Advice on carving with 60 degree bit

I am trying to carve text on my project but running into difficulties. I’m using a 6mm 60 degree v bit and am trying to carve two different sizes of text. It will carve the line of text that is larger (about 1.5") but it does not carve the smaller line of text (about 3/4" high). I moves in the correct path but the bit does not go deep enough to do the carve. I have the depth set to 3mm’s in Estlecam.
I had the path for both lines of text saved in one gcode, so I split it up with the larger text in one and the smaller in another. Same thing. The cnc goes through the motions but the cutter never gets deep enough to carve.

What am I missing here? What info would someone need to diagnose this?

Hi @kortt
Things that would help would be screenshots of:
Basic Settings (what is your z-axis origin?)
The Edit tool dialog
The properties window of your paths.

I’m assuming you are using the Carve function for text. Or are you defining the paths as holes?

1 Like

Hi Darwin, thanks for the reply.
My machine is setup with X and Y swapped as to the usual setup , where the router gantry runs on the Y axis and the X axis is the direction the machine runs on the table. I have been using the machine for a while now and so far have had pretty good results until now.

By my Z origin do you mean where i Zero my Z axis? I am setting the cutter above the bottom left corner of my work piece. The bit is a 6mm 60degree v bit.

The text is NOT a text object generated in Estlcam. It is in the DXF file loaded into the software. I am using the Carve function. The top line of text carves fine, the bottom line does not. The machine moves like it’s carving but the cutter never touches or plunges into the wood.

Let me know if you need any more info. Thanks!

Z-Axis Origin is set under Setup->Basic Settings
Given your top text works I’m guessing it’s ok and set to Workpiece Top Side
I’ve had issues with tiny variations in table height (1/2mm) that meant small text wouldn’t carve on one side but carved fine on the other side. Carve depth is whatever is needed to the Depth Limit you set. Really tiny text may only require 1/4mm depth or less. Not sure how big your letters are. Given the text runs the same length as the larger text that is probably not the issue but I solved my problem by re-zeroing Z for each text group individually.

Can you post the Tool edit window that pops up when you click on the wrench beside Chamfer 60 in the Tool List?

Here is my tool edit window for the 60 degree bit:

I think I know what I’m doing wring. I don’t think I should be setting a depth, I think I need to leave it set to automatic. I looked at a carve tutorial by the fellow who makes Estlcam and I think my understanding of how the Carve system was wrong.

Thanks for your reply!

Setting a depth limit should only max out the depth, not force that depth. Wide carves will have sloped edges and a flat bottom at the depth limit. If it works setting to automatic then go for it! I’m guessing it’s a z-zero issue though.

you might be right about the Z Zero thing. I’ve notice that sometimes I need to almost bury the damn cutter in the workpiece in order to get the proper depth. What would that suggest?

How are you zeroing?
I use a piece of paper right now. Doing the last mm or so at .05mm increments until I can’t pull the paper out. Raise an increment. Lower an increment. Then set z to 0. Then raise 10 or 20mm before starting the job.
For a tool change pick a zero location that isn’t getting carved out and write the coordinates down so you can repeat the process.
Otherwise, pick a local spot to set z.

yeah, that’s basically how I Zero. I am running a BTT skr v1.3 board and an MKS tft28. My smallest increment is .1 so I sneak up using 1mm, then .1 till the paper is stuck then back off .1

Don’t do the tool change stuff. I always save my gcode in separate files for dissimilar operations, or different tools.

So, I redid my carve settings and set the depth to auto and it seems to have worked out fine now.

Thanks for all you advice!

1 Like

Good to hear!

I’d do one last move down after removing the paper, repeating the last .1, eliminating the paper height. Probably overkill though.