Cut depth going crazy!

So, carving stars on another customer’s flag and he wanted shallow cuts. Set the cut depth to .04". Cut settings are 50ipm, 9in/min, and .016" per pass. Hit the carve button and this thing carves almost full depth of last flag at once!!! Cut probably .035 depth in one pass(a guess), then the final .005 in 3 passes. What the heck is going on?!?!?

Most likely you lost steps on an up motion which makes the Xcarve think it’s higher than it is and you get the result like you’re saying.

Check your pulley on the ACME rod. See if a set screw is loose. If so, loctite it (blue) and secure it again.

Also check your Z pot to ensure proper current setting.

+1 on the loose set screws for the z-shaft. Had this issue this week. Saw it homing the z-axis.

Set screws are good. That was one of the first things I checked before posting here. I remember seeing a post about that when first getting set up. I checked all the physical aspects as far as the machine goes and everything is perfectly fine that I can see.

And yet it is loosing steps :wink:
Double and triple check that all 4 motor wires are good, if one is non-conductive the motor will spin but in random direction.
What motor you have on Z, what controller?

Wiring, belt tension, wheels, set screws, all are fine.
If it was missing steps and cutting too deep on the first pass, wouldn’t the overall depth of the finished product be to deep? I’m about to go out in the garage and run a test cut and see if anything is different.

What software are you using to generate the g-code? Can you post your settings?

Also, just jogging the machine around with a machinist ruler…everything runs perfect, and did last night after the carve.

Just using easel Erik

Sorry, I am no help with easel.

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Thanks anyway. I’m SLOWLY venturing to f engrave and halftone. Just trying to get the boundaries and homing figured out with both.

Returned exactly to where it was before, x, y, and z.

This carve carved perfectly as a finished product, but appeared to cut much deeper on the first pass. Not near what it was last night though. Cut per pass of .016. Total cut depth of .03 so it only needs 2 passes but it appeared to cut 2/3 of the depth on the first pass. I’m going to run some tests on a piece of scrap tomorrow. Just some squares. I’ll stop and start it after the first pass. Then split it on the table saw and measure depths with my digital calipers. Only way I guess to really know EXACTLY what it’s cutting each pass.


Didn’t cancel the operation.

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Hadn’t even though about the piece not being perfectly square being the issue. All appeared fine but I’ll check that out tonight too.

No clue what the heck was going on. Test run this morning and it cut fine.
Side question though, if it WAS missing steps on the Z axis wouldn’t it cut too shallow on a pass instead of too deep, especially on the first pass?

Not necessarily. If it misses step on an up movement, the Xcarve thinks the router is higher than it is so when it goes down to the depth, it goes deeper because it’s not as high physically that the Xcarve thought.

On the Z axis, you’re more likely to miss steps on an up movement primarily due to opposing gravity but you can miss either direction.

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Gotcha. That’s makes sense.

Back to missing steps again. Only on the first pass though!! This is frustrating. I’m going to go over everything mechanical again. Set screws, wheels, belts, wiring, then might just set the machine up again. Redoing the initial set up is the only thing I haven’t tried.

Just found one wheel on the z that was loose enough to turn with 1 finger. Tightened it up so it could be turned with 2, but not 1. Not sure how I missed that one before, so I went over all the rest again. They were all good. Potentiometers are good. Could one wheel slightly too loose cause the issue?