Finally some successful cuts

I’ve been having issues with calibration and slack belts, finally got that sorted out with 0.72.1 firmware. I’d say my first cut was a success, 4x4 inch rounded rectangle I created in MakerCam, cut with a .25" spiral upcut bit:

The hole in the middle is from my forgetting to define home when I set the Z axis…my first attempt just plunged through and started dragging the workpiece around. Defining the Z axis home properly and restarting worked perfectly. X, Y, and Z dimensions were what I expected.

I won’t say much about my next cut, it was an inside joke and my Z Home was way off, so it didn’t cut all the way through the 5mm ply.

3rd cut was good, numeral 3 for a logo for my wife. This time I overcompensated and cut TOO deep, cut completely through the tabs I had defined, but still worked great:

4th cut was a fail. I was using a larger scrap of 5mm ply, I thought it would have been large enough to not move and didn’t tape it down, but I was wrong. The last pass the workpiece shifted and the router started cutting through the entire sheet and dragging it around.

5th cut was on the same scrap, but this time I taped it down with painter’s tape, and it didn’t move, but I still had issues. About 70% through the cut, it just stopped. Not sure why, there was nothing in the serial logs to indicate that the Emergency Stop was triggered, but the heartbeat stopped, and the only way I could recover was to power cycle the M4.

Here’s what to me was the impressive part…I was able to look at the start of the serial logs where I defined the home coordinates. I power cycled the M4, did the retract/extend/apply tension, then jogged to the previous X, Y, and Z coordinates, clicked Define Home, and ran the file again. I could barely hear the router bit cutting wood until it got past the point where it failed, and I think the cut turned out well. Script R, also for the logo for my wife, 12" ruler for scale:

I think I put way too many tabs on that one. I’m cutting in the horizontal orientation and making shallow cuts, so I don’t think I need much in the way of tabs.

Overall, I’m very impressed. Right now I’m using a 5x10 foot utility trailer as my frame, so my cutting area is fairly small, and I’m cutting outside, so I’m at the mercy of the weather. I eventually want a full sized frame inside my shop, but don’t have room right now. I’m working on setting up an even smaller frame in the shop that should give me a roughly 24" by 16" cutting area in the meantime.