Z-Axis Connector for 3/8 ACME Threaded rod

by pefozzy, published

Z-Axis Connector for 3/8 ACME Threaded rod by pefozzy Mar 14, 2013
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These connectors are for use on 5mm output shaft steppers and 3/8" ACME threaded rod.


1) Print
2) Insert 5mm nuts into nut capture slots on bottom of the part. Start M5 x 10 SHCS into nuts
3) Clean up ACME threads if necessary- I used a short section of ACME rod scrap chucked into a drill
4) Assemble.
5) tighten M5x10 SHCSs to fasten to stepper. If necessary a couple drops of epoxy could be used to lock ACME rods into place, I've been running my printer with no adhesive to lock the connectors to the ACME rod. Friction alone seems to be enough.

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Nice design. I'm going to use this on my 2-up (it's printing right now on my Cupcake).

I was reading your Blogspot and you mention not being able to find a 3/8"-5mm coupling. Lovejoy makes many types of couplings in many combinations. I'll post a link to their catalog and Amazon below.
http://www.lovejoy-inc.com/products/jaw-type-couplings.aspxhttp://www.lovejoy-inc.com/pro... (Cant's post a direct link..so click on "Jaw Type Catalog (full catalog)")
Requires all three:

I ended up turning down the ends of my acme rods and going with a helical coupler. I think that my problem might have been that any little bend in the rod was amplified by being directly coupled with this adapter. I am curious if a modified version of this might be more useful for my needs in the future. One where the acme threaded side and then have the other side reduce so in could mount in a helical coupler. I might have to try that myself at somepoint.

Just wanted to let you know that I printed this out and tried to use it. I don't think that the centers of the threaded hole and stepper hole are aligned 100%. You can see a wobble when you turn the stepper and it shows up in prints. I thought it might be due to a bad print but I have printed about 5 of these, each with the same problem.


Thanks for the comment. I went back into the Solidworks model to confirm the centers of the hole and thread are correct. I believe they are, I verified the various sketch constraints and they all seemed OK. It probably doesn't take much of a mis-alignment to create a wobble in the output shaft. Have you tried clamping the stepper shafts from both sides, and using the opposing bolts to center the stepper shaft with the ACME threaded shaft?

I only used these printed couplers for a few weeks before I broke down and purchased some aluminum flex couplers off of e-bay. The aluminum couplers are the ticket if you want a really solid build.