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  1. #1

    Y Axis - Not homing / moving correctly (Wanhao i3 Plus / Balco Touch)

    Hi guys, I've got a bit of a weird one here which I was hoping you knowledgeable folk might be able to help with. I'm certainly not tech savvy enough to know whats going on even after substantial Googling! The issue is that I have put a stepper dampener on my Y-Axis which has done a good job in reducing the noise of travel moves along the Y-Axis. It has however created an issue which I certainly can't understand as nothing has changed on the printer beyond belt tension and a stepper dampener. My problem is now that when I press home on the printers LCD screen or via Cura the X and Z axis home correctly, but the Y travels in seemingly the wrong direction. The Y travels away from the Y-Axis end stop and hits the front of the printer by the LCD screen repeatedly, making a bit of a racket from the vibrations until I press the Y-Axis end stop on the other side of the printer. The bed then comes to rest on the wrong side of the printer.

    I've seen from Googling that I can reverse the direction of the stepper motors travel either via Firmware (which I'm not sure how I would go about editing) or via the stepper motors wiring itself, by flipping the poles around. I haven't been willing to try this yet as I'm not particularly savvy with electronics (or anything like this!) and don't want to fry my board or my house - the landlord might not be pleased with that, and my girlfriend would be mildly dissapointed!

    My questions would be, how do I fix it? I am willing to give the wiring a go if you think it will help, but I'm a little unsure how the stepper motor can now be travelling in the wrong direction when all I have done is put a stepper dampener on it, and re-install it back exactly as it was before. The wires for the stepper motor are shaped so they only fit in one way, which means I can't have flipped the connector upside down accidentally, and the alignment of the stepper motor is the same as it was before the dampener was installed. I have touched no other wires other than those of the stepper motor itself.

    Any ideas what might have happened and/or how to fix it? My printer is an Aldi Balco Touch (UK version of the Monoprice Maker / Cocoon Create / Wanhao i3 Plus).

    Cheers, any help would be great! I can upload videos and pictures if required.

  2. #2
    Any chance the stepper plug was reversed originally (plugged in wrong way)?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Martin_au View Post
    Any chance the stepper plug was reversed originally (plugged in wrong way)?
    That was my first thought but unfortunately the plugs can only be installed one way due to the way they are shaped. I'm considering putting Advi3++ firmware on the printer and seeing if I can reset the direction of travel via that way, but it will be a good bit of reading before I understand what the hell is going on. Ideally I dont want to flash the printer, but it looks like it may be my only option without potentially frying my board from messing with electrical cables.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by TenbagUK View Post
    That was my first thought but unfortunately the plugs can only be installed one way due to the way they are shaped. I'm considering putting Advi3++ firmware on the printer and seeing if I can reset the direction of travel via that way, but it will be a good bit of reading before I understand what the hell is going on. Ideally I dont want to flash the printer, but it looks like it may be my only option without potentially frying my board from messing with electrical cables.
    Thought that may be the case. Weird change.

    ADVI3++ is well worth it though.

    You are unlikely to fry the board switching stepper cables. Jnust make sure it's not powered on when you're switching wires.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    so what EXACTLY did you do when fitting the belt tensioner and stepper dampener.

    Clearly there is a cause and effect here and obviously something you did caused the problem.

    So - in mind bendingly intricate detail - what did you actually do ?
    Was anything disconnected or any wires rerouted at any point ?

    Have you twisted the belt ?
    You would probably have needed to take it off the idler cog to fit a belt tensioner, and all it would need is a simple twist below the printbed to reverse the direction of travel.
    That's probably my current favourite theory.

    Did you move or otherwise fiddle with th endstop.

    have you changed the slicer profile in any way ?

    Something you did caused the problem. I can think of a few ways this might happen (the top one being the twisted belt) - but I'd rather you detailed what you did and we'll see if any of that fits any of my current theories :-)

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    so what EXACTLY did you do when fitting the belt tensioner and stepper dampener.

    Clearly there is a cause and effect here and obviously something you did caused the problem.

    So - in mind bendingly intricate detail - what did you actually do ?
    Was anything disconnected or any wires rerouted at any point ?

    Have you twisted the belt ?
    You would probably have needed to take it off the idler cog to fit a belt tensioner, and all it would need is a simple twist below the printbed to reverse the direction of travel.
    That's probably my current favourite theory.

    Did you move or otherwise fiddle with th endstop.

    have you changed the slicer profile in any way ?

    Something you did caused the problem. I can think of a few ways this might happen (the top one being the twisted belt) - but I'd rather you detailed what you did and we'll see if any of that fits any of my current theories :-)
    I like the sound of that, and am going to fully agree with you on something having caused it to happen - and the most likely answer or cause for it is myself, or I should say me cocking it up in some way. It does sound like you could be onto something with the twisted belt theory, although I'll be honest and say I'm quite mechanically / physics-y deficient so I don't understand why it would be happen. I've always been more artistically inclined! With that said, I've attached some pics to see if that helps you guys decipher my cockup, and a short video of the horrible vibration my printer now causes when homing away from the end-stop on Y (the other two axis are fine).

    Now, onto the What I Done:

    Firstly I went over the rods for my printers X, Y and Z axis's and found numerous loose. One of the rods on my X axis was completely free floating (the horizontal one the print head moves along), and so could move back and forth freely. The difficulty with this was I was doing it in quite low light, and so was able to tighten lower X axis rod fine, using a small allen key, but I couldn't get access to the upper X axis rod without taking the printer gantry apart - or so I thought. So I took the two 'arms' off the left and right of the printer, so I could access the grub screws to tighten the upper X axis rods - then I found that there was a hole in the top X axis bracket to allow me to tighten the grub screws there without dismantling it. So that was annoying but will be conveniant for the future (maybe!). I had no difficulty tightening up the Y rods which were a bit loose, as the allen key is easy to locate in the grub screws so I did that next.
    I then decided that whilst the printer was in bits I'd fit at least one of the stepper motors I had bought to see how it improved / changed things. So i chose the Y-axis, and flipped the whole printer base (detached from its gantry arms) upside down, and unscrewed one of the screws holding the belt in place. I then took off the stepper motor for Y-axis and added the dampener, I fiddled with the distance of the spinning head of the stepper motor and tried to get it to be roughly in line with where I thought it needed to be to align with the other side (you called it an idler cog but on mine it is less light a cog and looks more like a small spindle / bearing - unless i'm getting the terminlogy mixed up and the idler is on the stepper itself). I lined it up and tightened it down, and then tried to re-fit the belt - where the belt tensioner had fallen off with my fiddling. I re-attached the belt, and then with pliers managed to put the spring belt tensioner back on the belt (although I dont quite know where it was originally positioned). I then moved the bed by pulling the belt and found the spring tensioner bashing into and trying to 'go around' the stepper motor so I had to relocate it to where it wouldn't hit either side of the 'ends' (either the idler side or the stepper motor side). I managed to find it a place to fit where it doesn't catch on anything. I did think to myself whilst doing this that whilst it was flipped upside down, the bed was resting on the floor, and thus was constantly having a bit of movement as I was fiddling trying to get the belt back on. I wonder whether this might have caused some of the issue?
    I then rebuilt the gantry, with a bit of fiddling, and got it back together. I then went to check the printer and found the issues that I am now describing, with the printer bed wanting to move away from the end-stop instead of towards it on the Y-axis. I did manage to get the printer to a place where I could print, but as you should see from my screenshot it has printed the dial 'flipped'. The screenshot with the two dials are from before and after, the left dial is before I added the dampener, and the right is after.

    Any help you can put together from my wall of text and pictures would once again be very appreciated!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
    Just to clarify, did you just add the damper, or replace a motor with a new stepper + damper?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Martin_au View Post
    Just to clarify, did you just add the damper, or replace a motor with a new stepper + damper?
    I just added the dampener, but one thing i forgot to mention is I also did tighten up slightly the hex bolt on the motor idler as it felt a bit loose.

  9. #9
    I see the problem. I'm pretty sure your belt is reversed. The carriage attachments should be below the free belt.

    Check out this thing. It shows the correct belt configuration.https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3676895

    Other things to watch for on the i3 Plus:
    Y-axis idler twisting - Lots of easy mods to brace it.
    X-axis coming loose - I've got a nice X-Z axis rebuild that makes maintenance a lot easier and the printer much more robust - https://www.thingiverse.com/martin_au/designs
    Extruder lever wearing out - 3D printed replacement is available in my collection, or you can grab a metal one.
    Bed wires wearing where they go through the 20x20mm hole in the Y-carriage. Wrap with some tape, or if possible get a replalcement aluminium carriage.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Martin_au View Post
    I see the problem. I'm pretty sure your belt is reversed. The carriage attachments should be below the free belt.

    Check out this thing. It shows the correct belt configuration.https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3676895

    Other things to watch for on the i3 Plus:
    Y-axis idler twisting - Lots of easy mods to brace it.
    X-axis coming loose - I've got a nice X-Z axis rebuild that makes maintenance a lot easier and the printer much more robust - https://www.thingiverse.com/martin_au/designs
    Extruder lever wearing out - 3D printed replacement is available in my collection, or you can grab a metal one.
    Bed wires wearing where they go through the 20x20mm hole in the Y-carriage. Wrap with some tape, or if possible get a replalcement aluminium carriage.
    Thanks for those suggestions, and thanks for all the help. This is where my difficulty with mechanics (and / or observation!) comes into play. I can't quite see what I need to do to my belt to make it match the picture you show (in terms of its orientation, not the extra 3d printed parts). How would I go about getting my carriage attachments under the belt? I feel a little dense but I often do with these things! I have ironically always really struggled with symmetry and orientation of mechanical / physical things - yet love to do hard surface 3d modeling of mechanical things.

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