XCarve wandering off path

My Xcarve hass been running well for over a year. Suddenly, the most simple carves are wandering off path as shown in the photo. I flashed the arduino and cleaned/checked wiring. Still same results, even with the most simplistic drawings derived off easel.

I appreciate any thoughts you can share to resolve this


Something is loose.

Check your belts, Vwheels, etc.

Thanks for the response Justin. I retensioned and checked my v wheels. I figured I would try a test cut that eliminates as much mechanical variables a possible. I made a single straight line in easel to cut all the way thru the wood. I took shallow cuts. Seems like the Y axis wants to take a small step, but it should remain un-changed thru this cut.

What is your current GRBL $1 value? (Step idle)
If it isn’t = 255 change to that and try again.

It’s 255


As Justin suggest it could very well be mechanical, pulley slipping or something like that.
Another possibility, though not often seen, is that the Y-drivers pick up noise and interpret those as step commands. Power wires / stepper motor wires close to stepper signal wires?

could it be the belt pulley slipping on the motor shaft?

Thanks so much guys for the responses, I truly appreciate it.

My initial thought was the pulley was loose, (I didn’t use loctite when I assembled the machine). Nevertheless, the pulleys are still firmly on the motor shafts.

I used a new bit this morning, still the same stair step effect happening.

My wiring is has always been encased inside braided jackets running inside the drag chain. I haven’t considered calibrating the pots, will look into that today- thanks Phil.

For a while, I have been considering the new xcontroller, but never had a solid reason to drop the cash for it, maybe I have a reason now. We will see.

just wondering … for you test cuts, how many passes did you make and how deep were they?

… and what happens when you cut in the other direction?

When I cut in the other direction, same issue. X axis tends to wander to toward the right of the machine.

loosened the belts, carriage moves nice and free. Adjusted the x axis pot. Adding more current decreased the stairstep problem quite a bit but not completely. Eventually I dialed in too much current and the motor stopped working. I hit the most extreme amount of current before the motor would stop, but still getting small bit of stairstep effect.