3018 Does it's own thing

Over a couple of months ago my tile carving is becoming erratic. All is going well, and then the carving seems to have mind of its own. It will loop back and cross over already good cuts wreaking havoc on an almost complete work. I’m to the point where I am going through lots of wood. It is occurring quite often so I replaced the motherboard and has not cleared the problem.,

I’d be very interested in the community response, because my machine, which is a FoxAlien 4040 is doing exactly the same thing. I’m not sure how to address it.

I’ve had my X-Carve for about 7 months and it started going rouge on me on a complicated 3D carve (3 failed attempts with white oak, a 1/4-inch roughing bit and a 1/8-inch finishing bit) that I had to modify extensively to get Easel to generate the g-code for. The last time it went rouge was a simple pocket carve 25 inches long, 1/4-inch wide and 1/4-inch deep along the edge of a pine board using a 1/8-inch bit. All of the carves ran at conservative settings for speed and plunge rates. When it happens, it digs deep into the wood, takes an erratic path and rips the wood out of the clamps; once it even pulled a 1/4-inch roughing bit out of the router and detached the vacuum shoe. Needless to say, but I’ll say it anyway, it totally destroys hours of carving time and the project. When it happens, I have to check the gantry for squareness and the tram since it gives the machine quite a jolt. It doesn’t happen every carve and from the last attempt of the 3D carve to the last time it happened I had done probably 30-40 carves.

My suspicion is errors are being passed to the X-Controller in the g-code especially on the 3D carves but it shouldn’t have on the simple pocket carve except it was the last of 6 boards to be carved and two of them had an intricate design that took a couple of hours each to carve. The browser cache could have become corrupt on that carve. Most of the time bad carves are my dumb mistakes but I know on those 4 carves there were no dumb mistakes made. The wood was secure, the settings were good, and the router just took off in the middle of the job to wreak havoc on the wood like a mad man.

My setup is WIFI that reaches out to my shop. The access point is about 36 feet from the laptop running the X-Carve and the signal passes through a brick wall and a 2x4 wall; not the best scenario but has been reliable so far. The laptop is a Dell running Windows 11, it’s not the best but should be adequate (I’m a 42-year IT veteran and people pay me to know what I’m doing when it comes to computers). So far, I have only used Microsoft Edge; I always tell people if something from the internet doesn’t look or work as expected, change browsers because no two browsers are alike. The problem is somewhere between the access point and the X-Controller. First steps for a solution are change the browser and/or generate the g-code and use USG to send it to the X-Controller. I can also try a more powerful computer with more memory, more cores and a lot faster. I believe I can duplicate the problem since it happened every time on the same 3D carve, I just don’t have the right wood to duplicate the carve exactly.

This should not be a browser issue as Easel does not require internet access while passing the generated gcode to the controller.

You mentioned that it happened on a “a complicated 3D carve” and the “last of 6 boards to be carved and two of them had an intricate design that took a couple of hours each to carve.”

Typically, when the generated toolpaths in Easel appear normal, the issue will lie with the machine itself. If there were a communication issue between the computer and the controller, this typically results in the carve ending sooner than expected and prior to completion. Since your machine is “going rogue” in the middle of longer complicated carves and when being operated for an extended period of time, this makes me think that your machine is loosing steps during the carve possibly due to the stepper drivers overheating. Have you checked the potentiometers for the drivers? Does your machine ever stutter while moving along an axis? It “could” be a loose connection, but this is normally observed as stuttering movement all the time, even with no load. You should be able to see/hear either of these issues, but if it is thermal overload during a carve, you might miss it due to the movements/noise of the actual machine motion/carving. I think it is worth investigating.

These might be of interest to you…

Instructions for setting the current limit potentiometers on the X-Controller…

Other videos…

These are older, but still relevant for understanding the issue…


Brandon R. Parker

This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.