X-Carve cutting deeper as it cuts different parts of the design

Image my design as 4 separate squares all to be cut at a depth of .1 inches. The first square my x-carve cuts is at the perfect depth but when it lifts up and moves to the next square it will cut this square deeper than .1 inches. The final square will be cut at a depth of .25 inches. Its not doing more passes its just a deeper depth of cut on the first pass (which is really bad for my bits).

This definitely is a problem with my z-axis. I have done a lot of cutting with my X-carve do I need to replace my motor? Or does anyone know any other solutions for this?

There’s a few things that could cause this, but the easiest few to check are:
-Make sure the collet nut is tight and the bit isn’t slipping out. Also make sure the shank and collet are both clean and free of debris.
–If you are using an upcut bit, it can be pulled down out of the collet due to the screw action if the collet nut is slightly loose, or if there’s debris keeping you from fully grasping the bit in the collet.

-Make sure you’re using the right size collet for the bit.
–For example, a 3mm shank is NOT the same as a 1/8 inch shank, and a 1/8 inch collet may not be able to hold a 3mm shank tight enough to use it.

-See if you’re losing steps on the Z axis by making a mark on the belt with a sharpie when the bit is cutting the first .100" pocket, and see if the belt returns to that same spot on the next pocket.
–If you’re losing steps, the problem could be loose pulley screws, loose belt, or low/high potentiometer setting.

I hope this helps you get started on the troubleshooting, let me know what you find!

Have you tried using an external visualizer like Camotics to check your code and make sure your file is setup correctly?

And your material is the same thickness from left to right?

You might be losing steps on the upward movements of the Z axis. Use your calipers and check. Make sure when you tell it to raise 1mm, it raises 1mm. If it’s off, recalibrate. Your threaded rod may be binding up in the delrin nut. Use some Dry Lube with PTFE (teflon) or graphite (rub a pencil on the threads) to loosen things up. Try goosing the Z axis pot on the gshield too.

Thanks for your in depth response. One thing I noticed was that when I spin my v-wheels with the concentric nut for my z-axis its not one smooth force I have to apply during the entire turn its gets harder than easier to spin. Does this mean anything?


If the eccentric nuts are tightening up or the V-wheels are not spinning easily and smoothly, that can definitely be a source of lost steps. I would expect issues going both up AND down with lost steps, but stranger things have happened.

Do I need to purchase new V-wheels?

If your V-wheels are physically damaged, you definitely need new ones. However, if the problem is just that the eccentric nuts tightened up then you just need to check your machine a bit more often to make sure they are not too tight or loose. Maybe do a quick check after each job or every couple hours of runtime just to make sure they’re good.