Last Chance Saloon For The XCarve!

Ok. So I have had the 1000mm XCarve for a while now and after trawling through this forum for similar problems, I’ve about had enough!
Have a look at my pictures and see if you can spot the obvious mistakes. The material is 10mm cast acrylic, 500x100.

This was a program written on Cut 2d, saved the Gcode using the XCarve pp then loaded into UGCS. As it finished and was returning to zero, the X axis skipped about an inch off zero. Least of my problems…

Any ideas are more than welcome,


The first picture tells me your material was not level (perpendicular to the spindle) and the others look like you are losing steps in the X-Axis.

Have you adjusted the voltage to the stepper motors in the X-Direction?

The middle picture shows skipped steps and a bit too large to complete the cut, so it appears to have been skipped by the software.

The third picture is more X-Axis missing steps…

Actually, it’s most of your problem. Loose pulley, loose/tight belt, or current limit to low/high.

Hi Erik.
The material was set front to back, close to the left hand rail. If I set it lengthways across the bed it does the same thing but much worse. I also tried cutting a ‘jig’ out of MDF thinking the machine would cut a level surface but that sloped off to one side as well.

I used two programs for the job. Outline and clear. Obviously I used the same zero point for the second pass, just changing the Z for the tool length difference and the voltage has been adjusted.

I should add that I have spent weeks reading different threads, adjusting the machine, testing, re-adjusting, re-reading, more testing just to end up with more wasted material.

I have leveled the bed, checked and re-checked all the rollers, adjusted the belts and step motor voltage and also strengthened the spindle rail.

If I have missed something please tell me before I ‘remodel’ my XCarve!

When you say “leveled the bed” is it level to the ground, or level to the spindle? The first picture shows it was not level to the spindle. And since you were running front to back instead of across the bed, it shows you lost steps in the Y-Axis.

Either it was too aggressive of a cut (doesn’t look very deep), or the stepper motor still needs to be bumped up in power a bit.

What spindle are you using? Bit size and type? Feedrate?

Hi again Erik.

I leveled the whole machine then added a bit of strengthening to the spindle rail. I am just in the process of checking the belt tension, it seems one side has not only lost tension but refuses to tighten up at all without slipping so I’m just looking for some ideas how to stop that (zip tie isn’t working)

The feedrate is 60mm per second and the tool is a 3mm end mill for clearing paths. The spindle is the Dewalt. Oh, and the depth was 0.4mm.

I use heat shrink on the ends of the belts, I’ve never had a belt slip.

If my math is correct, 60mm per second is just under 142 inches per minute - way too fast! I would cut that in half.

Is your shielded cable going to ground on the power supply? I finally got around to making that connection and it has made all the difference in the world!