CNC 3018 to 3040 Upgrade with 500W Spindle Motor (Sainsmart Genmitsu)

Upgrading a Sainsmart Genmitsu 3018-PROVer with a 3040 Y axis Extension, an aluminium spindle holder and a 500 Watt spindle motor.

3040 Y-Axis Extension Kit
3040 MDF Spoilboard
3040 Aluminum Spoilboard
Aluminum Spindle Holder 3018-PROVer
Aluminum Spindle Holder 3018-PRO
500W Spindle motor
Laser kit

00:00 Introduction
00:28 Dismantle 3018
01:32 Assemble Y Axis
02:13 MDF Spoilboard
04:08 Candle
04:28 Level Spoilboard
04:57 Cut Plywood
05:20 Laser
05:38 Aluminium Spoilboard
07:25 Cut Plywood
07:56 Aluminium Spindle Holder
08:54 500W Spindle Motor
09:54 Cut Plywood
10:24 Tensegrity
10:46 Cut Aluminium
11:57 Height Increase
13:39 Review

Video script

In today’s video I’m going to upgrade a 3018 CNC, increasing the size of the table, installing a 500-watt spindle motor and increasing the Z axis clearance height.

To increase the table size, I am going to use a Sainsmart Genmitsu 3040 y-axis extension kit
These are available for the 3018-pro, PROVer and MX3.

Ok, so let’s get started, first I am going to remove the gantry from the 3018, unplug the wiring and then dismantle the base frame.

That’s the base frame disassembled, so now I am going to rebuild it with the new components from the y axis kit.

I am checking that the base frame is square by making sure that the diagonal measurents are equal.

Next we need a larger table bed, it easy enough to make one but Sainsmart also have two options, the Genmitsu 3040 MDF spoilboard or the Genmitsu 3040 aluminium spoilboard extension kit.
I am going to try both starting with the MDF table.

To prevent the table hitting the base frame, spacers are used to increase the clearance between them.

Now the cabling is reinstalled.
The y axis limit switch cable is replaced with the longer one supplied in the kit.

Thats the machine assembled and I can run a homing cycle.

The only software configuration change is to update the grbl £131 y axis maximum travel limit setting.

Typing $$ in the console shows the current settings

I have measured the new value as 315mm.

To change the setting I enter $131=315 into the console.

If your not using a 3018 prover this will be a different value.

Next, I am going to install a spoilboard and face it with a 22mm bit.

To reduce the dust, I am fitting a dust boot that I made in a previous video. It could do with a skirt but it still catches a lot of fine dust.

I cut out some 6mm or 1/4″ plywood, which worked fine without any problems.

The spindle can be replaced with a laser module.

Combined with the larger table this is quite a useful combination.

Next, I tried out the aluminium spoilboard kit.

This includes a new aluminium table which is joined to the old table with an MDF backing board.

The new table is 9mm thicker than the original and this amount is lost in clearance height.
There is however an easy way of gaining that back and more, which I will show later in the video.

The acrylic side plates can be reinstalled.

The cutting area is the same as with the MDF table.

I reinstalled the spoilboard and cut some more of the 6mm or 1/4″ plywood.

There is not any noticeable difference in rigidity with either of the tables installed. It works the same as before the size increase.

Next, I installed a 52mm diameter aluminium spindle holder, which is a complete new z axis assembly.

The spring in the anti backlash mechanism is compressed while the leadscrew is installed, which should result in a slight gap under the screw head.

The old spindle motor cable can be removed before reinstalling the stepper motor and limit switch cables.

I am going to install a 500w 52mm spindle motor that I used in a previous video.

The power supply is installed in an earthed steel case and because the output from the power supply is mains referenced, I have also earthed the spindle motor body.

The axes are all moving ok.

I haven’t connected the spindle motor to the controller. On off and speed are both manual.

The maximum speed is about 12000 rpm which you can nudge up or down with a pot in the power supply.

Once again I tried cutting 6mm plywood.

Next, I tried cutting some 1.5mm thick aluminium sheet.

I used candle to probe the surface and create a height map.

The machine isn’t very stiff, so I set the depth of cut to 0.1mm.

I increased the depth of cut to 0.5mm but it didn’t sound very happy.

So I set the depth of cut back to 0.1mm and then started increasing the feed rate.

To gain some extra height, I tried attaching the original side rails to the top of the new rails.

I used 6 of the aluminium plates that I cut earlier.
The clearance height is increased by 40mm but it can be set lower.

I tested it on a length of 2×4.

Using a 4 flute 6mm end mill, I cut some pockets using different cut depths and feed rates.

You can hear the difference when the depth of cut is increased.

Ok so that all worked pretty well.

The increased table size makes for a more useful machine.
I have a slight preference for the aluminium table over the MDF table, but they both worked fine.

The aluminium spindle holder is nicely made.
It has a height adjustment knob that I forgot to mention earlier
and because it’s solid aluminium, it acts as a heatsink, helping to keep the spindle motor cool.

None of these changes makes the 3018 more rigid and that ultimate limits how aggressively you can operate it.

2 thoughts on “CNC 3018 to 3040 Upgrade with 500W Spindle Motor (Sainsmart Genmitsu)

  1. Steven Adams

    Looking for the metal plates you machined for the 3018 to 3040 upgrade for the Z axis…

    Would you share the CNC file?

  2. Steven Adams

    Can I please get your GRBL Defaults for the 3018 after upgrading to the 3040? I am struggling with the settings, and it is not recognizing the limit switches.


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