Adventures in VCarving Accuracy

I’m a bit of a newbie here, but I’ve been scouring the web for answers and not finding what I’m looking for so perhaps this thread may help someone else.

I have been attempting several VCarvings and getting inaccurate results. Basically I am not seeing smooth curves in places where it should be smooth and in an attempted vcarve inlay the fit was not good.



  • Shapoko3 XL
  • CAM in VCarve Desktop (Shapeoko inch post processor)
  • 60 deg vbit (attempted various ipm speeds)

My thoughts:

  • On the M example it looks like the path expected the bit to be more narrow where it chewed into the the bottom middle of the M. This made me think perhaps it was the bit or setting the Z zero. I was very diligent in setting the Z zero so I am skeptical of that.
  • It occurred to me that this could be a machine issue - i.e. Belt Tension, Runout, Machine Square, Machine Stability etc. Not sure how to diagnose that.
  • Software? I am doubtful I did anything wrong in VCarve unless it was possible bit setup, but it was configured for a 60 degree bit.

Next Steps:

  • Would love to hear suggestions from you
  • Will try a different bit
  • Inspect machine for dust in v-wheels, v-wheel tension, belt tension, any lose screws etc.
  • Try a much slower speed - Is it possible that this could be caused by speeds being too fast?

My thoughts are this. Loose pulley set screws, loose/improperly adjusted V wheels, loose belts, or all 3. I’d go for the pulley set screws first, then home the machine, jog to center, then with it powered up(not the router), try to shake the router by hand and see if you feel any movement/looseness. If you feel something rattling around, that’s your target. Wash, rinse, repeat until the machine holds firm. Then onto checking belts. If you don’t find anything after those checks/fixes, report back. Someone will help get it sorted :smile:



How did you set your zero? Does your V-bit have a measurable, though probably very small, flat on the tip (check all angles)

@DanoInTx THANKS! I just tried this and found some play in the Z axis - tightened the nuts down and now it seems solid. I will report back with my findings on my next attempt!

I just lowered it slowly until it caught on the paper I was sliding underneath then set it to zero

Absolute night and day difference in performance after tightening the V wheels. I also changed to a 30 deg bit but I don’t think that was the issue at all. Thanks again for your help! :sunglasses:


That looks really sharp! I really like how you oriented the grain direction differently between the stock and the inlay.

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