Thanks for all the replies! The community that’s built up around the X-Carve and Inventables is one of the (many) reasons I ditched the Millright Carve King that I bought initially in favor of the X-Carve.
To the specifics:
@BobJewell: I’ll definitely look it over
@RobertCanning: How do you tell if there are missed steps? I’m not sure how holding torque reduction applies to the problem I have changing bits? I can say that I’ve seen no difference in the situation when locking the motors and not locking them. Is there a setting somewhere that has to be enabled to allow motor locking?
@CharleyThomas: Ok, ok, you got me. Order placed. Thanks very much!
“Did you tram in your machine?” - Not yet (see below)
“Did you flatten your waste board?” - No (see below)
“Are your belts tensioned correctly?” - As correctly as “similar to a bass string on a guitar” can get me.
“Are your v-wheels tightened correctly?” - Yes
“Was your Y carriage square to the machine on start-up?” - Good question, that’s not something I’ve checked at the beginning of a cut.
These seem like good questions, but I’ve got some questions on your questions.
I’m new to CNC but I’ve been working with machines for 20+ years and a couple of things don’t make sense. Assuming everything is tight, if the tram is off on the machine, it will be off in exactly the same way and to exactly the same extent at all points. That should make any issues it causes consistent, right? The defects here are irregular overall. The shape of the raised area shown in the first picture is very irregular, as are the depths of some of the mis-cuts. This doesn’t seem to fit a regular consistent issue like tram or an out-of-square Y carriage.
It also doesn’t seem consistent with a warped wasteboard. I didn’t include scale, but this piece is only 76mm across. For a wasteboard irregularity to cause this kind of rise in that kind of run it should be VERY visible to the naked eye, let alone felt by touch.
Maybe I’m missing some aspect of CNC that doesn’t apply to other machinery? Do those statements make sense?
I’ll be checking and adjusting square and tram regardless, but I don’t see how they could apply to this issue. Belt tension and play in the Z axis (somehow, how does that happen with a lead screw?) definitely feel like viable possibilities though.
For a little added information, I cut this piece a few days prior. It’s slightly smaller in diameter (48mm) and it has some bottom irregularities, but they are even more random and not as severe as the latest. It seems that whatever the issue is, it’s either getting worse or is more pronounced in the larger area?