Trouble getting letters to engrave into surface?

i created this plaque for my fahter in law . i cannot seem to pick a proper bit or setting to make router go any depth into my test mdf?? any suggestions , i tried 30 degree v bit, .63 end mill , .32 end mill . bit just barely touchjes surface of mdf. i even tried to fool z axiz by setting just below actual top. i included the svg file.

fire chief.c2d (1.1 MB)

Looking at the File your issue seems to be the Size of everything. The text is Extremely small so in order to use an endmill you will have to go down to 1/64" or .015". It shows up fine in the simulation using a #302. But for letters that small I would probably look into something as small as 15 degrees.

The easiest thing in your situation would probably to just resize the work piece to something a bit bigger. 10" workspace and your text is .2" tall. I pocket small text often but use my .015/ 1/64" bits for that.


so do you mean a 15 degree v bit or use an end mill of .015

I used a .015 flat endmill (1/64") in simulation with a contour pocket operation and you have complete control of depth and all lettering comes out clean.

If your having issues with a 30° V bit not cutting deep enough you can use a 15° V bit and it will essentially cut twice as deep as the 30° while keeping the same profile.

One thing I would check it the surface of your wasteboard/ and or material to check and make sure it’s completely level. You can use carbide motion to set your bit approx 1/10 of an inch or less above surface and manually jog to see if it’s indeed level. I like .1mm myself/ it’s what I do to check for material variances before a v carve. You will easily be able to see any variances in wasteboard leveling.

If you have an issue with the material itself and no planer at hand you can A resurface it or B Re-Zero your z height and only carve one section at a time. Move gantry over next operation re zero and then set toolpath to run that one. This way your zero for z is set in each location of v carve individually and will mitigate any wonky lettering from material thickness variations.

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If you are cutting MDF with such small endmill, you probably won’t get good quality cuts on such small text because there will be fuzzies and compaction. A harder material that will not deform would probably be a better choice.


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