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X Axis stepper motor issue?


K3Dds
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Posted · X Axis stepper motor issue?

Hey Guys,

 

I am currently having an issue with my UM2+ X axis printing. It is going on 4 years now with no issues until today!

It started with a slight layer shift on the x axis while printing but has now turned into a "grinding" sound and more severe shifting.(see video). I went through all the steps to tighten the screws and making sure the stepper motors were pushed tight ensuring no slack on any of the belts.

An error ER07 came up so I did a factory reset, which got rid of the error but didn't rectify the layer shifting.

I noticed that when I push the print head in the Y axis, with printer off, its nice and smooth but in the X axis its hard to push and grinds when I do move it.

I decided to open the stepper motor to see if anything stood out(not saying alot as I'm no engineer!), loose wires etc but cant see anything untoward.

When I tried to turn the belt driver cog, its very stiff and sticks when turning clock/counter clock wise. Should it do that or turn freely? I haven't inspected the other one so don't have a comparison.

do I need a new stepper motor or is it something simple I missed?

I have attached some images and video of it misbehaving!

 

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1qLLRJeXU81ZTQ2QMAudr6ThuS-I36TPf?usp=sharing

 

Cheers.

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    Posted · X Axis stepper motor issue?

    I watched (and more importantly listened) to the videos.  The "bad" sounds are surprisingly mild.  I was expecting nasty bearing grinding sounds (sometimes a ball bearing breaks and you get shrapnel in there and then the other bearings start to grind up).  So that didn't seem like the issue but it's hard to say.

     

    The stepper is almost certainly fine.  It is supposed to have a lot of resistance to get over the first hurdle of magnetism and then it is relatively easy to turn.  You can feel all the magenetic bumps when you turn them.  These I think are 200 steps per rotation so you should feel 200 tiny magnetic bumps where it resists turning and then wants to turn 200 times per rotation.  This is normal.

     

    I would say it's the stepper driver except for your most important clue: "X axis its hard to push".  If the X feels different from the Y then there is certainly a problem.  So there are quite a few things to check:

     

    1) The 4 axle bearings situated in the walls of the printer.  One of those could be bad.

    2) By the way did you try adding a drop of oil?  Normally you add one drop to each of the 3 rods associated with X axis movement.

    3) The sliding block bearings - I've had issues with these before when one of the rods that passes through the blocks had gunk on it. These are just simple brass tubes (no ball bearings - no needle bearings) as they have to slip rotationally and linearly both.

    4) The rod through the head.

     

    Trust the friction.  You will know when it's fixed when the friction of the X axis is reduced.

     

    First I'd check #4 that the two rods going through the head are perpendicular.  Sometimes you lose a step and the setscrews  for some of the long belts need to be loosened, the rods made perpendicular and then retightened.

     

    Then I'd remove the print head.  With zero tools you can snap the 2 rods out of the sliding blocks, then rotate the print head 45 degrees and it comes out and can be put aside.  Test movement to see if there is still friction.  If so then isolate - start loosening the set screws for the long belts to isolate each side and test #3.

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    Posted · X Axis stepper motor issue?

    Also beware that some bearings seem fine once you remove the load.  All those belts are applying a load because they are pulling pretty hard.

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    Posted · X Axis stepper motor issue?

    Hi gr5,

    Thanks for the reply and for the insight, you learn something new every day. I will take your advice and go through each of them to see if that alleviates the issue.

    Just on a side note, I put the stepper motor back in and tried moving the head again along the x axis. It still has the same issue but listening more closely, it seems to be coming from the head- to your point #4. I will take the head apart and investigate, hopefully it will lie in there!

    Again, appreciate the assistance

     

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    Posted · X Axis stepper motor issue?

    You shouldn't need to take the head apart - it's unlikely it's the bearing in the head but it could be.  Those are linear bearings - designed for a rod to slide through but not rotate.  They contain ball bearings inside.

     

    Instead, remove the head by the method mentioned above (just takes a few seconds) and then slide the rods back and forth through the head to feel the resistance.

     

    Again - no need to take the head apart.

     

    More likely the problem is one of the 4 X-axis bearings pressed into the wall or one of the two sliding block (x axis sliding blocks) bearings.

     

    If you have the X stepper out then that makes it even easier to feel the friction issue.  If there isn't more friction in X than Y with the X motor out then the problem is in the stepper which was your first guess.

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    Posted · X Axis stepper motor issue?

    So, after removing the two rods from the sliding blocks and testing the rods through the head, there is no friction. I put a dab of lube on the rods after I reassembled it, just for extra glide and it runs fine, in both X and Y directions. Now, the stepper motor was still out when I tested it. Once I reattached the stepper motor, the friction is back in the X axis, so I think its the stepper motor that is the culprit.

    I will have to order a replacement. @gr5 should I purchase from Ultimaker or is there an alternative?

    20220112_101009.jpg

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    Posted · X Axis stepper motor issue?

    You can do either but the Ultimaker one will come with the correct electrical connector.

     

    It looks like you are in Europe.  Contact the reseller that sold you the printer or any reseller in your part of the world.

     

    If you don't buy from Ultimaker I'm going to guess 10 euros each in bulk (10 at a time) and 20 euros each if you buy just one.  If you aren't in a rush and want to save as much money as possible consider trying aliexpress.  Ultimaker charges about 30 euros for these for the UM2+.

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    Posted · X Axis stepper motor issue?

    Ok, appreciate it. I went ahead and ordered OEM from Ultimaker reseller in Ireland. Thanks again @gr5 for you help and assistance, much appreciated.

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    Posted · X Axis stepper motor issue?

    I had this exact same thing happen to me in my Y axis today. I've been looking for replacements for somewhere other than the reseller, but nothing has the same part number. Does anyone know what else would be a direct replacement? It seems silly to buy one when I can buy three for the same price and have a spare in case of a failure of the other ones. 

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    Posted · X Axis stepper motor issue?

    Well it will have the wrong connector but if you don't mind soldering wires go for it.

     

    You don't need quite the exact same part number as much of that has to do with the wiring/connector and the shaft.  Inspect the shaft photo carefully before buying.

     

     

    Ultimaker original, UM2, UM2+, UM2go, UM2 extended - basically UM2 family of printers all use the same steppers for X and Y.

     

     

     

     

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    Posted · X Axis stepper motor issue?

    When you get your stepper, if it turns backwards, you can swap just 2 wires to fix that - the two in either pair.  So pick one pair, remove those 2 in put them back the other way.

     

    Or you can get the "tinkergnome" marlin firmware which allows you to swap stepper direction in the menu on the printer.

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