Stairs steps in v carves

I’m getting some stairstepping in my v carves. Using Vectric V Carve Desktop, X Controller, X Carve 1000 and pic Sender.

Doesn’t seem to matter which angle v bit I use, but deeper than one, .1 pass and the stairs begin on both sides of the groove. Does not happen at all with multi-pass straight bits.

Pots are good. Belts and v wheels are good too, just went through all of it. The machine is square and cuts perfectly sized test shapes.

I’m stumped. Any ideas?

Verify the exact angle of your v-bit. Is it a true v bit that comes to a point, or does it have a flat tip? For the toolpath to generate correctly, the software needs to know precisely what it is working with.

Hadn’t thought about that. I read about that a long time ago but have to admit I don’t know what to do about it. Is there a place to define a non-point in the V Carve software? I can’t look at it for a day or so.

I don’t know, I’m afraid. I have Aspire, but it’s on another machine and I can’t look at it at the moment. But this is what I found for managing your tool library in Vectric software (I guess it applies to all of their software?):

I don’t know if this will solve your problem, but it’s something to look into.

I think while Asipre and V Carve have differing features they handle tools and the database in the same way. I’m gathering after further reading that the engraving subset allows for the defining of a flat spot. I’ll check that.

I’m gathering that the difference between v bits and engraving bits is that engraving bits have a flat, non-point. This is new to me, but I certainly see how that difference in geometry would change the results in a given tool path. Do you know if I’m correct about the differences between the two types of bits?

Thanks very much for your response. It’s given me a direction for research to solve a somewhat perplexing problem.

In thinking about this further, I guess I’m not understanding why there would be steps on the side of the carve, regardless of a flat tip. I can see ridges at the bottom of the groove because of step over, but I think the sides would be smooth. Hmmm

Maybe a photo of the problem result would help me to see what’s going wrong. Are you able to upload one?

Best I can do for now, but does sort of show it

This looks like a largish project, and I appreciate you don’t want to be carving all day, but what if you reduce your depth per pass (increase the number of passes)? Does it look any better?

I was thinking about the opposite. It looks like the steps represent the passes (though I’m not positive of that) so increasing the DOC and reducing the number of passes may help? I’m using a very tiny v bit whose geometry I’m not absolutely sure of, and not sure how to measure. A larger bit will not get into most of the smaller places, and unfortunately the customer wants the material cut all the way through.

In addition, for reasons I also don’t understand, V Carve is disallowing me to use a clearing bit on the larger areas when using any v bit. The calculate button grays out when I try to input info for the clearing bit. Hmmm

It IS large project that took many hours to carve, but I’ve had similar results with subsequent projects. I’ve tried cutting as a pocket and a v carve, thinking maybe the results would be better one way or the other. But no

My thinking is that if you are going too aggressively, you could be seeing deflection. So reducing your depth per pass would put less strain on the bit and machine, so it would carve more “true”.

But you say you don’t know for sure what the bit geometry is. That could be the issue… if the machine thinks your bit is slightly larger than it is, it’s calculating larger stepovers and leaving “gaps” between each pass? You could try using a different bit whose geometry you do know.

It’s highly likely I’m using the wrong geometry. I’ve searching thru past purchases on Ebay and Amazon. I may be narrowing it down.

I hear what your saying about deflection but my experience with these small engraving bits is that they’ll take a lot because if the V shape. Much more than a straight bit, hey, if I had the answers I wouldn’t be having this issue.

Thanks for helping me talk this through.

The stair stepping that you are referring to is a result of your z axis not being at a perfect 90 deg. The way to resolve this is by tramming the z axis. There are several youtube videos on how to tram your z axis. If you have any questions let me know

I fixed incorrect bit geometry in my tool database and it has resolved the problem. Thanks for taking the time to respond. Forums are amazing places

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I’m happy to hear you’ve got it fixed!