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Solved X Axis grinds/vibrates randomly causing misalignment

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting' started by Knightro2, Jan 11, 2018 at 1:30 PM.

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  1. Knightro2

    Knightro2 New Member

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    I just got this printer a couple off weeks ago and I have had a few successful prints.
    Recently, there seems to be an issue with the X Axis that is happening more and more.
    It only seems to occur with it is moving from right to left...randomly it will grind or vibrate causing it to not be in the position that the printer thinks it should be in any longer causing it to print out of alignment.

    Last night it began doing this during the calibration phase before printing. I was able to capture it on video and have posted it to YouTube. It occurs during the second (middle) row.

    I thought my rails just may need to be lubricated so I lubed all rails with white lithium grease taking care to cover all sides of the rail. This has not helped. Could it be the motor? Maybe the bearings in the head? I'm at a loss.

    Update: I just saw that I have to post 3 times in order to add links to prevent spam. I'm seeing the link that I put in here but in case no one else can the first part is youtu.be/ then YK09emiQECw
     
    #1 Knightro2, Jan 11, 2018 at 1:30 PM
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018 at 1:39 PM
  2. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ¯\_(⊙︿⊙)_/¯
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    So I would suspect (given the noise) the X stepper driver is weak or the X stepper motor is having problems. You can try (for the sake of experimentation) swapping the stepper driver from, say, Y to X (assuming you do not have a spare). Power off before all of that and disconnect USB too, then look underneath at the RAMPS board (I am assuming you have an R1+ because they differ, but you didn't say):


    Robo3D R1 +Plus Ramps Board (labeled).jpg


    The stepper driver is the small daughter-card above the pins labeled "X motor"
    Carefully swap it with the one labeled "Y motor" and then plug it all back together and see if the symptoms have moved to the Y axis.
     
  3. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ¯\_(⊙︿⊙)_/¯
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    Lubricating the bearings was a great idea and would have been my first suggestion :)
     
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  4. Knightro2

    Knightro2 New Member

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    So what's the secret to get to the RAMPS board? Do I have to remove the black plate under the bed?
    Support got back with me and is having me check wire connections. The connection on the stepper was nice a tight. Plug looks good too. Now I'm tying to access the RAMPS board to check and also maybe try your suggestion. Just not sure how to get to it.
     
  5. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ¯\_(⊙︿⊙)_/¯
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    Geof likes this.
  6. Geof

    Geof Volunteer Moderator
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    you have to flip the printer on its side and remove the bottom panel. Mind the insanely short wires for the small fan on the bottom front right corner.

    When you reassemble I prefer to extend those wires so I can remove the bottom without all the hassle :D
     
  7. Knightro2

    Knightro2 New Member

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    Thanks, I figured out that I needed to look under the printer. Don't know why I didn't think about that to begin with.

    This is a R1+ as I didn't mention it before.

    Mark, so that I'm clear I'll be swapping the physical daughter cards with the heat sinks above the X and Y axis pins? If so, I'll give that a shot tonight.

    I disconnected and reconnected the X axis cable from the motor and ramps board yesterday. It still began to grind during the second layer of the raft. Albeit not as much but enough to get the alignment off.
     
  8. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ¯\_(⊙︿⊙)_/¯
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    Yes, they are small little things that look like this:

    Stepper drivers.jpg

    Just make sure they go back in the same direction they came out :)
     
  9. Knightro2

    Knightro2 New Member

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    I swapped daughter cards and the issue occurred again.
     
  10. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ¯\_(⊙︿⊙)_/¯
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    Then it is either something getting in the way (or bearings) and physically stopping travel or the stepper is getting weak and skipping steps. If you can (with the printer off) manually move the carriage and extruder around through the same motions and not feel resistance (bad bearings) then it is likely the stepper motor. If this is a new printer (or a refurbished one you just bought) you need to get on the phone with Robo for replacement bits.
     
  11. Knightro2

    Knightro2 New Member

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    I've been emailing with Tier 2 as well during this. They just take longer to reply.
    So I removed the belt from the x axis and it travels back and forth on the rails with no issue.
    How free should the pulley at the opposite side from the motor turn? Should there be any tension? I notice mine takes a little force to move but not much.
     
  12. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ¯\_(⊙︿⊙)_/¯
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    Should spin free, it is only there for a belt guide so it doesn't need any resistance
     
  13. Knightro2

    Knightro2 New Member

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    I think that may have been the issue all along. I loosened up the bolt on the pulley and now it spins more freely.
    So far I'm 20 layers into a print without issue and the slight vibration noise I had as well is gone. So we'll see.
     
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  14. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ¯\_(⊙︿⊙)_/¯
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    Excellent catch. I have never seen that fail before :)
     
  15. Knightro2

    Knightro2 New Member

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    Just to confirm, the pulley resistance was the issue. Once I loosened the bolt a little and it free spun I have had no more issues. I successfully printed a 19 hour print job yesterday.
     
    mark tomlinson likes this.
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