View Full Version : New Machine Build Predator 40 x 60 just about done

02-24-2016, 03:05 PM
Thought I would post my new build of my first cnc which is an XZero Predator 40 x 60. Hopefully this will also help anyone considering an xzero router. Some pics below.

Overall, the machine is great and high quality, by far best value for the $$ from all my online research. Keep in mind, this is my first with no prior experience... however it's not hard to tell why the xzero machines are a great value. I'm sure others are good as well, I just don't have first hand experience. Most of this review is around assembly as I don't have much time routing with..yet!

I initially wanted an all inclusive kit, frame, wires, connectors and an idiots guide to assembling it or a ready to run machine. I thought the xzero might be a bit much to take on..as I was still learning the basics from online reading... what is a switching power supply, controller board, cam and cad software, relays, g-codes, prox sensors, what is the x and y plane and why are some machines different, what type of shielded flex cable do I need... a bit of analysis paralysis. In the end, couldn't be more satisfied with the xzero predator... I learned a lot and all the complicated stuff I thought would trip me up was straight forward. Unknowns always seem hard until you dig in..

Here's the quick specs for my build
- Predator 40 x 60 w/t-slot table top, roughly 34" x 50" cutting area.
- MX4660 with 3 x 640oz stepper motors (easy on the budget to start), running between 300-400 IPM on fast travels.
- UCCNC w/UC100 so I could use a laptop and USB
- IGUS chainflex for all stepper motors and sensors - a little pricier per/foot, but why cheap out to save $50 for cheaper wire.
- Hitachi router,,, when more $$ I'll invest in a techno motor
- 12" x 12" x 8" basic electrical box for electronics... just need to add a fan for cooling... not sure how much heat the PS and MX4660 will generate.

- xzero was quick to respond, almost always within 8-24 hours of sending email.
- Other than a little delay from the holidays for shipping, 2-3 weeks later I had all the frame components, ball screws, rails and was ready to go.

- Every part went together like a glove and most parts are machined so they only can assemble in the correct way.
- Instructions guide you through the general order but are not so detailed with every minutia listed... nor do they need to be.
- I soldered steppers to wires and then used wire ferrules to connect to mx4660 controller... aviation connectors would have been nice... but I don't plan to unplug ever... I can still disconnect the connectors on the board. I did used cable glands on my electronics box.

- I just want to now add my sacraficial boards to top for my setup, screwed down using the table slot t-nuts in every other slot on the top...

- Have really good t-handle allen wrenches... lots of socket cap screws.
- Wire your steppers, sensors and connected to your CAM software.. to ensure it's all wired correctly before bolting to machine.
- A really sturdy bench... I just went with a Kreg shop stand 16guage steel and 1 1/8 mdf top... even with side panels for bracing it still wiggles a little.. would have gone heavier duty. This router is heavy once assembled.
- Don't wait until you have it put together and then decide to mount your leveling feet on the ends.... They are not required, but I wanted it raised just a but so when I mount my pc on the end, the cords can run underneath to the bottom cabinet space.
- If you plan to use medium loctite, get a larger bottle.
- Until you mount and dismount the assembled z-axis a couple times... a friend will help.. now I can do it easily alone.
- For the predator and hitachi router, you do lose some gantry height... get the extension from xzero, otherwise you have to mount the z-axis in the lower position, eliminating most of your clearing for taller materials, clamps and your end mill still will have a hard time reaching the table top/sacrificial board. Techno motors will not have that issue as they hang lower.

That's about it, hopefully this was helpful! I have no connection to xzero other than I bought one and I received nothing free for a positive review.


03-12-2016, 10:47 PM
I've completed my waste board setup along with the extender plate for the smaller Hitachi MVC12 router and so far so good. I just used some t-slot nutz, 3/4" mdf and screws to attach in recessed holes...can easily replace as needed and have about .45" until an end mill might run into the screws.


I also had my xbox 360 mpg jog controller setup but realized something wasn't working right with the software and saving values in UCCNC. I'll try again and look at the docs again to see if I'm missing something.

That is some 6061 aluminum I'm trying out... and realized I have no idea what feeds, speeds and bits I should be using... as I burned up 4 bits. The first all carbide tin coated, o-flute lasted the longest...a 1/8 end mill, 1/16 depth of cut... maybe too much at 20 IPM. Learning curve ahead! MDF and a 1/4 bit is probably a LOT more forgiving.

11-29-2016, 10:40 PM
So I bought a Tekno motor mount when I first got my Predator from XZero... thinking I would one day upgrade... and that time as come. George referred me to damencnc.com (http://www.damencnc.com) from where I ordered both my VFD and Tekno spindle. I could not be any happier with my XZero and Predator and the help I have received from DamenCNC in getting it all setup. I really can't say enough good stuff about DamenCNC. They were very helpful in answering ALL my questions which were several and not just trying to sell me stuff I didn't need and providing advice that save me a lot of time. And very helpful support from UCCNC.. for my full understanding on the settings to control my spindle via software... looking back I really had no idea of how it worked... now I feel like I could help the next guy.

Setting up my machine has been fun and more straight forward that I had expected... but that was coupled with lots of reading manuals, and educating myself on basic wiring and controller board principles.

Hardware and Software specs

XZero Predator 40 x 60 (looks like his designs have changed.. maybe I have the original but it is rock solid and very accurate from initial setup)

UCCNC (PC) --> UC400ETH (Ethernet) --> MX4660 Leadshine 4 axis BOB w/stepper drivers

Delta VFD S .75 Kw (1 HP), recommended max when using a standard 110vac US based outlet)

Tekno Spindle C31/40-D-DBS-P-ER20-0.7KW-12000-24000rpm

Things I've leared

1) I abandoned early on the USB to controller.. I know it can be stable for some, but I had issues (probably more pc related than my UC100) so I switched to UCCNC UC400ETH Ethernet and have not had ANY problems with connectivity.

2) Initially when I would start my VFD... it triggered ALL my sensors from the electrical noise... clueless how to resolve it.. so with DamenCNC.com's help, and pointing my in the right direction I ended up grounding the braided shields on my cables to an earth ground... simple, almost no cost solution resolved that instantly. In the future I may create a start point ground rail and take all grounds to it... supposedly the ideal solution... again, all this electrical stuff is really beyond me.

3) Yes, the Tekno motors (or other real spindles) are quieter, quite a bit than your standard handheld router (hitatchi m12vc is what I started with) but apparently even though my hitachi was rated at 2.25 HP, that's peak in perfect world and those are only about 50% efficient... so in reality, it's only a little over 1 HP.. So, yes, my .7KW tekno spindle is 1 HP, these are near 100% efficient and you really do get the full rated HP... 1 HP is small by most standards, but I was happy with the power from my hitachi, just wanted more control and ease of using a standard 110vac outlet...now I say this all from my 'learnings" from those more experienced, so more cutting time with my baby electro spindle will confirm it's enough power and torque for me. Plus, DamenCNC appears to be the only seller of my particular model... that get's full torque at 12K rpm... most others don't get full torque until 18K RPM.

4) My z axis touch plate is the kind where you need to clip onto the end mill / spindle so it can complete the circuit when the end mill touches the plate and triggers the input sensor... not wise for me... I always for get to attach the alligator clip and the watch my z axis dive down into my sensor.. which is on a spring and has some safety limits.. but still I have to hit my e-stop switch so I don't damage my end mill, etc.... I'll be switching that to a button style where you don't need to place the sensor plate under end mill AND attach the alligator clip to end mill.

5) Someone needs to come out with an ATC electro spindle for the hobby/pro consumer market that's 3K or less with a couple tool holders... I so want to do this. I can at least wish.


11-30-2016, 10:12 PM
Do you use leadshine motor?

11-30-2016, 10:23 PM
I believe these are made by leadshine, but the label indicates AmericanMotionTech.com which sells Leadshine stuff. See pic for exact model.


11-30-2016, 10:49 PM
Its 8 wire motor, do you make the wire in paralel for this application?

11-30-2016, 10:53 PM
4 wire motor.

AMT HS3446 NEMA 34 2-Phase 650 oz-in High Torque Stepper Motor with 0.5'' Single Shaft (http://www.americanmotiontech.com/products/productdetail.aspx?model=hs3446A-650-oz-in-nema-34-stepper-motor)

NEMA 34, 2 Phase, Step Angle: 1.8° , Holding Torque: 650 Oz-in (4.6 Nm)

11-30-2016, 10:59 PM
ok doc...

11-30-2016, 11:11 PM
Do you put any resistors/capacitors across power supply to dump energy coming back when motor shut down? I will put 2 capacitors 100,000 micro F across power supply V+ and G. I am now building plasma table 5'X10' using Leadshine MX4660, 4 ea 86HS45 motors and warp9 ESS.

08-18-2017, 11:02 AM
I have the smaller Predator X, Just getting to setting up the spindle and Delta vfd. I got the Teknomotor 2.2 kw with a separate cooling fan. I started off with the leadshine 4660 but on first stop with nema 34's I heard a cap pop inside. took it apart and sure enough one small cap has a blister, and one has black soot on top. I decided that was going to be a waste of time and George never got back with me to try to get the controller replaced so I got a csmio/ip-s and upgraded my motors to the Clearpath nema 34's. I got all that working ok and the machine moves nicely. I really wanted to setup my vfd to control the speed in Mach 3 but I am having trouble finding anything on that at all. I'm hoping someone in here can help me out as I'm not getting anywhere fast it seems. I have the wiring correct to the vfd and I did have the spindle working using the vfd front control panel and potentiometer.