Our 3018-PRO CNC Router Axis Linear Rod and Carriage Upgrade reduces the flex in your 3018-PROs X-Axis. Most 3018-PRO machines (and their clones) are delivered with lighter duty 10mm diameter linear rods and bearings. These light-duty rods are subject to flex when working more dense materials and/or driving the machine harder. This problematic “X-Axis flex” results in chatter at the spindle, which leads to a reduction in machine precision and often, failed carves. To improve the machines function and accuracy in dense material, we offer our premium 12mm diameter, chrome plated, hardened linear rods – center tapped for M5 hardware (just like the OEM units – bolts in place for a quick upgrade). We round out this must have upgrade, with four new precision low-profile 12mm linear bearings to be placed within your OEM or upgraded X/Z-Axis carriage assembly.
Note: This upgrade is certified for use on the NCPRO line of 3018-PRO machines and similar 3018 clones. To ensure compatibility, measure your existing X-Axis linear rails and extrusions, if they match up with the sizing below, then this upgrade is likely compatible with your 3018-PRO machine.
X-Axis Linear Rail = 360mm | X-Axis Extrusion = 360mm
This upgrade does just what it says and is an solid match to the capabilities of the 3018. In fact, this is exactly how the 3018 SHOULD have been delivered from the factory! My machines X axis is now very rigid with the new 12 mm rods installed. Assembly was straight forward – though driving out the stock bearings required finding the right size wooden dowel (it sure would be nice if you’d include something like that with the upgrade). About the bearings, the new bearings are very smooth running on the 12mm rails. I noticed that the new bearings feature 5 points of contact instead of 4 like the stock 10mm unit – cool!
The only thing I could have done that would have been more rigid than this upgrade, would have been to take the machine back down to parts and rebuild it with custom-cut fully supported rails. What a pain! Heck I might as well buy a whole new machine at that point. To Bill and the 3018nc.com crew, many thanks for making this simple upgrade availble! I’m going to buy your Y axis 12mm upgrade next.
Ryan Chouinard (verified owner) –
My machine has the aluminum X/Z carriage and a 52mm spindle, and the stock 10mm rails would flex quite a bit when running under any type of load. These upgraded 12mm rails are much better, and practically eliminate my X-axis flexing issues. I only knock off a star due to the included KH1228PP bearings. One out of the three doesn’t roll smoothly, and I ended up needing to order a replacement.
A word of caution to anyone with the aluminum carriage from SainSmart (likely others): the design has a ring inside the bearing mounts, preventing you from just pushing the bearings through. You’ll need to find a small rod to pass through one end onto the lip of the other and hammer it out that way. Even then, you may need to enlarge the interior hole a bit so the 12mm rail can pass through without issue. The new KH1228PP bearings are then pretty easy to install, but they may take quite a bit of force.
Bill (verified owner) –
Worked great on my 3018 ProVer. made a huge difference in rigidity and actually quieted the machine down