Drag Engraving Test

I did some diamond drag engraving on aluminum in the PCNC 440. Results look pretty good! It’s quick, too.


The heading across the top was done from the conversational screen in PathPilot. The two copies of the logo were converted from Adobe Illustrator via Inkscape to DWG format and imported into Fusion 360, which generated the Gcode for PathPilot.

One apparent limitation: I couldn’t find any way to tell Fusion 360 CAM that you’re working with a tool that doesn’t need to spin. If you set the spindle speed to 0, it complains that the spindle speed is out of range and won’t generate Gcode. The workaround (thanks NYC CNC) is to set an in-range spindle speed, and then edit the Gcode to remove the spindle commands. That’s messy and error-prone.

The diamond drag engraver is spring-loaded, so the Z depth is not critical. The logo on the left was engraved with a Z depth of only 0.02 inches, while the one on the right used 0.25 inches, about half the available travel of the spring head. The results are practically identical.

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