Review via SainSmart Facebook giveaway winner
I would like to provide you with some of my impressions and experience with your latest 3018-PROVer addition, the all-aluminum spindle. Hopefully, this review will assist others that consider this purchase.
After many hours of using the original spindle holder, I was excited to hear that my parcel containing the upgraded spindle holder had arrived. Since I was one of the first to receive this update I wasn’t sure what to expect but I have to say, the build quality and finish exceeded my initial impression obtained from your website.
Right from taking it out of the packaging, you can feel how solid this spindle is. I was surprised to see the larger EMA 17 stepper motor on it. Well done! The linear bearings running on the X-axes are wider and significantly more stable. Also, the spindle nut is held down with screws so it is replaceable if required.
Installation was a breeze. Just remove one side of the gantry and slide the assembly on the guide rails. Pretty well plug and play. Overall the directions were pretty good however I did struggle a bit with the choice of connectors that go to the limit switches. This was not very clear in the instructions. In the end, I found out that it doesn’t matter which wire you plug into which limit switch. Either one will activate the limit alarm.
Powering a new spindle motor requires a separate power supply and speed control. Since mine hadn’t arrived yet, I printed a bushing to make up for the size difference and used the original one. This works well but obviously defeats part of the purpose. So when the new spindle motor (500w) arrived I was eager to give it a try.
Now, after using the whole new assembly for a few weeks, I have to say that I am extremely happy with it. It takes the usability of this little machine to a whole new level. Probably one of the best upgrades one can do. It sounds better, quieter, and runs flawlessly.
One item I am not sure about however is the location of a handwheel on the Z axes of the spindle. Instead of placing this on top of the stepper motor, it is located on the bottom of the spindle. This reduces the clearance between the aluminum mounting board and the bottom of the spindle holder by about 7mm or so. Also, it is just about impossible to make use of this feature simply due to its location.
Overall, however, despite the location of the handwheel, this has been one of the best upgrades to my SainSmart 3018 PROVer.