Cutting past max depth


I’m trying to cut some basic shapes out of copper. Four end mills later and the machine seemed to be working well, except it was cutting very far into my wasteboard after the second or so pass. It would get through the copper cleanly and then continue to cut into the wasteboard. My material is set at .6mm thickness, and I know this is accurate because I’ve measured it with a caliper. Why is my machine cutting so far past the max depth? I’ve attached an image of my setup from Carbide Create. Any ideas?


It could be an issue with the Z axis losing steps. After this happens jog the machine to Z10 and check if it is, in fact, 10mm above where you zeroed it. If not, it might be a loose Z-axis pulley or belt.

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It’s probably best to start with the simple stuff first, if you haven’t already.

  1. Check that the stock thickness under settings is also set to .6mm. (Anything less than this, and it’s easy to see why it’d cut into the waste board.)
  2. Check that you’re not forgetting to zero the z axis at the top of the stock.

When you say, “it was cutting very far into my wasteboard after the second or so pass”, do you mean the second or so pass after cutting through the copper entirely or second or so pass after beginning to cut into the copper? If the latter, then I agree with neilferreri’s assessment above that you might be losing steps or encountering a mechanical issue of some kind.

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Thanks for the responses.

Carbide Create doesn’t change inches to millimeters very well. I had my thickness set at .6mm, then switched it to inches to mess with another dimension, and then switched it back to millimeters. It converted the millimeters to inches and then back to millimeters, but changed it from .6mm to .61mm for some reason. Lesson learned - will have a inches to mm converter open while I’m working and maintain one measurement!

Thanks guys.

Cutting copper sheet is complicated if you do not have a vacuum bed, the stock varies very easily, the caliber is the same but there are always undulations in the sheet imperceptible to the human eye.

I saw in another post a good recommendation for stuff like this to zero it to the top of the waste board, and then start cutting at a value higher than zero, and stop at zero… That way, if there’s any difference in the stock thickness, at least it should stop at zero. Note that you’ll have to make sure you’re going high enough on your rapid moves to not cut into the material if it’s thicker than your top in some places…


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