Z-Axis problems.. Inconsistent carves


A few months back I bought the package deal:
Using Easel Pro
X-Carve 1000mm
Dust collector
ACME lead screw
X-carve NEMA 23 stepper motors etc…

Anyways, the machine was running great, very consistent, carved very nice, depth on cuts were great etc. Since the update easel driver 0.03.16 it seems like I have had some troubles. I haven’t changed any settings, (my boards are not warped) my connections are good, and everything is as it was.

The problem:

When I go to start my carves it starts carving just fine, however, not far into the carve my z axis stepper slowly rises and my depth on my cuts are very inconsistent. sometime the bit won’t even touch the material. I tried carving out stars for troubleshooting (all stars the same size 1 inch, and material depth cut of .1"), first star was fine, second star was fine, third star was OK, fourth, fifth and sixth were starting to barely touch. IT seems when the z axis rises and drops back down to carve it has the wrong reading… I am beyond over my head with this now and would love some good feedback or ideas on what the troubleshooting problems could be.

I have jogged the machine and it jogs just fine. (Moves an inch exactly)

Thank you all in advanced for your input!

Do the bit return to the same height (safety height) after the carve?

If you jog your axes to left/front and leave Z 1" above the spoil board, then jog using X/Y only around the surface of the waste board - is Z still 1" above consistently?


Yes it returns to the safety height after a carve.

I just jogged my machine around the entire waste board.(only using X/Y with the Z set at 1") it was very consistent the entire jog.

It seems this problem is only happening when i’m actually carving. When the Z-axis lifts to go to a new path and when it lowers to start the carve of a new path. It doesn’t lower to the correct height as it did starting out in the beginning of the carve.

Thanks for your help!

Two scenarios:
1 - It lift due to gcode, it is told to lift. It will return to the exact same position (minus defined safety height) as prior to the carve
2 - Z is loosing position during the carve, it will return to a similar, but not exact, position after the carve.

I´d check pulleys, set screws for any loose hold/wiggle

I have tightened down all pulleys and set screws.

How would I troubleshoot both scenarios you have mentioned above? I feel like it could be something to do with code or my stepper is not responding correctly?