New build - couple comments & questions

Got my 2.0 1000mm monday, and I’ve been building for an hour or three every day after work. Got wired and tested this morning. Couble observations, and a couple questions.

When I got in to calibration, all three axis were reverse. I saw the same bug others have seen - easel will only flip one axis and reset the others. Manual rewire of all three axis and life is good.

I got halfway thru the test cut and flipped off the fluorescent lights in the shop. Carve stopped. Flipped lights back on, still no carve. I abandoned the carve and went to making something for my daughter. Any thoughts on why flipping lights might interfere with x-controller?

No setting for pine in easel - using soft maple. Is there a chart somewhere that shows the feedrates, depths and plunge rates of all the default materials so I don’t have to manually tweak every material that isn’t on the list?

I’m also running Dewalt 611 at setting 4 for rpm when cutting pine. Should I up the feedrate rather than lower spindle speed, or doesn’t that matter much?

one more thing - I installed on three different computers before I found a winner. First was a windows 10 laptop, then a win7 64 bit desktop, finally my win7 32 bit laptop. Win7 32bit is currently running a carve. What’s preferred windows operating environment?

The X-Carve can be sensitive to fluctuations in power. Do you have it plugged into a surge protector? I have mine on a separate circuit just to be safe. I learned the hard way when I turned on a fan that was plugged into the same outlet.

The material setting in Easel is essentially irrelevant. You will find the depth and feed rates that work for you. When cutting pine, I use .04 inches for depth and 40 in/min feed rate. My Dewalt is set on 5 most of the time. The only exception is when I carve acrylic.

I have used a few different PCs to run my X-Carve. I didn’t have any problems with different operating systems.

rubbing the bits?

another question on setup while I’m typing - I just noticed my probe is backwards. It says contact when there isn’t any, and says no contact when there is. Got a fix?

I know what burnt bits look like. I’m questioning because experience with the big boy CNC routers suggest two things are your friend when cutting - rpm and movement. Second job I cut once the machine was dialed in was pine with a 1/8" straight cut bit - bumped the feedrate up to 70 and depth to 0.05" - tried lowering the rpm off of 5 or 6 but got too much chatter.

So maybe I should ask this - if you’re always running on 1, where do you run the depth, feedrate and plunge rate on pine/softwoods? Acrylic? Hardwood?

why isnt there a site for listing feed/speed/plung/bit and a standard import/export format?

There may be a ton here, but they are scattered. I am wanting a central place, and making it filterable.
I think there’s a fairly narrow set of categories that makes up the data someone would want to know about.

  • material you’re cutting (6061 alum, cherry, pine, red oak, etc)
  • feed rate in/min
  • speed in rpms (or machine/setting - like dewalt 611 - speed 1.0 or 1.5)
  • plunge in / pass
  • bit cut type
  • bit number of flutes
  • bit brand and model # if known
  • bit material (carbide, diamond tip, Titanium coatings TiN, TiCN, TiAlN, AlTiN etc)
    Not all fields are required, but some ought to be.
  • used in machine
  • photos of the cut
  • notes about the cut
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The idea has been brought up a couple times, but the machine differences make a huge difference. Wide makerslide vs. 60 minute mod vs. 30 minute mod alone will have a huge effect on the feeds and speeds. What is a slow feed for my machine may cause yours to break identical bits and cost you money.

With that much inconsistency, it’s best for each user to do their own feed/speed testing. There’s a good way to get started at http://precisebits.com/tutorials/calibrating_feeds_n_speeds.htm, just keep in mind that a general rule of thumb for the X-Carve is not to cut deeper than half of the bit diameter.

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more of a list of what worked, easily indexable. I understand machines are different, but Id say diffs are limited to a few variables…

And who is gonna put this website together?

I hear there’s a forum around here somewhere, if we could only find it…

Any way to make a topic sticky and edit the top post as info is gathered? Option 2 could be some sort of set of docs in a google drive folder, but then we would all need to share emails with each other…

Or you could just hit the little magnifying glass at the top of the screen and do a little work for yourself.

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Curtis suggested a website. Smart comment sometimes = smart answer

a new machine was just released. There’s gonna be a LOT of us noobs that aren’t familiar with forum history that are gonna ask lots of dumb questions. Please bear with us while we learn what not to do

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This is a forum. This is the way a forum works. If you want someone to spoon feed you , may I suggest you join a day care. That’s a smart a$$ answer.

back to the topic at hand, in response to your inquiry about the probe: this is an issue they’re currently working on, Mine never activates and they told me to re-flash which I haven’t managed to do quite yet, but see this thread: https://discuss.inventables.com/t/probe-failure-bug/28647

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I called yesterday to ask some other questions, and asked about the probe as well. Was told the fix will be posted soon, and was told re-flashing is probably the answer. I did use the search yesterday to look up how to flash and found info on flashing the arduino controller, but not sure if it applies to the new x-controller and I don’t want to screw anything up. Suggestions?

PhilJohnson - I thought about that. Outlet is not switched. Computer, router and xcarve were all still powered and running, but carve had stopped.

I’m gonna carve some air one night this week and see if putting the equipment behind a battery backup fixes the problem, as they usually provide some level of filtering and I already have a spare battery backup I can try out. If it doesn’t work I switch to a different outlet and carve more air. There’s also the outside possibility the fluorescent has an old magnetic ballast that’s going bad, and switching to an electronic may cure it. I was looking for the easy out first on the chance somoene else had experienced the issue and found a cause.

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I think these are decent things to try. my entire garage is on a single 15A circuit and I will run a carve with a pc, laptop, 32" touch screen, and intermittently use a shop vac for dust collection (13A surge draw on the vac) while carving, will also use the garage door and turn lights on and off (FL tubes, LED and Incandescent) while carving and have had no issues, though I am using the double-filtered outlets on my isobar surge suppressor for the X-carve.

A note about UPS’: I’ve actually done some extensive testing on them and they are not all created equal, and it’s not even a matter of cheap vs expensive. depending on what is actually happening with your power even a junky one could help. most are in-line UPS’, meaning they switch to battery when they detect power anomalies. This is fine for most things, but typically results in a very brief power spike or dip when switching. An “on-line” UPS is essentially running off battery at all times such that when a power anomaly happens the connected equipment doesn’t even notice. On-line types are much nicer to equipment but the batteries are in constant use so they need replacing more often and need active cooling (fan noise). I had to do this for my work where we have some sensitive A/V equipment that is not great with momentary power glitches. Ultimately I got us off a $500 UPS that was supposed to be great and offer the best protection and down to a $200 unit that provides better power and has had much fewer failures.