What is the difference between Helical Rack vs. Ball Screw?

A common question, “What is the difference between Helical Rack vs. Ball Screw?”

The linear motion platform plays an important part in the structure of a CNC machine as it defines the precision, speed, and performance of the machine. In this video, we will show you the different types of motion platform we use.

Three different types of motion platform at MultiCam: Rack and Pinion – multiple fasteners mounting the rails into our one piece, steel milled frame, it minimizes any vibration and increases secured motion when cutting.

  • Straight Rack and Pinion – tooth is perpendicular
  • Helical Rack and Pinion – tooth is slightly angled so the pinion has more than one tooth engaged at one time.

Ball Screw – use for short distance precision, Z axis. Made with a spiral of ball bearings, and only fasten at each end, so the longer the length the ball screw has to travel, the more susceptible to whip.

At MultiCam, we use both ball screw and rack and pinion platforms and here’s why we use helical rack as our linear motion. Smooth motion – short or long axis, more than one tooth engagement equals smooth linear transitions Stability of helical – more control of higher accelerations Accuracy – multiple attributes like gear boxes and excellent servo systems In summary, helical rack is best choice for large format CNC machines.

Watch the video below to learn more: