Engraving a pen - newbie needs help

Project background
For my store customers
I wanted to offer free name engraving service on a plastic fountain pen.
The requirements were extremely simple: Just engrave a few letters, then fill it with colors.
After lots of watching lots of youtube. I ordered a 3018 CNC GRBL The generic kind.

Then I began with this workflow
From Easel - create gcode / download gcode
Using Universal Gcode platform
I ran the code.

The first few initial attempts came out beautiful.
Without writing the various settings
I started tinkering with the various settings in Easel
Now I have screwed up and the results are now horrible.
I can’t get it to do what I somehow did before.

So now about 5 or 6 hours of changing various parameters.
I simply could not get the initial results I got before.
So here I am … newbie asking for help.

From the pics below
You can see my name in red … it came out prefect.
Then there were these later attempts that were wrong.

I have tried these settings

  • Using Font Intro with 0.1mm depth with cut depth

  • Spindle speed 14000 / 16000

  • Material: tried ABS and Cast Acrylic

  • Bit: Setting … 0.1mm and also 0.01mm end mills
    Since I did not have a pro account, I could not use Vbits.

  • Changing the vbit … to see if the vbit was blunt?

  • Item to be engraved upon
    Pen material: Polycarbonate PC

  • The work area of the pen is about
    Y= 5 mm X = about 30 mm

Really appreciate some help/pointer to let me know what the best settings are …
What I have done wrong …


Looks like something changed on your actual machine and not the file. Make sure everything on your Z is still tight. When you tell it to move 1" does it actually move one 1". I am not familiar with your machine.

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HI Steve,

I checked and recalibrate the Z last night.
It worked. That solved the problem.
Fine tuned $102, then things went back to normal.

: )


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