Better than a cable chain?

If you haven’t already seen the HAD write up,

The bend radius is a little tight on this one but I am definitely going to the hardware store and having a look for something to try this out myself. To me cable chain is sexy but overkill bulky and dirt traps, best suited for runs of a large number of wires, not one or two. Purely my opinion, I don’t mind them anywhere except the Z axis.


That bad boy is:

  1. Only Metric!
  2. Starret!
  3. Cheap!

Gotta get hands on with the bending radius.

I bought a tape with both measuring systems on it…best $5 I ever spent. I use it all the time. Insta-conversion.


I have one with metric on the bottom, and I hate it. If they were both on top, that would be OK, but I might confuse myself. I have one metric only that I put on my 3D printer bench, but it’s really just for show.

Neat solution. I still like my shower curtain hooks:

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It’s not very sexy…but it’s dirt cheap <$2 IIRC and I have enough to do 2 or 3 other machines. Adding/removing wires is super quick and easy, no dust builds up. It does a great job keeping the wires off the worktable and out of the way.

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So far so good on the tape measure cable chain. I really like it. Rewiring the test bench so I only have the Z axis in place but it is clean!

I got a tape with a blade just under 1/2" and if fits well in the PET sleeve I have in the shop 3/8" if I remember correctly.

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I tried something similar with large cable ties, they had a much larger bend radius.


After coming across this over the holiday, I just had try it out. I like things tidy, and this HAD was right up my alley. I kind of like “the tape measure trick”! Next, I will be tackling the X and Y, along with giving them new wire wrap…and removing that custom hack job.

In action -



I love the tape measure trick. I have routed mine a little differently but yours looks better. I also use it to route the side wires up instead of along the table.

I just tried this on my LR2 and it didn’t work out so well. I don’t know if the cheap (as in free) Harbor Freight tape measure was the issue, or that I was running both the X-Axis cables and the DeWalt router cord in it but the tape measure just kept “breaking” (as in losing the curve). It also could be that my LR2 is 56" wide (for full sheet cutting). I’m thinking that is just too far for it to hold it’s shape. I think a good FatMax tape measure might work better but at about $20 or so, I think I would be better off spending about $25 for a good heavy cable chain of the 15mm x 40mm variety. I’m thinking that will have plenty of torsional rigidity to hold the cables (and maybe even my vacuum hose. The X-Axis cables and vacuum hose are giving me fits. The rest of the table is running great and I couldn’t be happier with it.

For the LR the vac hose works great, with some velcro straps holding the wires on.

I never thought of that Ryan! I could route the vac hose up and around and run that down the Angle iron. I’ve been pulling my hair out trying to figure this out! I will give that a shot now! THANKS!!

Well, using the vac hose worked beautifully!! Thanks for that tip Ryan!

My 10 year old son just came into my office asking me if I was buying a 3D printer (I dunno where he got that idea from because I didn’t tell him). I then showed him the MP3DP and he LOVED it! He loves the idea of using a device to build another device. Now I have more ammo to go to my wife with and say I need to spend more money on Lol!

MPCNC, the worlds best tech gateway drug!


I am still very happy with my Z routing with the tape measure. I continued it and incorporated both the X runs and tied it along the side. It works but has some kinking going on. I too used the cheap (almost free) 3/4" Harbor Freight tape.

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For the Y runs I am struggling with being comfortable with the tape, two sets of wires and braided sleeving feeling secure at the roller plate and not becoming a kinked up mess. Meanwhile, printing some cable chain links to experiment with, again not totally sure how it will secured at the motor/roller assembly.

Agree, 3D printer, MPCNC and boys are the gateway to dad’s doing some extreme tinkering! We did this batman ducted fan Pinewood Derby car last year for the outlaw races. Good times!!

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Lol - too true but for me with was the LR2, and finding this site on Google!