Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The eCraft's "Clicking Sound"

Anyone that has seen any video of the eCraft cutting knows that it makes a distinctive clicking sound.  So, what is that anyway?

First, every cut seems to start with two clicks.  If you watch carefully, you will see the trolley move, then stop its travel while the blade solenoid thrusts the blade down into the media twice.  I don't know exactly why every cut begins this way.  But, I will offer a guess.

The blade is only held into the blade housing by magnetism.  This means that the machine really can't be sure if the blade is firmly seated in the housing.  One guess would be that the housing is thrust down to make sure that the blade is all the way up into the housing firmly.  But, there might be another reason or an additional reason.

Early specifications and marketing materials for the eCraft indicated that the machine, itself, could figure out the pressure needed to cut any material.  The way that the eCraft could judge this is by piercing the material and applying pressure until contact is made between the blade and cutting plate.  It appears to me that the blade acts as a switch when it comes into contact with the cutting plate, turning on the blue light.  So, if the blade is thrust into a material and the blade is NOT able to pierce clear through, the machine knows that it must increase the pressure.

Then there are the clicks that occur while the eCraft is actually cutting a shape.  I believe these clicks tell us how many TABS are being created for the shape.   Actually, what sound like a single click while it's cutting is two very rapid clicks as the solenoids are turned off and on for each tab.  The first click lifts the blade and the second click thrusts the blade back into the material.

Here is a very short video of the eCraft cutting a heart.  I've specifically tried to count the clicks as the cut is made.

I've purposely scanned this shape in at 1200dpi so that the tabs would be easier to spot.  Apparently, my count in the video was wrong.  It looks like there were 7 tabs.  It will be interesting to go back and listen to the video and see where I missed a click!  You can click on the image below to see the full sized scan.

While I can't be sure if my theory about the first two clicks are right, we can definitely see that the subsequent clicks are all related to creating the tabs.

By the way, I'm not showing any nicks at all on the cutting plate of the eCraft in spite of the many cuts at the highest pressure that have been made on this machine,


Wendy said...

I have only recently started using the eCraft. I don't mind the "clicks" but not too sure about the "clunk clunk" noise when I press the reset button. Also the high sound when you press each button seems to fade away to a dying bird "chirp" the more you press the buttons! Should I be concerned?!

Missie of Traditional Primitives (formerly Hallbrook Designs) said...

Are you still using your ecraft? I have purchased one Jan. 2014 and can not get it to work. I desperately need to talk with someone who can make this work. Please let me know if you can help. Thanks. Missie

Anna Sundrud Trang said...

My ecraft stopped making the clicking noise... and stopped cutting :( what on earth happened? It worked fine and then... it didn't.