View Full Version : Epilog Zing 16 40 Watt Engraving Problems

joshua harkey
09-26-2015, 7:51 AM
Hey guys, I am new here and just wanted to thank everyone in advance that looks at my post and helps me out.

I have been using my Zing 16 for over a year now and just started having this problem after I replaced my belt. I believe it is called the x axis belt. It is the belt that is connected to the carriage. I have been calling the problem banding... but I am not sure if that is the name for it. Basically, I am getting chaotic pattern/marks in the actual engraving it self. It isn't a big deal on some designs but when I am engraving something like a state silhouette it really shows and my customers aren't going to be happy with these new marks. I am also very unhappy as this was not happening before. I have already contacted Epilog and haven't had much luck. If anyone has any pointers, suggestions or questions please don't hesitate.

I work out of photoshop. I engrave onto plyboo. I am usually at 40 % speed and 100% power. I have an epilog zing 16 40 watt and like I said this is the first time I have had this problem. Please check out my pictures for a better idea of what is happening.

this picture shows the marks it is currently leaving.

more marks...

this is what it looked like before, when it looked better.


Bert Kemp
09-26-2015, 10:17 AM
Do you have any pictures of what it looked like before? Its hard to tell from these pictures if your getting banding or its uneven burn do to different grain hardness in the plyboo.

Keith Winter
09-26-2015, 11:50 AM
Looks like the grain of the wood in the photos. Can you double check that's not it?

Glen Monaghan
09-26-2015, 12:30 PM
You say you are getting chaotic marks in the engraving but I'm only seeing cutting, no engraving. Are you talking about the dark brown burn/smoke marks around part of the edges, or something else? Did these marks start showing up or getting worse when you got new plyboo, in which case maybe the composition has changed? Or have you changed any settings such as cut speed or air assist on/off, or changed the air pressure? If you are using air assist, the air clears the kerf but blows the vaporization products onto the surrounding substrate, causing this sort of smoke stain. Try turning the air down or off. Also, depending on the finish, you may be able to simply wipe off the stains with a damp cloth, or with the help of a bit of gentle cleaning agent. At worst, you could apply a mask before cutting and peel away afterwards.

Kev Williams
09-26-2015, 12:48 PM
He's talking about the diagonal stuff, I've traced in orange...



--that doesn't look like like 'normal' results since they don't follow the grain at all.
What could be causing it, no clue. Adjust belt tension is about the only thing I got...

OR, based on my experience, it could be a whole new problem that has absolutely nothing to do with the belt...

Scott Marquez
09-26-2015, 12:59 PM
Can you do a sample on a sheet of Acrylic? Then you might be able to get a better sense of the depth difference on a substrate that is consistent throughout.
Thanks, Scott

Bert Kemp
09-26-2015, 1:03 PM
Kev I'm totally confused as to what your looking at. If your talking about the dark lines running at a slant from the grain, I don't know what that is but I think its something to do with how the bamboo burns the grain, or maybe heavy glue that seeped out or some thing. Really no clue but I don't think it a mechanical problem, I think its a material problem. Really need the OP to chime in and see more before pictures.

Glen Monaghan
09-26-2015, 4:12 PM
<bonk> I was completely misinterpreting what I was looking at, interpreting it as cutouts with a dark table or something underneath that was showing through because it didn't look before as though the grains matched up...

Glen Monaghan
09-26-2015, 4:15 PM
Yep, try some baltic birch and acrylic and see if a similar effect shows up.

joshua harkey
09-26-2015, 5:42 PM
Hey guys, sorry for the lag in my response, it's Saturday and I have been out and about. Kev is right. That is exactly what I am talking about. I am talking about the slanted/diagonal lines. Those are not from the grain in the plyboo. I am sure of that. No doubt at all. I will try to get my hands on a piece of acrylic or baltic birch tomorrow. I have been using plyboo for over a year, from the same supplier and have never had this problem, nothing has changed about the wood at all. What has changed is the belt in the machine. I changed it myself last week and that is when this started happening. I am not sure if the tension is not tight enough, or too tight or what the problem is but it definitely has something to do with the belt or carriage or pulley system because I have now taken it off and reassembled it 3 or 4 times and every time I put it back on the marks look a little different. Here are pictures of what it looked like before.


no diagonal lines. everything looks uniform.