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The Ball Screw vs Lead Screw

Discussion in 'CNC Routers & Engravers' started by MultiCam, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. MultiCam

    MultiCam New Member

    Apr 2, 2012
    Drive systems are an essential part of the CNC technology as they are instrumental in driving the machine along its axis. They are the mechanical components that convert rotary motion to linear motion. By altering components of the drive system, cutting speed, accuracy and precision can be controlled. It is important to understand the various mechanisms that contribute to performance of your machine. The following is a comparison of two components of the drive system:

    The Ball Screw

    The ball screw is the most common drive for CNC machines. It provides a high level of efficiency at 90-95%. The ball screw runs on ball bearings, which circulate around the screw and nut through helical grooves.
    Click here to continue reading...
  2. 2B

    2B Very Active Member

    May 5, 2011
    thanks for the info,

    always good to know more how things work
  3. GB2

    GB2 Very Active Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Connecticut, USA
    I'm a little confused, you seem to be promoting the ball screw as the superior system but your drawing seems to indicate that Multicam uses the lead screw. Could you please clarify that.
  4. 4R Graphics

    4R Graphics Active Member

    Jan 28, 2008
    I prefer belts or rack and pinion myself
  5. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

    Jun 24, 2003
    Rack and pinion is fine for about 98% of the work we do. The other 2% is metal held to tight tolerances. Those big old HASS use rack and pinion and ground ways and they are great for all they can do.
    And out of the last 34 or so CNC routers I never say a ball screw drive on any of them..

    Lead screw machines are accurate as well. I see Multi cam uses lead screws.
  6. MultiCam

    MultiCam New Member

    Apr 2, 2012
    To clarify, the ball screw and lead screw are for z-axis motion. Belts/rack and pinion would be for x-axis motion. Both are components of the drive system that contribute to the overall motion of the machine.

    MultiCam uses both lead screws and ball screws for the machines. The lead screw is usually used on the lower end machines and the ball screw on the higher end machines.

    In terms of the graphic included in the article the MultiCam logo is there simply to brand the picture, not to show a preference for the lead screw.

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