cutting mostly acrylic, i just want something that if i need to replace parts they will not be too expensive.

    thanks
     
  2. Alex Chambers

    Alex Chambers Master
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    With screw driven you might, eventually, need to replace the anti-backlash nuts. You will need to lubricate the screw fairly regularly (dry lubricant - PTFE or Silicone spray). Screw is more accurate and more repeatable.
    Belts - less accurate, less repeatable. Belts stretch, so may need re-tensioning, and wear so will eventually need replacing.
    There is more "play" between the drive pinion and a belt than there is between a screw and the anti-backlash nut.
    I would always go for screw driven given a choice, but you are limited to an axis length of 1000mm with an 8mm screw because above that length the screw will "whip"
    Alex.
     
  3. Rick 2.0

    Rick 2.0 OpenBuilds Team
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    Belts are the ideal choice for cutting acrylic. Belted systems move considerably faster than screw systems which will help prevent melting of the acrylic and as acrylic doesn't put up much of a fight there is not a lot of stress on the machine. If you are concerned about belt stretch or considering a fairly large system you might consider installing dual belts. As far as replacing parts, unless you are building a high use, commercial system you probably don't have to worry about replacing parts for a while.
     
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  4. Alex Chambers

    Alex Chambers Master
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    There you have it @lexi chambers - two completely conflicting bits of advice. A tip for this forum - when you get advice have a look at the profile of the person offering it - I joined the forum on 1/11/2018, @Rick 2.0 joined on 20/12/2013 - his advice is probably worth a lot more than mine.
    Alex.:D
     
    lexi chambers likes this.
  5. lexi chambers

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    amazing guys i was going to go for a screw driven system but now thinking about belts as in my case seems like a more viable option thank you both for your answers i really appreciate it !
     
  6. Chillimonster

    Chillimonster Well-Known
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    I've run both types of machines in the past.

    I started out on a dual belted OX (1500 x 1000), and now run a Sphinx 1000 x 1000.

    To be honest there is not a lot of difference if you are not cutting aluminium / harder materials.

    With the belts i could run the machine faster and with the screws i can run the cuts deeper and still keep the speeds up (In 18mm MDF which is what i cut 99% of the time)

    I never had much of an issue with belt stretch as i was dual belted, and once set up they worked well.

    And conversely i don't have an issue with the lead screw machine i have now (With the exception of the leadscrew rattling in the end plate bearing, but i'm going to strip the end plates off an wrap the end of the lead screw with PTFE tape - a tip i picked up from these very forums!)

    I find the lead screw machine 'noisier' when moving around compared to the belt driven machine, but once its cutting the difference is lost.

    The top and bottom of what i'm getting at is you can't really go wrong with either system if set up well
     
    GrayUK and Alex Chambers like this.
  7. lexi chambers

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    thanks chillimonster :) i have one more question for you guys im getting a mechanical kit so i need the motors, controllers and all the other bits etc im using fusion 360 for all my design work with regards to the controllers what would i need mach 3 or grbl? controller wise
     
  8. Chillimonster

    Chillimonster Well-Known
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    You cant go wrong with the new Blackbox controller (Runs GRBL)
     
  9. lexi chambers

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    im assuming it will work with fusion? and yes it looks pretty compact
     
  10. ChadRat6458

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    I like linuxCNC with mesa cards. It will run gcode from fusion 360. You might want to check out CamBam software. Fusion is kind of difficult. Grbl is a little to buggy for me.
     

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