Ramping in causing loss of steps (Z direction)

I’ve been having issues with losing steps in the Z-height. For a long time I’ve been using Ramps instead of plunge for my contour cuts. My thought was this might put less stress on the tool while cutting in the Z direction. However, today I tried plunging and even had more aggressive cuts than usual, and I didn’t lose any Z height… Does anyone have experience with testing plunge VS ramp? Do you think this could have really been my issue this whole time?

Let me know your thoughts. Thanks!

can you detail the type of feedrate AND plungerate values you are using in both cases and in what material?

Ramping should indeed (always?) be easier on the machine, so it would be quite surprising that straight-plunging at the same plunge rate you previously used for ramping would result in less lost steps. But I guess the question is really why you would get lost steps so regularly in the first place. How do you determine that you lost steps and how frequent is it ?


Feedrate is 60ipm, ramp is 45, plunge is 35. I’m cutting Cherry .8in thk.

I will set the Z height prior to the operation then check again after it’s complete. Z height will be 1mm higher sometimes.

When plunging are you using a plunge end mill/ router bit? Just curious.

I would have said “plunging at 35ipm in cherry is too much” (CC recommended setting for hardwood has feedrate at 60ipm and plungerate at 12ipm, and my goto values for woods are 30-40% of feedrate, so something like 20ipm in cherry), but then again if this is the setting that gives you NO lost steps, something else is going on and I have no clue what it could be. And you didn’t happen to change anything else recently on the machine? (sorry for the obvious question, but I do this all the time, focusing on the wrong parameter when it was something else the whole time)

It’s possible that just slowing down the plunge to 35 rather than ramp at 45 was helping. I will try plunge at 20 and see if that’s more successful in the long-term. I had no idea I was plunging too fast.

Thanks for the help.

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