Shapeoko XXL Assembly Guide

Finished Assembly

XXL Packing List

Item Qty Description
Y-Carriage (left) 1  
Y-Carriage (right) 1  
X-Carriage Assembly 1  
Z-Carriage Assembly 1  
40” Rail 3 1 rail has mounting holes for controller
Wasteboard Half 2  
Cross Straps 3 to secure wasteboard
Front/Rear Plates 2 to attach Y axis and wasteboard
Carbide Motion Controller 1  
Spindle Mount 1  
Final Assembly Box 1 Many items listed below
Serial Tag 1  
Sharpie 1  
M6x12 BHCS 1 Pack of 24 To Secure plates to extrusions
M5x20 BHCS 1 Pack of 18 To Secure Wasteboard to Cross Straps
M5x16 BHCS 1 Pack of 2 To secure router mount to z-plate
Belt Clips 1 pack of 6 To Secure belting
M5x10 SHCS 1 pack of 6 To Secure Belt Clips
Power Cord 1 C-13 Style
Power Supply 1 110VAC - 240VAC Input with 24VAC output
96” Wire Extension 2 For X and Z Axis
73” Wire Extension 1 For Y axis (long side)
54” Wire Extension 1 For Y Axis (short side)
USB Cable 1 To connect controller to computer
Thread Lock 1 for any hardware that may come loose
Allen Keys (5, 4, 3, 2, 1.5) 1 for assembly
Single Use Wrench (13, 10, 8) 1 for assembly
1200mm GT2 Belting (9mm) 3 For X and Y motion
Drag Chain 2 to properly route wires
Homing Switch Kit 1 to establish home position
Drag Chain Brackets and hardware 2 To mount drag chain to X and Y axis

Base Frame Assembly

Base Frame

Using the hardware found in the package labeled ‘wasteboard’, assemble the base frame of the machine.

Begin by installing the leveling feet in the corners of each End Plate, set aside when finished Lay out the cross straps on the table Place a washboard half across the cross straps and loosely secure the 3 screws in the middle.

Place the other washboard half across the straps and loosely secure the 3 screws in the middle.

Lift one end of the cross strap / wasteboard assembly and place on End Plate, loosely secure the outer screws.

Place the other end of the assembly on the opposite End plate, loosely secure the outer screws.

Base Frame

Lay out your extrusions. The extrusion on the left (starred) should have the mounting holes drilled and tapped for the controller.

We will be assembling the machine from both the front and rear, make sure you have enough room around the assembly area to access the machine from both ends.

Preparing the Plates

Base Frame

Open the Left and Right Y-Axis carriages and the X/Z carriage. Set carriages on the table as shown.

The all 3 carriages are shipped to you as complete sub-assemblies. Thread locker has already been used on all threaded connections

Eccentric Nuts

Eccentric Nuts

Before proceeding, turn the the eccentric nuts so the wheels are at their widest position.

Rotate the nut clockwise until the screw is at the most bottom point of the rotation. as shown in the image on the right. It is important to only rotate the nuts clockwise. If you rotate the nut counter-clockwise you risk loosening the bolted connection.

Adjust the eccentric nuts for all 3 of the plates (6 eccentrics total).

Installing the Left Y-Carriage

Left Carriage

In this step, you will be installing the extrusion with the threaded mounting holes on the back side!

The bag labeled ‘extrusions’ contains 24 pieces of M6x12mm button head cap screws. These screws are used to attach the carriages, and the base frame to the extrusions. These screws require the 4mm hex key.

NOTE: the v-rail on the extrusion should be facing the front, with the stepper motor on the opposite side.

Using 4 pieces of M6x12mm screws, attach the left Y-Axis plate to the X-axis rail by installing the screws through the 4 open holes on the assembly. Be careful not to cross-thread the screws as you install them.

Using the carriage boxes as supports at each end of the rail will help hold the rail at the proper height for you to install the screws. You don’t need to tighten these screws all the way. We’ll do that in the ‘squaring the machine’ section.

Assembling the X/Z Carriage

XZ Assembly

The X and the Z carriages come pre-assembled, but will need to be assembled together prior to moving on with the rest of the machine.

XZ Assembly

Remove the plates from their shipping boxes

XZ Assembly

Install the spindle mount on the z-axis plate using the included M5 x 16mm screws.

XZ Assembly

Making sure the pulley on the z-axis is on the left side, grab the end of the z-axis belt

XZ Assembly

Slide the z-axis carriage onto the x-axis plate, making sure the wheels are in contact with the rails

XZ Assembly

As the carriage is further up the rails, grab the opposite end of the z-axis belt, Slide the carriage up and wrap the z-axis belt around the bearing idlers

XZ Assembly

Pulling on the top of the z-axis belt, wrap it around the z-axis pulley on the stepper motor

XZ Assembly

Using the built in tensioning screw, push the bearing idler down by turning the screw clockwise. using your fingers for this is fine.

XZ Assembly

Once the tensioning screw is pushing on the bearing idler, the idler will begin to tilt. Using the 10mm wrench and a 4mm hex key, tighten the bearing idler. This will increase the tension as it straightens

XZ Assembly

Install the springs by looping one end around the screw standoffs on the back of hte z-axis plate, and the other end on the screw standoffs fastened to the top of the x-axis.

After the springs are installed, tension the z-axis v-wheels by turning the eccentric nuts *clockwise until the wheel engadges with the rail.

XZ Assembly

Installing the X/Z Carriage

Installing the XZ Assembly

Slide the X/Z Carriage on the rail from the right hand side. Because the v-wheels will be as loose as they can, the carriage will slide easily down the rail - be careful not to tip the rail too high causing the carriage to slam into the left Y plate.

Tension the V-Wheels

Tension vwheels

Once the carriage is on the rail, support the right end with another 9x7x4 box and center the carriage on the rail.

Using the M8 (or 5/16”) wrench, turn the eccentric nuts clockwise until the wheels engage with the rail. The eccentric nuts should be in the position shown in the following image

You do not need much tension in order for the carriage to be secure. The wheels just need to be snug against the rail.

After tensioning, the carriage should still slide smoothly across the rail, with only slightly more resistance than without the wheels tightened. The travel should be smooth and ‘bump’ free.

Installing the Right Y-Carriage

Installing the gantry

Using the M6x12mm screws ( from the bag labeled ‘extrusions’), install the right Y carriage to the right end of the X-Axis rail.

Using right carriage box to support the rail will help prevent the X/Z carriage from sliding around as you work

Installing the Gantry System

Installing the gantry

Slide both the left and right Y-Axis rails through the left and right Y-Axis plates.

Using the 9x7x4 boxes as a support (starred in photo), position the gantry system into the base frame. You may need to loosen the base frame assembly if there is not enough clearance to insert the rails. Sliding the gantry system in from the side or down from the top.

Installing the gantry

Install 2 screws, diagonal from each other, on both sides of the from plate. The screws should only be installed about 90% of the way.

After the front is finished, move around to the back of the machine and install all 4 screws on each side of the gantry. Again, these screws should not be fully tightened. We will do that in the ‘squaring your machine’ section.

Moving back to the front of the machine, install the remaining 2 screws on each side of the end plate. At this point, your bag labeled ‘extrusions’ should be empty.

Running the Belts

Using the bag labeled ‘belt clips’, begin on the left side of the gantry by running a 9mm GT2 belt (9mm width) through the belt clip.

The proper routing is: Up from the bottom, Down through the top, Back towards the front

Installing Belts

After the belt has been run through the clip, ensure the teeth have interlocked with each other and there is roughly 2 inches (50mm) of underlapping belting.

Using one of the M5x10mm screws, tighten the belt clip against the plate. Double check the teeth remained interlocked.

Installing Belts

Working your way towards the other end of the Y-Axis Rail, run the belt between the rail and the flanged idlers. Pushing from both sides of the idler, force the belt up and towards the idler. You can also use the 1.5mm hex key to lift the belt between the idlers. Once the belt is accessible, wrap around idler.

Installing Belts

Using another M5x10mm screw, tension the belt clip against the front of the machine.

To get the proper tension on the belt, pull enough belting through the clip (underlapping) so you can push the belt clip, with your finger to within about 1/4” of the End Plate or close enough where the M5x10mm screw can catch a thread into the belt clip nut (as shown).

Once the screw is engaged with the nut, tighten the clip with a 4mm allen key.

Tensioning Belt

Routing the X Axis Belt

X Belt Routing

1.) Lay the belt across the entire extrusion, threading it below the idlers with the teeth facing down.

2.) Using the 1.5mm hex key as a lever, push the timing belt between the idlers.

X Belt Routing

3.) Using both hands, push the belt in from the outside of the idlers. The belt will bubble up as it travels through the thin gap.

4.) Once accessible, grab the loop with your fingers or the allen key and pull enough out so you can grab it with your fingers.

X Belt Routing

5.) Twisting the belt slightly, slide one edge between the pulley and the plate until half of the loop is around the pulley.

6.) Align the belt with the pulley and pull one end of the belt while holding the other to secure the belt around the pulley.

After stringing the belt over the X-Axis motor pulley, route the other end through another belt clip. Use the same method as the other side to properly route the belt through the clip.

To get the proper tension on the belt, pull enough belting through the clip (underlapping) so you can push the belt clip, with your finger to within about 1/4” of the End Plate.

This should be just close enough where the M5x10mm screw can catch a thread into the belt clip nut (as shown above, left image). Once the screw is engaged with the nut, tighten the clip with a 4mm allen key.


Starting from the back of the machine, follow the same procedure to route the dual Y-Axis belting


Install x-axis home switch

If you have not already, remove the shroud from the controller. Inside the shroud you will find a small self-sealing bag containing 3 rubber grommets and 2 M6x12mm screws.

Install the controller on the left Y-Axis Rail. The controller is connected with 2x M6x12mm screws.

When installing the controller, ensure the orientation matches what is shown in the picture. The USB and Power ports should be facing the back

Homing Switch Installation

The Shapeoko XXL ships with home switches. It’s best to route these cables through the carriers at the same time you route the stepper extensions. After the cables are routed, attach as directed below.

Z-Axis Homing Switch

Install x-axis home switch

The z-axis limit switch should be oriented so the plunger is facing down and the integrated locating post is to the left, when viewed from the front (as shown in the picture).

Use an M3x12mm screw (included in the bag labeled ‘limit switch kit’) and nut to secure the switch to the plate.

Attach the plate to the 4 standoffs using the 10-24x7/16” screws included in the limit switch hardware bag.

X-Axis Homing Switch

Install x-axis home switch

The x-axis homing switch should be installed on the mounting plate with the larger protrusion. The protrusion should be facing the right Y-axis plate.

Using M5x35mm screws, attach the mounting plate to the X-Axis carriage.

The limit switch wired assemblies are made to the correct length.

Y-Axis Home Switch

Install y-axis home switch

Using 2x M5x35 screws, attach Y-Axis home switch plate to the RIGHT y-axis carriage.

Ensure the switch is on the outside of the plate. Connect the switch with the included M3x12mm screw and fasten with a nut on the rear of the mounting plate.

Route the home switch cable across the back of the X-Axis rail along with the Y-Right stepper motor extension cable.

X-Axis Drag Chain Bracket Assembly

Install Drag Chain Bracket

The drag chains are cut from stainless steel and are shipped with a protective plastic. Remove the plastic by pealing from a corner and pulling down in a diagonal.

If excessive residue is present, rubbing alcohol or products like goo-be-gone can be used to remove the residue.

Install Drag Chain Bracket

The X-Axis drag chain bracket installs by sliding the bracket between the 10-24x7/16” screws that secure the standoffs to the plate.

Loosen the standoffs that were installed on your X/Z assembly, slide the bracket into place and re-tighten the standoffs.

X-Axis Drag Chain Assembly

Install Drag Chain Bracket

Pro-Tip: Before installing the drag chain bracket, thread the stepper motor extensions through the drag chain. Make sure the male end of extensions are positioned closest to the motors.

The X and Z axis stepper motors use 96” stepper motor extension cables.

Mount the drag chain to the drag chain bracket using the 2 pieces of M3x12mm flat head screws included in the drag chain hardware bag.

Each screw is secured using an M3 nylon hex nut.

Use a pair of pliers or a 6mm hex wrench to hold the nuts while you tighten the screws using a 1.5mm hex key.

Install Drag Chain Bracket

Slide the X/Z carriage all the way to the right extent of the X axis rail.

Wrap the drag chain down and under the X-Axis motor.

Install Drag Chain Bracket

On the opposite end of the drag chain, clean the rail with the included alcohol wipe and secure the drag chain to the rail with a piece of 1x1” VHB tape.

Apply solid downward pressure for a minimum of 30 seconds to ensure proper adhesion.

Install Drag Chain Bracket

Install the right Y-Axis stepper motor extension (73”) and route across the back side of the X-Axis rail, as shown in image.

Y-Axis Drag Chain Bracket Assembly

Install Drag Chain Bracket

Install Drag Chain Bracket

Remove M5x12mm Screws from top of stepper motor, replace with M5x16mm screws included with drag chain bracket hardware pack.

Secure drag chain bracket to plate using the included M5 hex nuts as shown in the image above.

Install Drag Chain Bracket

Remove 12 links from end of drag chain.

To remove the links, simply grab the drag chain, and twist at the point you with to remove. You can remove several links at once. Re-attach mounting end in same orientation

Open remaining links for easy access to the chain.

Route wires from X axis

Route all stepper motor extensions and homing switch wires through the slot on the end of the plate as shown in image.

Route wires from X axis

Attach drag chain to drag chain bracket by using 2 M3x12mm flat head screws. Secure to bracket using the included M3 nylon hex nuts.

Use a wrench to hold the hex nuts while you tighten the screws with a 1.5mm hex key.

Stick drag chain to rail

Align the other end of the drag chain with the back of the controller, as shown in the image.

Clean this area and the bottom of the drag chain end with an included alcohol wipe.

Apply 1 side of the double sided VHB tape to the drag chain end. Remove the protective coating from the other side of the tape.

Applying steady downward pressure, stick the drag chain end to the left Y axis rail, ensuring the end of the drag chain remains aligned with the rear of the controller. Apply pressure for a minimum of 30 seconds to ensure proper adhesion

Connect stepper extensions

Spindle Installation

Using one of the included rubber grommets, route all 4 stepper motor cables and the limit switches through the grommet. Then connect all of the extensions to their respective ports (ports labeled on the silkscreen).

Spindle Installation

Slide all of the stepper motor extension ends through the rear most opening of the electronics enclosure (shown upside down in the image).

Pull all of the cables so through the hole and secure the grommet by pushing down.

You may have some access stepper cable, create a small coil and tuck inside of electronics enclosure.

Using the 2x M8x8 screws, re-attach the enclosure to the controller assembly.


Spindle Installation

At this point, the base assembly of your machine is complete.

Apply the warning decal, serial tag, and Carbide3D badge as shown in the image.

Spindle Installation

Spindle Installation

To install the Dewalt DWP611 trim router, push the spindle mount down to install the trim router.

Slide the trim router all the way down in the mount and secure by tightening the 2 screws (M5x55mm) on the right side of the mount.

After installing the trim router, ensure the power cable is secured to the machine as shown above.

Using small zip ties, secure the power cord to the outside of the drag chain, taking caution to follow the radius of the drag chain, securing the cord every 6inches until you’ve reached the midpoint of the X-Axis Extrusion. Once the midpoint is reached, use a self-adhering tie down point to route the cable across the extrusion and out the opposite side of the gantry as the drag chain.

Spindle Installation

rear view of fully assembled machine) note the spindle power cord routes off the gantry to the opposite side as the drag chain)

Squaring Gantry to Front/Rear Plates

  1. Loosen all of the screws that hold the gantry together (4 on each side), these should still be loose from the initial assembly.
  2. Loosen the screws that hold the Y axis rails in place (16 total). These should also still be loose from the initial assembly.
  3. Slide the gantry to the front, so both Y plates are touching the front plate.
  4. While holding the gantry against the front of the machine tighten the front of the Y rails (8 total)
  5. Now - systematically begin tightening the 8 bolts on the gantry. Work your way from left to right, going back and forth in a X pattern (similar to tightening the wheel of a car).
  6. After the gantry has been secured, slide the gantry to the rear of the machine and tighten the 8 screws while keeping the gantry pressed against the rear plate



Your machine should now be completed! What now?

  1. Carbide Create User Guide
  2. Carbide Motion User Guide
  3. Run ‘Hello, World’
  4. Make a set of clamps!
  5. See other’s projects for inspiration

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