Xcarve will not cut shallow cut

I can only get my carve to cut a shallow cut at .05 inches no matter if I set it to .001, .005, .01 etc. You get the picture. I have calibrated all my x, y and z steps per inch. I am using acme screw. Machine cuts good but I would like to etch stuff very shallow but it will not. I am very careful measuring my material with calipers before I cut also. I use z probe too. Cutting surface is nice and level. Distance from gantry to surface is the same across material also.

I am using a 1/4 inch carbide engraving bit from Inventables. Dia. .005 inchs (according to specs.) I set easel with bit size and want it to cut at .005 inches. but it cuts at .05 inchs.

Any idea?? Is it a software thing, something with the machine? Will it not cut any more shallow?




Yes I calibrated all three axis. X and Z were off. X about 1 mm and Z about .05 inches. It burns through everything at .05 inches no matter how shallow I set it. Running Easel. If I cut at .05 inches it cut great or anything thicker but shallow cut no so good. I want to lightly engrave stained wood and Lexan but I cannot get it cut cut shallow. It would cut right through pcbs if I was cutting circuits.

I have tried shutting down and powering off everytime and no help.



Sorry…Z was off by about .05 mm not inches.

Yep using probe. Looks gcode z is cutting at .126 inches while running. Not sure where that value came from.

while machine was cutting z axis was reading -.126 and I had machine set cut at .005 inches which seems correct. However machine was cutting into wood at .05 inches. That all looks good. I was thinking it was a probing issue but I probed. Then moved bit away and It indicated it was 47.5 mm from work surface. I moved down 47 mm and it looked correct.

Checking waste board surface leveling now.


When I calibrated my z axis. I 3d printed out a bracket to mount dial caliper on side of router. I moved z axis down on a 2x4, zeroed caliper. Then moved z axis down 20mm and computed the new value. Ideal Z/actual Z X $102=new $102 value. I was off by about .05mm. Retested and z axis was right on at 20mm.

Waste board is off by .1 degrees which may cause some issues. I shut everything down, rebooted mac and now is appears to cut more shallow. Started cut over from my saved g28 position after homing. Looks like I have to level waste board and recheck z axis.

Discovered my material was moving a z probe (home position) about a mm or so. This could cause some of my problems. It looks like a combination of issues causing it.

I will keep testing…but moving on to vcarve pro later this week; excited!!

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Thanks for you help Phil. You are awesome and a wealth of knowledge. Many thanks!!