Nothing but trouble with this machine

i dont even know where to begin!!! has anyone else had such bad luck with this machine?? after a disastrous set up of them sending me the main x-axis marker slide (with the logo) that was twisted. they said they have only seen it once before. fast forward i receive a replacement and its been 3-4 weeks of using the machine with countless bits breaking with very little work time. everything is clapped down not moving all bolts are tight and yet the gantry refuses to budge!!

Are you just venting or asking for guidance? :slight_smile:

If you seek guidance, tell us more about your carve parameters from when you broke bits. Like bit details, carve rates, RPM, material, depth per pass etc and we might be able to help you.


honestly, im having so many issues i dont know where to start. other than my main marker slide being defective i feel like my gantry adjustable wheels are so tight just to keep it from tipping over

Fair enough - it can feel overwhelming.

Do you have any 1/4" bits on hand?

1 Like

So, the machine is no longer moving when you command it to from the jog buttons? If this is the case, have you ensured the E-Stop is completely pulled out to the Reset position?

Breaking bits, crashing the machine, and ruining projects half way through is part of the learning curve of machining. Just slow down, take a breath, and take the advise of the kind people on this forum. We, as a community, will get you going in no time.


Brandon Parker

1 Like

The machine does move with jog. What I thought was a simple cut setting issue has turned into a major issue. I have been cutting mainly on the left side of the machine and some of my pieces wouldn’t cut all the way through on the far right. I thought no problem I will just deal with it until I tried cutting a larger piece and it either doesn’t cut all the way through or it staggers the cut at slightly different depths slowly closer and closer to the left of the cut. After loosening all the adjustable wheels I pushed the gantry from side to side and it still catches and has some decent resistance from moving while every wheel is in the open position. It’s like a high spot on the main marker slide been sending videos of my findings and waiting to see what they think. But to me the marker slide is warped

Have you measured / shimmed the spoil bord relative to Z? It will never be precise from the very beginning. To ensure/minimize any spoil board elevation differences its common in the CNC world to add a 2nd layer of spoil board and perform a skim cut of that. This will ensure that the XY plane is truly parallell with the bit height (whitin the precision of the Z-assembly)

With a skim cut surface and material say 1/2" thick, I use my spoil board surface as Z-reference, meaning I jog down to the spoil board, raise the bit 1/2" and a known extra amount, say 1/16".
Then set full design cut depth to 1/2"+1/16". This will make Z cut all the way through, provided cutting forces are not lifting Z during carving.

Going deep into material require that the spindle is and retract truly vertically.
Key word here is tramming.

Getting a CNC up and running, dialing it in will always be a continous process. It doesnt matter if its a 3018, Xcarve, Haas, Tormach or whatever, each and every machine have its differences. And it will change with wear and so forth.

If your Markerslide is bent I am sure Inventables will sort it out for you :slight_smile:

Can you upload a video of the resistance you are talking about?

A stepper motor will provide a sort of on-off on-off resistance (sort of like a bump bump bump feeling) if you are moving an axis with the associated stepper still belted in. This is due to you actually building up magnetic flux in the coils within the stepper motor and is completely normal. Just try not to move the axis too fast manually, because you can actually create a very large voltage and the resulting current will travel back through the stepper driver’s fly-back diode. This is potentially a way to damage your controller, but I move mine manually all the time with no issues…just slowly.

Just follow what HaldorLonningdal is taking about and your issues should start to resolve.


Brandon Parker

I would go through the instructions step by step and verify everything is assembled correctly. That way you can verify if there is a defective part or not. Your leveling issue is part of owning a cnc. You need to level the machine or the waist board to fix that issue. Not that there isn’t defective bits out there but if it’s a lot then it’s user error. Also realize you opted to save money over going with something that is more plug and play. So trouble shooting and learning how to run the machine is part of owning it.