New official (pre-release) heavy duty Z-axis


I had the pleasure to install an official Peopoly heavy duty Z-axis. I’m going to give you some first impressions. Bear in mind that I very likely got a pre-release and the final version might be more polished.

So, first things first. This is how it looks:

Peopoly went for a weird setup here. They are using bearings on rails. The z-axis is indeed very sturdy. You can lift the whole printer from the arm and it wouldn’t move by 1mm. So it’s definitely an improvement over the standard z-axis but still, it’s not something I would expect to see on a high definition printer.

I would have expected a couple of rails and good quality carriages. With peopoly implementation you have incredibly little margin of error assembling the bearings (at the factory) and the user has to take very good care of those rails. They must be dry and clean.

Installation was very easy. The Z-axis is a drop in replacement, you can even reuse the same screws. The problem here is that the end stop is about 20mm lower than before, so we lose about 2cm in height and be sure to reset the build plate zero (mine was at about 1650 with an easy to level buildplate).

Another hiccup is that the arm is too thick and hits the vat when it reaches the bottom, so you have to remember to not push the vat all the way in.


Okay then… How does it print?

If you already have a good-printing Moai, it doesn’t really change much (if at all). If you are experiencing notable wobbling or you often print very big model, then yeah, this update might help. Of course it’s all down to pricing… which I don’t know.


Like I said… there’s little to no difference from the previous axis (left new, right old).

If you have any question don’t hesitate to ask here or on Discord.


NEW Heavy Duty Z - Axis RELEASED!

This is indeed a surprising design, working in mechanical engineering I can only see this choice as a price-based decision. Which is fine, especially since we don’t know the price of the printer yet… but this better be cheaper than the Tripod mod because I THINK the mods is a better more durable design.

If this is the final design I now know I don’t need to wait on this to buy a Moai, I prefer to have a current Moai 130 and tweak the design myself.

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Yeah…this is kindof disappointing…

I’ve been waiting for a while to post about this…and I think I’m going to do a more in-depth post later on if people are interested, but I’ve been working on a dual rail upgrade for the current axis of the moai 130 for a while.

While my axis is now much more sturdy (even with a 3d printed arm), with basically no side to side movement, I can’t say that I saw a drastic improvement in print quality after upgrading. I’m sad to say it’s basically the same.

It seems to me that the people with excessive wobble in their prints are experiencing other issues:

  • A really out of whack lead screw.
  • Very bad tollerance rails/carriages.
  • Power supply issues.
    And in this case…a new axis won’t be at all helpful.

With that said, I’m not sure who exactly this is marketed for. We’ve seen fantastic prints with the default axis set up, which would clearly indicate that machines with properly spec’d components are more than capable of not having wobble. It seems to me that this is almost a way to sell people into a false fix as opposed to replace the faulty parts with stuff that’s properly QC’d and to spec.



I’ll be curious to see their production parts. I’m still waiting on parts for my tripod (misumi said a month for the rods). I guess even if this were released, it still has to ship from China.



A month for the rods? I got mine from ooznest, but I’m in the UK. Got it shipped next day. Took longer to print the parts than have the rails delivered. I had mine all installed for a few days now and it’s a massive improvement and pretty cheap too!





Yeah all my printable parts are printed. I have the Amazon parts. The parts from openbuildpartsstore and banggood should be here any day now.



It is a holiday in China this week (5/1 to 5/4), so sorry about the late replies.

The premise of the heavy duty z-axis is that ALL moai users can easily install with no structural modification to original Moai. The goal is to further minimize any potential left-right movement that some have. If this part does its job and does it cost effectively, then we accomplished what we set out to do. We will have this module ready in 2 weeks. It also extends the print height slightly. As mentioned above, the original Moai z-axis is already quite good even though it is a single rail. This heavy duty z-axis is not going to be default in Moai 130 / Moai kit because not everyone needs it. @Oberon

We have been working on pinpointing the source of banding, and we learned it is not one single source:

some z-axis have more pronounced left and right
poorly secured vat
bent lead screw
The brackets that lock in the metal rods under the plate form is not well secured. This happens a lot of more than we originally thought. this is in the check up list now
poorly secured installed pm motor is another one
poorly secured vat
interference (generally from power to galvo leading to change of scanning area)
vat carriage rubbing against the frame (there is a screw there that kind of sticking out)

the best question to ask is, does any part that is moving during peel that is not supposed to; those are usually the spot where leads to where layer shifts happen

Btw power supply is not a source issue for Moai. Some of the power board in the early batches is not as reliable as we like and we replace them when it is not working. For some heater user, it broke, and we have been replacing them when needed.

We are not stopping or giving up on Moai projects and still working to improve the printer. some of you have outstanding emails and we will follow up.



how much is this gonna cost?



Seems to be out now.



In case it wasn’t clear from the review… if your current/standard z-axis doesn’t have any issue there’s no reason to “upgrade” to the heavy duty. It’s not enough and you wouldn’t notice any difference.

If your moai has some wobbling and the cause of it is the z-axis, now you have the option to pay $100 and have it working right away instead of going back and forth with peopoly support.



Im sorry, but if people hand over money for this that have the issue are not doing the community any favors. This is something that SHOULD be given to those that have the issue as a “FIX”…NOT… an upgrade.

Nothing against you matt3o, but I was very surprised they had someone test this item who does not have the problem in the first place. Just kind of confusing to me??

Anyways… I posted in the official release thread that this needs to be offered to those with the issue as a replacement to “FIX” the problem before forcing them to pay an extra $100 + shipping. I came up with the idea for project tripod as cheap alternative because there was not much by way of support from the company when it came to bad z-axis issues. Now that there IS a solution from the company, they need to make good with the customers that have stuck with it and truly have this issue.

Rant over…



Hello Jason,

I fully understand you.

I consider the construction of the Z-axis of the Moai / Moai 130 to be a serious design flaw.


The spindle (here trapezoidal spindle) can and must only absorb forces in one direction, namely in the longitudinal direction (axially). More linear bearings are now to support the carriage with the spindle nut so that the forces are derived from the spindle nut to the frame.

In Moai mainly tensile forces and eccentric load torques occur on the building board. An average load can accommodate the two linear slide. If a torque is added, it is already borderline.

Now the spindle is installed in front of the linear bearings. The lines of force so first hit the spindle and load this completely inadmissible, which then reacts with deflection. In addition, the sheet is much too weak under the linear axes and not torsionally stiff.

For small print objects, the build-up may take a while, but larger ones will soon show familiar problems.



Probably from my posts didn’t come out the absurdity of the situation, it’s hard to read between the lines and maybe I need to be more resolute expressing my opinion.

First of all please remember that the moai is still a “cheap” chinese tinkerers’ 3d printer. As such I expect a certain amount of DIY’ing and I also expect to spend more money on it to make some upgrades. After all nobody expects to buy --for example-- an Ender3 and don’t upgrade it soon after.

So. The heavy duty z-axis is in my opinion a terrible design. I already said how it should have been and @Iakouben made a great job with his version. That being said, it works. I printed quite a few models with it and it makes absolutely no quality difference with the standard version BUT it’s indeed sturdy.

If you think you are getting some wobbling and you wish to get some more stability (like the “Tripod”), you may consider this new z-axis. But why should I pay more to fix a problem that shouldn’t be there to begin with?

From my experience Peopoly QC is not great (#sarcasm #understatement #euphemism), from wobbly z-axis to faulty heater power supply, from defective card reader to temperamental power board. Every components inside the moai had some kind of issue. Peopoly is generally responsive but they are still a very very small company giving support for a cheap machine. I personally had to wait a couple of months for some replacement parts and I know people who waited up to three months.

That is the state of things. When you buy the Moai you should be aware of that.

Now, releasing a new z-axis that has no advantages over the standard one and call it an “upgrade” is idiotic BUT if you got a faulty unit I would try to request a replacement with the new z-axis so you don’t risk getting another wobbly sample. That of course will come with up to 3 months of waiting. Alternatively you bite the bullet and buy the new one and get it in a couple of weeks. You shouldn’t. It’s utterly wrong to have to hand more money because the initial design was flawed, but sometimes you have deadlines and angry clients lining up and $100 to solve the issue quickly doesn’t sound like much… so I wouldn’t blame you.

If you think the reasoning is outrageous, I agree with you and you should totally buy a Formlab printer instead.



Very well worded Matteo!

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Yeah he pretty much just said everything that I’m thinking… he just put it more bluntly. Maybe the people at Peopoly understand that a little bit better??

And matt, like I said… nothing against you. I just question their motives. Also… I am getting a different printer (possibly two). I will continue to use my moai for other projects and be here to support others and Tripod, but I am moving away from the Moai altogether when it comes to Jewelry. There are many reasons for this, but it mainly comes down to the quality of prints and lack of a good first party wax casting resin.

So yes… I am already headed in “that” direction! :wink:



My two Moai have been carefully stored in the corner for months now, not broken just nowhere near the quality that was touted and advertised. I went a different route with two machines from another company and I’ve been exatatic since. It’s not about not understanding you bought a cheaper kit machine, it’s just beyond frustrating to see something so crucial to a machines performance be equated to an aftermarket part for a car if that makes sense.



I don’t know about other applications but the moai is a big no no for jewelry. Also, I agree with everything matt3o has written here and I hope peopoly accept that their design is flawed and improve it.



Can you tell us what are you getting? Since you are doing jewelry as well, I can a have a look at that.



Phrozen shuffle with the 4k Paraled. I will go with the Form 3 if the shuffle does not work out.



Thanks matt3o …