3D miss cuts

I’m attempting to carve the following 3D from Design & Make via VCarve

On the first attempt I assumed my feedrate was too fast and the X axis become off during some first cuts. Although I wasn’t sure why the Z coordinates gauged the wood at spots. Eventually the first attempt on the right ran into problems when the wire chain got stuck on a clamp. Grrrrrr, Wire chain is on a spring now. I swear whatever can and will go wrong.

On the second attempt (on left) when I saw the same miss cuts in the wood I realized there’s another problem. I slowed my federate down. Same miss cuts in both attempts. GCode files were generated from VCarve. As seen in the first image the preview looks good, yet there is something wrong in the gcode. I’m at a complete loss how to address the toolpaths to trouble shoot and/or fix.

I’m using a 1000mmx1000mm X-Carve CNC, Rough cut with ¼” spiral bit, finish cut with 1/8” ball nose.

I started with a 0.9 inch thick piece of maple, which I ran through my drum sander. I’d say it is save to state it was uniform thickness.

Waste board is level to x-axis - I checked it during the first cut.

You don’t need level to the X, you need level to the spindle. If that’s off, it’ll affect carves. Ask me how I know :slight_smile:

Phil has a tutorial/tip on that look at his tips/tricks post. Should be sticky.
Once you get it corrected it should cut better.

Also you need to either have tabs or get some way to hold the center down or it will flap on the bit and cause damage or issues…

@BobJewell Yes I measured the thickness. Perhaps a better display is to show the rough cut via 1/4" it appears fine.

@JustinBusby and @StephenCook - Thanks I’ll look at the tutorial on leveling the spindle. There are taps on the piece.

@RobertCanning The piece is 15.5"x15.5", I have adjusted my pots, I do not have cooling for my electronics. Wondering out loud if the electronics are heating up what are then odds they would have the same issue on two different runs?

I’ve cut another piece before this, different gcode file and the 3D cut fine. Not change to the setup between projects

Regarding the comment about cooling system for the electronics: Would the X-Controller Kit address any of the issues I’m running into with this carve and other 3D carves? The description says 3-4 more power for your motors, I’m wondering if that would address the motors and reduce some of these issues.

I had a Shapeoko which I’ve converted to X-Carve

How familiar are you with electronics? If you can read electrical schematics and are comfortable soldering I fully suggest @PhilJohnson s homemade controller. I am currently constructing one and am sure I will be very satisfied with the power increase over the stock electronics .It’s also cheaper than the X Controller if you have some of the required parts laying around.

1 Like

I’m not good at reading schematics, I am comfortable soldering, I’ll look up @PhilJohnson. What is the estimate cost of building one?

Thanks Phil!

1 Like

Lacking time to build and trouble shoot the results, I went with the X-Controller. Also upgraded my x-axis to solid x-axis. In the process of changing the x-axis I discover my belt was having trouble… Nothing like some $$$ upgrades to discover you have a $2 problem…

My story will still stand and I’ll use this discussion if I need to with the powers that be. It was an electric and mechanical problem Honey, I HAD to upgrade the CNC! The CNC guys said so…

Current bigger (16" x 30") cut is going nice with the new electronics and hardware. Thank you for everyone’s input.

The Z motor is hot to the touch, does anyone run a fan over the motors? Overkill or good idea.

My next step is this to figure out Leveling-Squaring-Tramming my CNC - can anyone point me to a good resource (not a debate :slight_smile: read them and lost a lot of time with little direction.

1 Like

I have had the same thing happen to me twice now. The first time it was driving me nuts till someone suggested I flip the belt over and check the teeth.
The second time I caught it on my own.

You won’t regret this, the upgrades are well worth the improved quality.
If you are going for economy or max improvement, there are other options, but in my opinion, for quick and easy/ you can’t beat the upgrade kit.

From the master @PhilJohnson


1 Like

Yes, after I started to use the X-controller and about ~2hrs of a 3D job

@RickPeterson thanks!

Long time ago I’ve gone through the pot adjustments, now I cannot seem to find the tutorial on setting them. Someone have that link?

I used the forum search and used the term “calibration”.

This is the process I’ve used…

Direct link to your specific question…

1 Like

That’s the video I used before - thank you!

1 Like

Follow up on this issue - I believe I finally figured this problem out. While troubleshooting another issue, I discovered that my X-axis pulley wheel was missing a set screw and the second one was loose… Argggggg. Ran a test last night of a fairly complex gear file with the bit above the wood, hence a no-cut run. And X-axis returned to the same zero spot as before the file.

1 Like