Inconsistent cut depth (Solved - Loose set screw)

I just finished setting up my 750mm Xcarve and when I try to first test carve, literally the word “TEST”, the depth is not consistent throughout the letters. One time it just kept cutting the same letter until it went through the piece and into the waste board. On another attempt, it plunged straight through the material and got itself stuck. On yet another test it increased the depth of each letter. A couple more tests with similar inconsistent results.

This is from this mornings test carve. As you can see, the “E” is a lot deeper than the “T”.

When I get a chance I’m going to go through the test carve set up through Easel again and hopefully, I can catch something I missed. Otherwise, I don’t know what’s wrong. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

You are loosing steps or something is slipping.
Check and double check the Z-screw pulley and anything mechanical.

I checked the pulley and it turns out the set screw was loose.

The next carve went swimmingly.

Honestly, I’m not sure why something like the set screw being a little bit loose would cause this type of inconsistency.

When the motor turns, the belt doesn’t. When the motor is holding, the belt moves. The belt is what is raising and lowering your router.

So basically the bit is yo-yoing through the workpiece?

I don’t know I’d say that. But it will lose its position. If you make it easier for the pulley to slip than for the endmill to do it’s work, the pulley will slip.

Thank you for the help.

More or less. Whenever there is slippage between the stepper motor and Z-screw/delrin block actual carve depth will vary accodringly. The effect is that the machine dont know where the bit actually is vs expected position.

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