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JackL

Consistent Inconsistent/Uneven Layers After Upgrading Ender 3

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Posted · Consistent Inconsistent/Uneven Layers After Upgrading Ender 3

So I've had my Ender 3 for a while, and I've recently finished 2 upgrades for it: I've upgraded my motherboard to a MKS Gen 1.4 with TMC 2208 Stepper Drivers (from Waterott) for X, Y, Z, and E that are currently in the legacy mode (not using one-time-program or using UART), and I've added the Petsfang Duct with a 5015 blower fan, and replaced the hotend fan with a 40x40x20 12V Noctua (I wanted to see how it compared to the 40x40x10 12V Noctua for anyone wondering).

Once I finished, I started printing calibration cubes (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1278865) and found inconsistent lines/uneven layers in the prints. However, when I modified settings and printed again, I found that the lines happened in pretty much the SAME places/layers. The lines showed up consistently in those layers as I modified print speed and a few other  settings in Ultimaker Cura 4.0.0. I've also tried printing in a place other than the center of the build plate, and ended up with the same result. I thought my X-axis belt was a bit loose, so I tightened it up a bit, but I still get the same lines, in the same layers in my prints. I've tried adjusting the basic acceleration and jerk settings in Ultimaker Cura 4.0.0 to no avail. What should I try next?

Consistent Inconsistencies.jpg

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Posted · Consistent Inconsistent/Uneven Layers After Upgrading Ender 3

Dirty Z screws are the usual cause of this phenomenon because it causes the bed to move "not quite enough" or "slightly too much" and this causes under or over extrusion which makes layers stick out or in.

 

Also bad PID values can cause this if the temperature is fluctuating by quite a bit.  By like at least 5 degrees from max to min temperature.  Watch the temp while it prints.  It may be that the temperature algorithm or the PID values changed on the latest Marlin  upgrade.

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Posted (edited) · Consistent Inconsistent/Uneven Layers After Upgrading Ender 3
11 hours ago, gr5 said:

Dirty Z screws are the usual cause of this phenomenon because it causes the bed to move "not quite enough" or "slightly too much" and this causes under or over extrusion which makes layers stick out or in.

 

Also bad PID values can cause this if the temperature is fluctuating by quite a bit.  By like at least 5 degrees from max to min temperature.  Watch the temp while it prints.  It may be that the temperature algorithm or the PID values changed on the latest Marlin  upgrade.

Ok, so I've tried cleaning the Z-axis screws and relubricating them, and I've also autotuned PID and set it. However, I still don't see much improvement. I'll try some more things related to these tomorrow and see if anything changes.

Edited by JackL

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Posted · Consistent Inconsistent/Uneven Layers After Upgrading Ender 3

Yea.. so after trying a few different things I found that I am still getting the same results.

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Posted · Consistent Inconsistent/Uneven Layers After Upgrading Ender 3

Ok, I know this has been a while from my previous updates, but I got caught up working on another project.

 

So I have cleaned the Z-Axis thoroughly and lubricated it again, and although the effect seems reduced, though still notable. The print on the left is at 20mm/s (no speed settings above that speed) and the right is at my normal 50mm/s default settings. The uneven layers still seem to occur at around the same layers. What should I try next? What else could be causing this? Could this be something like Z-Wobble?

1946487421_NewPrints.thumb.jpg.5b857c8358928ebd06ad6c76a12c7eb2.jpg

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Posted · Consistent Inconsistent/Uneven Layers After Upgrading Ender 3

Does this also happen with a slightly larger block with *plain* walls (=without any text or indents)? Just a clean cube?

 

In my UM2 printers, when printing small objects with very sudden changes in layer area, that also shows up as "horizontal lines" in the print, due to the differences in layer cooling time. See the images below.

 

For me, printing slower and cooler helps, or for small objects, printing a dummy "cooling tower" next to the real model. But this will only work for you if this is the cause, of course.

 

I could imagine that an irregular feed also would cause this problem: changes in flow rate, filament diameter, kinks in filament,... Or irregularities in nozzle temperature, or air flow around the printer. Or vibrations in the X, Y and/or Z-axis?

 

Sift for the laboratory sink:

zeef_zoom1.thumb.jpg.396d23dadef6116bef79017ae5a906ea.jpg

 

Tiny part (see the irregularities in the side-wall in front); the ruler is in mm/cm:

DSCN5300.thumb.JPG.5c1380a545466eb649dcbd52ebd922cf.JPG

 

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Posted · Consistent Inconsistent/Uneven Layers After Upgrading Ender 3

Ok, I apologize for the delay, I got caught up with a few things the past few days. So I tried printing something bigger, and the effect was greatly reduced. However, the lines still appear to be there on each print, though very subtle. I made something like the ripple test that I was using in Autodesk Inventor, but made it bigger (30mm x 30mm x 30mm) and with no letters or dots in it. I notice that the lines still happened in the same layers between these 2 prints. One of these was printed 10 degrees cooler(printed at 190 degrees), but I cant tell which one just by looking at them. I'll try a print at 180 degrees once I relevel my bed.

1830953920_Inconsistencies2.thumb.jpg.62d03d0b72bd6665ca3acec78ae267f7.jpg

Also, in the middle where the print transitions to rounded corners, there seems to be a small shift on one top square. One side (in the image below, it's the left side) seems to have shifted slightly into the print where it should be lined up with the side, and on the opposite side of the print, it's sticking a little bit outwards, like a really small layer shift. This shift happened on both prints on the same layer. Another thing I noticed when observing these prints is that the printer seemed to go a little bit passed the corners when rounding the square corners, as seen by the slight outwards bump on the corner in the image below. This happened on all of the square corners on both prints.

2055032955_Inconsistencies2-1.thumb.jpg.0d12511d3b083a81ed2963d1e74ae7cf.jpg

I'm more worried about the layers than the corners, unless they have some sort of connection to the problem. What should I try next? I could find out which axes the shifts are happening after I level my bed again, as I wasn't thinking about the orientation as I was taking these off the printer. Should I try something like recalibrating my axes? Or what should I try next?

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Posted · Consistent Inconsistent/Uneven Layers After Upgrading Ender 3

The overshoot on the corners is most likely mechanical: oscillations and vibrations because the printer head can not immediately stop and change direction. Plus it will extrude a bit more material per mm while the head is slowing down, compared to printing straight lines. This effect can be reduced by printing slower, and by changing some settings, although I don't know which ones (never experimented with that).

 

I have no idea about the shift. Can you see that shift in the layer preview in the slicer, when zooming in a lot?

 

I guess if you move that transition from straight to rounded corners up and down, the shift also moves?

 

If you look close while printing, does the printer change direction at that point, from clockwise to counter-clockwise, or so? In which case it couls also indicate a mechanical problem such as too much play?

 

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