Machine suddenly driving bit into part on the Z axis?!

The stock unit is going to have some issue with cutting aluminum and when the bit is forcing along a cut for a while the resistance can cause the code to get a little warped in the translation… also determining on the bit you are using. Lots of these guys do aluminum fairly regular so someone should see what is going on!

I made some changes. See if this makes any difference.

In this copy I added the outline (a bit trickery to do in easel) and did it as a fill operation.

So there is:

  • The main shape at full height
  • An offset shape almost cut through as a fill operation (below the main shape so that it is the only the offset area that will be cut)
  • The main shape cut all the way through as an outline with tabs

The feed rate looks ok for a 1/8", 2 flute spiral bit, RPM: 18,000

I didn’t mess with the circles as they seem to be cutting ok as is. Thought if there was any issue you might want to cut them as a fill strategy (but it would add a lot of cut time to do so)


1 No I have only adjusted voltage, - but I am wondering if I need to do it again as it seems to still be missing steps.
2 None I only cut aluminum - yes I added a 3/16 flat steel plate to the gantry

I agree and would like to get away from Easel and into Fusion, I own it but only recently started watching videos tutorials on how to use it with Xcarve. Seems like to it takes a good 1/2 hour to set up a part as opposed to Easel with a few commands.

my plunge is 9 ipm is that too high, what would you suggest?

I see, but I cut several parts in aluminum over 2-3 days and it was fine until this last part, so not sure what changed

Maybe your bit is dulling? Is there any aluminum built up on it?
Could be something be bent or out of adjustment? (double check your Z axis, especially the lower eccentric nut, bolt and hole.
Possibly warmer weather is causing the stepper drivers to overheat and miss steps?

Is this the same kind of aluminum you have been using? Some grades mill better than others. Maybe you just have some persnickety stock?

Aaron, thank you for that! You are doing some advanced Easel operations that I was not aware you could do on the same part.

So a fill operation, and an outline operation can be done at the same time? Very interesting. So you are taking the fill op down to 3.7mm and the outline to 5.1mm in order to allow clearance for the bit to not brush up against the wall to reduce the possibility of shuddering, nice work! I will give it a try.

I am a bit worried though as I applied some suggestions and did another run (not on your design yet) this morning.

Here is what i did

1 tightened the belts
2 plugged in a powered USB hub and securely fixed the USB plug to the laptop so there is no loose connection.
3 Put in a new bit
4 ran my original file again

Results: It was doing well traveling the old path in one direction for about 15 minutes (keep in mind it was not cutting through aluminum until it got down to the bottom of the part where there was still about 2mm left) once it started cutting aluminum it continued normally, it then got to the tab level and reversed directions and started shuddering a little then dropped on the Z axis and began grinding into the aluminum. I imagine it must have jumped a few notches on the belt as it then overshot the part and I shut it down -

EDIT Note it was still doing the hesitation stop and start (losing steps) several time throughout the cut

SO we eliminated the loose belts, loose USB, new bit, and ended up with the same problem. Now I am not sure what is left to do other than re run the voltage tweaking on the steppers and or change out the Arduino.

What do you think?

Ugh… why… why easel?, why are you reversing direction?? :rage:

Switching directions means it is switching from climb to conventional milling, or vice versa.
This is one possible the source of the problem. As one cut strategy puts a greater load on the bit and more deflection than the other. Changing mid cut like that, deep in a channel is going to cause problems.
The wider channel may help with this.

Deconstruct the project I linked.
(It is actual a pain to do in easel. I usually use VCarve so my easel skills are a bit dated. But hopefully I got the basic principle right.)

That is not good. :unamused:
Do you have another computer and or cable you can test with?
Just “air cut” to see if it still pauses?
Maybe air cut a large square in some imaginary thick stock so that it will move a large distance for a long time. Note where the corners should be. If it is missing steps it should be visible over time.

If it is pausing on the air cut you may want to try turning down the pots and re doing the air cut, see if the still does it with the chips running cooler.
If it does it with the chips cool to the tough on multiple cables and PCs then you may need a new controller. Or at the very least to contact customer support for more advanced troubleshooting. (USB settings? Easel local issue?)

Possibly the bit became dull adding resistance to the cut?

Yes, I agree, I thought that was a wrong move for the machine to reverse direction esp in an aluminum part! I was wondering if that might have caused the problem. I suppose I could take out the tabs and babysit the project but. what a time consumer…

Here is the thing, I must have cut 10 independent pieces in 3/16 aluminum some (10x8") over the last two days without this happening, some even with tabs.

I will try your file and see if that makes a difference.

I did do a 24"x28" surface pass to level the table 3 days ago and yes it did hesitate at times maybe even a small Z axis drop during one of the X passes but not sure. (I did several surface passes)

I will try to do the stepper adjustment first then change out the controller if that fails.

No, new bit in there

Apparently this is a known issue with the easel tabs :rage:
Software issue when routing changes direction:

Perhaps if you manual created tabs, a pain, but if prevents it from switching from conventional to climb milling mid-cut it would be worth it.

Wow, thanks for that, I thought it was just me.I ran a few parts with no tabs and it seemed to work better, but I think one of them bottomed out. I put m y hand on the router the next time when it got down to the bottom of the cut to see if I could feel any unusual vibration and I think it is the rubbing against walls that may be doing it but the time to cut the part with the offset nearly triples the time so I am just baby sitting the parts for now.

While I am reading through that other tab thread take a look at this

(Yes I know it is a mess, there are particles everywhere!)

I canceled an operation as I did not have time to run the part and as I was turning to leave noticed a strange ticking sound from the X stepper motor like it was till getting a signal from somewhere. What could this be? Is this a continuation of what might be causing my problems> Is it a USB or a Arduino problem, what do you think?

Oh that is not good. It looks like the motor is moving and pressing against the end of the axis. The “click” could be the thunk of the motor coil slipping.
That should not be happening.
Was the controller still connected to the controller when this happened?

Double check all your wiring and make sure you don’t have a stray wire sticking out somewhere.

I would contact customer support and show them the video.
You may have a bad gshield.

Yes the controller was connected at the time.

How would you go about creating a manual tab?

What are you doing to remove chips from the path? It sounds to me like the bit may be trying to be pulled out and retained, which could happen if the bit is self-welding from excessive RPM or re-cutting chips.

Has anyone figured out how to make Easel stop reversing direction when using tabs? I notice sometimes it does and sometimes it doesnt. I would think this would be an easy fix for the developers to implement. The tab feature is virtually useless in my projects. Conversely i will have to use Aarons suggestion and learn how to create a tab manually

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They said in another forum they’re working on it; just search that thread out for updates. (A lot of us find this frustrating, too.)

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Thanks Theo

I have a suggestion, if you can’t get the file to share, ask someone on this thread if you could send the file to them. Then the file could be posted by someone who has the ability to post and share. It will be far quicker to solve the problem with the actual file available… Just my 2 cents… Steve…