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iakovos

Ultimaker 2 - Strange noise on z-axis during slow movement

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Hi all,

I am a happy new owner of an ultimaker 2 printer and have been over the moon with it.

I have been of course calibrating and tweaking to make sure I can get the most out of it and aside from some really small things that needed a bit of a looking at (pulleys not aligned, one of the long belts being very loose, etc) it has been fantastic and producing really nice prints.

I have had, however, one issue with it where while printing that is driving me crazy. The small movements on the z-axis where the platform moves 1 layer down for the next slice to print seem to produce a strange and loud noise. I am really not sure what exactly word to use to describe it.

I have a sample video online to give you an idea, but in reality it is much louder than the video suggests, as the phone I took the video with was pretty much right next to the fans during the print.

Link:

When the platform moves up or down at higher speed there is no noise that sounds abnormal, it only seems to produce this while it's moving very slowly (1 layer at a time).

I have lubricated the screw with the included grease (as you can probably see in the video) in an attempt to rule excessive friction on the screw/platform out, however this does not seem to have helped. When I very slowly move the screw by hand with the printer off/motors disengaged, I cannot replicate the sound either.

The sound is loud enough to be audible from a different floor in the middle of the night when trying to sleep.

Any ideas of what could be causing this? Any help would be appreciated!

Kind Regards,

Iakovos

 

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The z movement is DEFINITELY the loudest thing by far on the UM2. People say it is whisper quiet but then a print finishes and the z axis goes all the way down it is pretty loud.

I'm not sure why this is. The Z axis stepper is mounted I believe on the bottom panel and the bottom panel. seems to act like a sound board on a guitar or piano - amplifying the sound.

I think the best solution would be to couple the Z stepper to the base with rubber washers maybe.

Lowering the max Z acceleration and jerk might help. I would cut both by a factor of 3 to see if this helps. But I'm not sure that's enough. I think it's the mounting of the z stepper.

 

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I would say that sounds exactly like it should be. One small step with a lot of power. And with my Ultimaker 2, it behaves exactly like that. Due to the mounting method of the stepper motor may securely generate resonance with the ground. But I feel the noise generated by the small fans actually much louder and more annoying. Generally, however, seems everything's alright to be normal!

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Hi guys,

It is quite difficult to convey how loud and abnormal it sounds. For what's worth I think mnis hit the nail on the head with the word "resonance" there... It really does sound weird and amplified in person.

I've lowered the acceleration through the maintenance > advanced settings from 5000mm/sec down to 3000 and it seems to have helped a little bit.

I will source some anti-vibration washers and will see if that helps and allows me to keep the acceleration at the original setting and will let you all know how that goes once I've tested.

Thank you all for your replies and your time!

 

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Hi,

I've noticed this also on my UM classic. To be honest I am not sure if Z started making more noise recently or has been the same way since the beginning, most probably because I kept tweaking at the printer and I just got everything else more smooth and quiet. Just the Z axis makes this noise while printing.

When homing/moving the platform it's much more quiet, just when printing and advancing through the layers, it seems to resonate somehow.

Is there anything new from the OP on this? I will also try to play with the Z acc and jerk settings, also I plan to remove the Z stepper and put some thin cork between the motor and the panel, and rubber bushings on the screw sides above.

 

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By the way you can make all the axes MUCH quieter by using 64 microstepping instead of the normal 16 (for UMO and I think UM2 also). It's incredible the difference but the pololu that comes with UMO won't do it. You can buy pololu "black" and fix the steps/mm and then you can do 32 or 64 microsteps. But you might have to lower your top speed. I think 500mm/sec is the fastest that Arduino can do so your new top speed might be 125mm/sec if you go to 64 microsteps. There are multiple ARM boards out there that can do 64 microsteps easily on UMO. Erik Zalm has one and TinyG sells one also (that works just fine on UMO - I tried it myself).

 

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Actually, the Z is on 8 microsteps on the UM2. Which is a bit stupid of us (Sorry, we make mistakes). It can be changed with a jumper, but then you also need to change the steps-per-mm. And I have no idea how much noise it will reduce.

The Z is much louder because it's so much mass that can vibrate there. It's the bed itself that makes most of the noise (we did some measurements) the motor itself and the casing where it's attached make much less noise compared to the bed itself.

 

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I reduced the z motor current from the standard 1300mA to 900mA and found the z stage of the UM2 much more quiet afterwards. At least my UM2 doesn't seem to have a problem to run the z stage also with the reduced current.

 

I think I should know this but I can't seem to be able to find the info... how do you change the motor currents?

 

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I think I should know this but I can't seem to be able to find the info... how do you change the motor currents?

 

On the UM2 it's very easy - you do it in software. On the UMO you turn a tiny potentiometer. But I don't recommend it. Or if you do buy at least 2 spares as these are extremely easy to blow up and turning that potentiometer 1mm the wrong way might blow it up. I haven't touched my potentiometers but a few people on this list who tried it had to buy new ones. They aren't expensive (google pololu) but you will then have no printer for a few days.

I like Daid's suggestion better - to change the steps/mm by 2X. Just make the Z jumpers the same as X,Y and E.

Move the Z platform using pronterface or cura pronterface print window. Make a few manual movements, then put the jumper in (takes a few seconds and you don't have to remove power) and then make a few more manual movements and see if it's quieter. I'm curious if it works. Then if it's quieter you can change steps/mm in the ulticontroller. Make sure to save the settings or it will go back when you power cycle the UMO.

 

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Yes, I was thinking on my UM classic. Not sure if I want to mess with those tiny potentiometers, but I found them on the stepper drivers. To lower the values, I guess I should rotate a tiny bit counter clockwise, but I am not sure about doing this as I have no way of measuring or keeping track of the changes.

On the other hand, I can think of another perk for lowering the current - the stepper drivers would run cooler so I could use a different fan to make it more quiet...

 

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Actually, the Z is on 8 microsteps on the UM2. Which is a bit stupid of us (Sorry, we make mistakes). It can be changed with a jumper, but then you also need to change the steps-per-mm. And I have no idea how much noise it will reduce.

 

I just did the change from 1/8- to 1/16-stepping on my UM2. The noise is reduced significantly... it's now 'zeeeeeeeeee' instead of 'ZEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE' :D

However, Ultimaker should never apply for a electronics accessibility prize for the UM2... :sad: It took me about two minutes to get two jumpers out of the UMO electronics (as I don't need them there and had no spares) but about 20 minutes to get one of them into the socket on the Ultiboard 2.1.

 

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Changing the Z-speed to 5-10% lower or higher might help as well as the standard speed might create vibrations at just the right wrong frequency to trigger resonance in the frame.

I have been experimenting with MIDI-CNC music and some notes play definitely louder than others on the machine (mill or printer).

 

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Changing current is dangerous so buy a spare driver first (google "pololu" if you want a cheap, well built replacement). They blow up easily. Clockwise versus counterclockwise is different for the several different servo drivers. Somewhere google will find you a photo of the 5 different kinds that UM sells and which way to turn them. You can measure the voltage at the tiny potentiometer or at the nearby via. That voltage is a constant of the max current. In other words, 0V means 0amps, 5V means 5*constant Amps. I don't remember the formula but you can google "pololu" for more details and the exact formula.

 

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In addition to what gr5 just wrote, be aware that there are different types of stepper drivers, even from Pololu. The Electronics Build Guide on the Ultimaker Wiki showed how to deal with the different types. Unfortunately, the Wiki is not available at the time being. I put a static copy of the https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15273556/Ultimaker/UMWiki/Electronics%20build%20guide%20-%20Ultimaker%20Wiki.htm onto my Dropbox account.

 

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Actually, the Z is on 8 microsteps on the UM2. Which is a bit stupid of us (Sorry, we make mistakes). It can be changed with a jumper, but then you also need to change the steps-per-mm. And I have no idea how much noise it will reduce.

 

I just did the change from 1/8- to 1/16-stepping on my UM2. The noise is reduced significantly... it's now 'zeeeeeeeeee' instead of 'ZEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE' :D

However, Ultimaker should never apply for a electronics accessibility prize for the UM2... :sad: It took me about two minutes to get two jumpers out of the UMO electronics (as I don't need them there and had no spares) but about 20 minutes to get one of them into the socket on the Ultiboard 2.1.

 

How did you change from 1/8 to 1/16 on your UM2 ?

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