Hey guys, when I first got my X-Carve I was doing a lot of Aluminum engraving for my side business. Once I got the settings and process dialed-in, I was super happy with the results. But now my quality has completely gone, and no matter what settings I use, I can’t get it to come out the same. If anyone can share their success story or advise on what might be causing my issues, it would be a huge help!
500mm X-Carve, small motors, DeWalt 611, 1/4" Carbide engraving bit from Inventables, 0.1-0.3mm engraving depth, matterial thickness 2-4mm
Machine Upgrades (after successful engraving, before unsuccessful engraving):
Torsional stiffening of X-axis, replaced MDF work bed with 8mm Aluminum plate, added 2mm acrylic side guard things along the Y-rails to stop debris clogging the rail, put the machine on a custom built steel-frame table with heavy wooden top (used to be on a wobbly old school desk), sat machine on rubber to dampen vibrations.
Previously successful settings:
550mm/min, 22000rpm, WD40 fluid manually sprayed in little bursts, full depth of cut (i.e 0.1-0.3mm depending on what i was engraving)
So now, using the same settings, my engraving comes out with very burred edges. I’ve tried brand new engraving bits, even tried the 1/8" bit from the inventables. I’ve tried all sorts of speed and feed settings; every combination of low/med/high rpm and feed rate. Nothing seems to work.
I’ve tried even tried re calibrating the motor current pots, re-leveling the entire machine (every frame joint, every roller), checked and loctited all the pulley screws, re-tensioned the belts. More or less rebuilt it!
So then I thought, it has to be something to do with the machine upgrades I’ve made. But what!? Maybe the Al work bed is too rigid, and that is somehow causing issues…?? So I tried laying down some 3mm MDF to “soften” it. No noticeable change. Surely the the X-axis stiffening isn’t causing problems? People do this all the time!
So basically, I’m all out of ideas and I need some help.
Successful engraving from the before-time
Test engraving I did today