X Y Z Jacks for Mostly Printed CNC / Multitool

by Director, published

X Y Z Jacks for Mostly Printed CNC / Multitool by Director Jun 1, 2015
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This is an add on to the "Mostly Printed CNC / Multitool" which is a really nice design.

I found that the cat 5e jack modules from Home Depot (CE Tech model 5025-WH) fit nicely in the end of the EMT conduit with a bit of preparation. They make for a very clean XY and Z connection that can be unplugged from the controller.

I think this may work in conjunction with the drag chain mod but have not looked too closely at it yet.


First file the inside of the EMT to remove any burr especially if a pipe cutter was used to cut it. Use a utility knife to carve off about 11mm of bottom corners of the module's body. Carefully carve off the same length but shallower from the "dust cover". Trim off more from the bottom until the module with the cover on slides into the EMT end snugly.

Drill a 1/4" hole in the top front of the dust cover and snip through from the front to the hole to make a U ( or D) shaped slot. Wire the opposite side stepper to the push pins in the jack. I used the solid color jacks for one stepper and the striped ones for the other stepper then paralleled them at the RAMPS side.

The wires for the stepper on the same side as the jack should be encased in mesh wire guard. Route it through the narrow slot between the stepper mount plate and the EMT end then route it through the U shaped slot you cut in the dust cover. Finally snap the dust cover on and push the jack into the EMT end.

My jacks are so snug that I did not need any glue and they can still be removed. I used 0.1" crimp connectors to go from the steppers to the jack's push pins so everything is easily removeable and all is hidden in the EMT tube.

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Be-careful witch motor you use and witch Cat cable you use: bad CAT5 cable use AWG26 wire that is really to small for 1.7 -2.5 A motors.
BTW the suggested standard wire for NEMA 17 motors are AWG22.
Then do some math on you wire length, voltage drop and current absorption before use this solution.
And, again, check the quality of the CAT cable you will use.

I used Cat5e to wire up mine as well! Makes it sooooo much easier to change if you decide to

Looks Great, I plan to try this myself, I do have a few Questions:
Are you using a standard off-the-shelf CAT5 cable?
I am concerned it may not handle the amperage- Is this what you were testing?

No problem at all with standard 24 AWG CAT5 cable. I think the UL 508c spec is 2A. I did double up on the conductors just because they were free.

think the wire could hold amps just not the binding of the wires back and fwd i would say it probably snap.

They do not bind but that might depend on your routing. I have used this for almost a year and there is no sign of wear. They are not going to snap.

Very nice, very nice.

2 questions:

  • How do "combine" the cables -> within the CAT cable are 8 "sub"-wires. In your picture all 8 wires are attached to the connector. When and when/where do you connect them to 4 wires?

  • Do I see correctly, that you run your CNC with a Arduino nano :) I assume you use GRBL. Are you happy with that setup?


Sorry for the delay, I missed your questions.

I connected the dualed pairs together in the RAMPS case simply by looping each wire though two of the push connectors instead on one. Does this make sense?

No, that is a Teensy 3.0 and one stepper driver on a breadboard that I just used for testing. My final MPCNC uses a standard Arduino Mega with a RAMPS shield. It runs Marlin.

What kind of CNC? Are there plans online or is it your own design?

Look at what it is remixed from - Alted's "Mostly Printed CNC / Multitool" http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:724999.

It is a really nice design and can be easily made with minimal parts if you have a 3D printer. A lot of the parts are from Home Depot or Lowes!

Mostly Printed CNC 525 MPCNC "C-23.5mm OD"
by Allted