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  1. #1

    Creality Ender 3 - X-axis seized up?

    Hello everybody. I bought a Comgrow Creality Ender 3 off Amazon about a month ago. I set it up and had quite a few successful prints with it (about seven prints in total, with about four of those comprising an entire chess set), so a combined total of about 80 hours print time with 3 different types of PLA, having basically great results. Was very happy with it.

    I switched to a black PLC about a week ago and tried another print, and it did this weird thing where it binded up early on in the print, the x-coordinate seemed to be stuck, so it kept printing in a straight line and eventually binded up and I cancelled the print. I tried to print again the next day (being a newbie), and oddly enough it looked like it was printing correctly for the first layer (took maybe 5 min), then the second layer was offset by maybe half an inch in the positive-x direction, and the next layer was another half inch in the positive x-direction, and so I cancelled that print too. I knew something was up at this point, that it wasn't just the black PLA but was an issue with the geometry of my print setup.

    I have not made any changes since then, but the issue now is that if I go through the Prepare menu and try to move along the x-axis in 0.1mm, 1mm, or 10mm increments (doesn't matter), the x-axis motor has like a mini-seizure where it sounds like it is trying to move but does not. Z and Y axes work fine.

    I did a bit of research / watched a few videos, and as a result I switched the connectors (motor connector and limit switch) from the Y-axis motor to the X-axis motor. Alas, the x-axis motor worked perfectly. So in case I didn't explain that well, the x-axis motor connected to the x-axis connector would not work (was seized up). However, when I connected the Y-axis connector to the x-axis motor, the x-axis motor worked great.

    This seems to tell me that the issue is in wiring and/or the motherboard of the printer. This is pretty disappointing since I have only had it for around a month, but I do know these printers are finnicky and at the price, what do you expect. So I feel like my next step would be to connect the X-connector to the Y-motor and see if the Y-motor will then seize / jam, but at this point I assume it would. After that I might test the continuity on the wire connectors, but beyond these steps I would be lost to any further troubleshooting / solutions.

    Does anyone have any ideas or steps I might be able to take to fix this issue? This was a really, really sweet printer and I don't mind putting in a bit of work on it so long as I can get it up and running again.

    Thanks all, happy printing!

    C

  2. #2
    138 views and no replies? Surely somebody must know what is happening

    TLDR: My Creality Ender 3 x-axis motor is seized (it kind of shakes when trying to move x-axis, but x-axis (belt, hot end etc) doesn't actually move. Plugged in my x-axis motor to my y-axis cable (y-axis into mobo) and x-axis motor worked like a charm. Is this a bad motherboard, cables, or something else?

  3. #3
    Engineer Roberts_Clif's Avatar
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    I would say that the bearings are binding and need to be cleaned of the packing grease and then lubricated with a good oil.

    There are many oils that can be used though many you may already have in your home.
    Spray oils include WD40, Spray Silicone Garage Door lubricant and good old Ballistol Oil-Lube Cleaner 4oz Non-Aerosol.
    If you clean a new linear bearing you will find that it is packed with so much crud I would never use on without first cleaning with a de-greaser.
    Then oiling it with your choice of lubricants.

    I have seen where some have used a grease, I tried and found it only made the 3D Printers steppers miss steps because too sticky.

    Could also be that the 3D Printer is not aligned correctly and binding between the smooth rods an the bearings.

  4. #4
    Thank you, I will look into libricating the x-axis moving parts.

    If the problem is a lack of lubrication, then why did the motor suddenly work when I connected it to the y-axis motor connector? Seems like the problem isn't mechanical but electrical. Not trying to knock your answer, it just seems like the jittering action which only happens when connected to the x axis signal cable means the signal is bad. I guess I could get out my oscilloscope and troubleshoot it but I was hoping one of the many fine experienced 3d printing gurus could help me out here

  5. #5
    Engineer Roberts_Clif's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slick_willy View Post
    Seems like the problem isn't mechanical but electrical. Not trying to knock your answer, it just seems like the jittering action which only happens when connected to the x axis signal cable means the signal is bad.
    It could also mean the the Stepper current setting V-Ref is incorrect.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Roberts_Clif View Post
    It could also mean the the Stepper current setting V-Ref is incorrect.
    Alright, thank you for the replies. I'll look into it further and see if a setting in the program might not be correct. Just seems weird that it does not seem to be an issue with the motor or hardware, but rather the connection or signal source.

    Thank you again

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