V carvings not looking so good

i have been playing around with v carving in estlcam for some time now, and everytime i try to do any text or shapes with it they corners are blown out like the tool is diving too deep into the material. i believe it could be an angle setting issue in estlcam but ive tried all kinds of different angles around the advertised angle of the tool and still no success. in the picture you can see better what i mean. i also measured my tool with a pair of calipers and did the math to find the angle of a 30 degree bit and measured 27.5 degrees. that setting in estlcam got me closer but still not good. i am also using dual endstops and have measured and re measured for squareness multiple times and all looks good.

Here i was testing to find the angle of the tool by using a 30 degree bit and making a new tool for each triangle in estlcam and setting it as 25 degrees , then 26,27,28,29,30… and so on. all of the triangles end up with blown out corners. im at a loss. my flat end mill pockets turn out great. v carves are giving me headaches.


any suggestions?

[attachment file=“Photo Jul 29, 11 49 20 AM.jpg”]




Do you have a link to the bit you purchased and a screen shot of you estlcam settings.

The corners are way off, not 1 degree. And starting at the right surface is important as well. The letters in the bottom of the picture look to be really close, what settings are those?

so here are the bits im using in these photos.

and here is the most recent cut

[attachment file=“Photo Jul 29, 2 20 40 PM.jpg”]

and it was cut using these settings

[attachment file=“estlcam settings.png”]

i am also zeroing the tool right above where my cut is going to be by turning on the router and lowering it to the workpiece till i see it just start to hit the material. then i zero it in repetier and then home it to the end stops and begin cutting.


The cuts don’t makes sense, and are really bad. The bottom of the triangle looks really good, the right point is really odd, and the top left is the worst with a giant hole outside the bounds? They all three should be exactly the same.


Yea it’s pretty strange. I’ll recheck squareness again and make sure everything is still level. The material didn’t looked to be warped when I put it on the machine but I’ll check that as well. Kinda has me scratching my head on this one.

It isn’t a squareness thing. Attach your zipped gcode. I can’t imagine a way that ends up with three different corners, they all should be exactly the same. Unless you machine is really tall, please show a picture of your machine.

Or you are using something attached to your Z axis…Cable chain or vac hose?

[attachment file=64984]

well here’s the latest cut. before this cut I grabbed a piece of flat scrap and lowered the z axis onto it and made sure I could just barely slide the scrap in and out under the z axis. Then I pushed the tool around all four corners and adjusted the leg height till the stock slid under the z axis with a small amount of friction on all 4 corners. I made a few small adjustments but nothing really huge.

Then I changed bits to a 60 degree v bit that I bought from some other vendor. Created the code in estlcam and now I have a great looking triangle.


Ill try the 30 degree bit again in a little bit and post results and pictures of my machine. I don’t have anything extra on the z axis except for the power cord of the Dremel.


Maybe that 30 degree I was using is no good anymore or it’s just that poorly made. I can’t imagine the adjustments I made to the machine making that big of a difference but I guess it’s possible.

There is a huge difference in cut quality there. I am very interested to see if the 30 works now. That is a night and day difference.


picture of the machine

[attachment file=65003]

so I changed to a 30 degree v bit and used a brand new one out of the package. Here is the result

[attachment file=65004]

The 63 and triangle under it are the 60 degree bit from the cut before and the 64 and triangle under it are from the brand new 30 degree v bit. I’m leaning towards the bits just being junk or estlcam is not generating good code for 30 degree v bits. I doubt it’s really estlcam but I guess it could be.


Is the 60 degree a spiral V bit? The flat 30 you have might be a bit too much for a dremel, It doesn’t look like you are using a finishing pass, you should be, it will really help a lot.

here is the 60 I’m using. Haven’t thought about the 30 being to much for the tool.


ill try another cut with the 30 at slower speeds and a finishing pass. Honestly though I could probably use a 60 for most everything I’m doing. You think a spiraled v cutter would help? The 45 in your shop will probably work for me should I need anything smaller.

The spiral pulls the chips out of the way, a flat fluted bit has a higher chance of re-cutting and a few other things the geometry causes. Honesty I have not had much success with straight flutes, but because of that I have not put much effort in either. I have some similar bits here I will try them out soon.

I am not sure though I have never used that small of a spindle as to what it can and can not handle. I have stayed away as they tend to (or at least used to) have high run out.

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Good point. There’s no real reason that I’m using the Dremel other than it’s what I had when I put the machine together. I should probably start thinking about upgrading to the dewalt soon anyways.


Well who knows, it might be plenty for what you are doing, the 60 degree looks pretty dang good. No sense in wasting money?!

Look at your ESTLCAM settings for those V bits, the angles seem to be all over the place. If they’re wrong you’ll get weird corners. Can you show us the bits side by side and tie them to which bit is shown in ESTLCAM?