Trying to cut simple basic shapes

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Try a wood that is NOT as soft as aspen, maybe even Pine as a trial. I tried to mill a bank out of Aspen and it was horrible to work with. You might try that before contacting Carbide just to see if your files work in something else.

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At this point I think it’s a mix of things.

  • Were all the tests above made from the same stock / piece of wood? Part of this might be inconsistent wood quality too ?. Some soft woods are surprisingly hard to cut well (the downcut helps, but…)

  • the 1/8" upcut may be worn out and you got lucky on those interdemediate tests. If you have a loupe you could try and inspect the cutting edges up close. This is what a fresh tool vs dull tool look like under a cheap USB microscope. Also I had a thought: check whether the very tip of the two flutes on that endmill are not chipped : is the tip is chipped, that part of the endmill woud both rip the wood rather than cut it, and would also leave a ridge, like you are seeing. If you have been fighting this for 5 months, I say throw away that 1/8" endmill EVEN if you are not 100% sure it’s bad. Your time is worth much more than a 1/8" tool, obviously.

  • can you remind us what cutting parameters you are using at this point ? That latest bad cut pic you posted has me puzzled because not only do you have fuzzies, you also seem to have steps at different depth ? I may be mistake.


My guess is that the material is moving while you cut, maybe not in the X and/or Y axis, but in the Z axis. It is easy to underestimate the amount of lifting force an upcut bit puts on the material.

While this theory would explain why a 1/16 bit didn’t have a problem (regardless of up vs down cut) compared the 1/8th upcut. The theory only works when assuming your 1/4 bit is a downcut bit, so the material didn’t lift.

In a perfect world, Carbide 3D would ask you “are you planning on cutting wood or metal?” when you purchase a machine. If you say “wood” the starter bits would be downcut, and if you say metal the starter bits would be the (current) upcut. I’m sure there are lots of exceptions and reasons why they don’t, but it’s something most of us had to just learn on our own.

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If you haven’t checked your set screws - it was the major pain point I had as a newbie and I was seeing the exact problem you were showing in the first post.

It was deceiving because I checked multiple times and they seemed tight, but it doesn’t take much slippage to translate to a big problem in your cut. Here’s my original post describing the problem:

Switching to better set screws with a dot of low-strength thread lock is a simple and inexpensive solution to try.

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Hi all, thank you sooo much for all of your thoughts and considerations with regards to my multiple issues. I apologize for the delay of my response, the on button on my laptop fell off (what?!) So I was out of the game until repaired.

But that gave me time to order and receive a 1/8" downcut endmill. Also did an all over screw tightening check and retightened the right pulley strap again (I have the 4 screws fully engaged, dont know how/why it keeps slipping).

All of this combined did make a nice cut, so im gonna close this chapter here. Moving forward, i’ll just keep an eye on all screws/looseness (lock tight is a good idea) and just forget about that dang original endmil and blame everything on him.

Again, really appreciate all of the feedback, I couldn’t have worked through it all without you.
Thank you!

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