How reduce noise from this printer?
December 04, 2022 09:51AM
Hello everyone!

Video for context

I want to try and reduce mechanical noise made by this particular printer (it was a Folgertec i3 Reprap, I modified the Z-Axis height and designed/printed all the parts for the adaptation) , what do you think is causing that rattling noise? Clearly coming from movement in the Y axis, bearings maybe?

Also I want to ask if it could be worth the upgrade to buy a MKS Robin Nano for this kind of printer, with silent drivers. Or getting some TCM2209 with Ramps 1.6+ should be enough?

Thanks in advance for any feedback!
Re: How reduce noise from this printer?
December 05, 2022 09:56AM
Ooh! That's an old-school printer!

I couldn't hear any audio on that video (my work computer isn't well provisioned).

It looks very much like the X axis isn't square with the Z axis. That was a common problem in that type of machine because it has two Z axis motors. That was why people came up with auto tramming/leveling (instead of fixing the cause of the problem). The steppers jump every time power is applied, and they don't always jump the same amount or in the same direction. That can cause the X axis to tilt, which people would compensate for by tilting the bed to match, which was very fiddly because of the dumb 4 point leveling (a screw at each corner). When you run out of bed tilt range, then you finally take a look at it and realize that the X axis has tilted relative to the Z axis. Once you straighten out the X axis, then you try to relevel the bed, and the whole cycle repeats. It's kind of important that the axes be square unless all you print are tug boats and star wars toys.

The X axis tilt problem can be fixed by driving the Z axis with one motor and a loop belt. If you don't want to go to that much trouble, you can send the X axis to the top of the Z axis and a little beyond. If the mechanical stops at the tops of the Z axis rods are set right, it will force the X axis perpendicular to the Z axis and you can then bring it back down to print knowing that X and Z are square. You can automate that task by putting it in the "start gcode" entry in whatever slicer you use, and just do it at the start of each print. If you get a controller that can do macros you can program it as a macro to run upon power up.

Leveling the bed with 4 screws is dumb because 4 points define a potato chip (aka a saddle). You may recall from junior high school math class that 3 points define a plane. If you want it to be easy to level the bed, and you want it to stay level (as long as you don't move the printer), look into kinematic mounts. There will be three bed support points, but only two are adjusted to set the bed "level". That type of mount is stable because the bed sits on the heads of the leveling screws, not on springs, and the mount allows the plate to expand when heated without causing anything to bend. I converted a bed flinger to kinematic mount here: []

Noise in printers can come from several sources. The motors can make noise, especially if the drivers are not high microstepping type. Bearings can make noise- a lot of old printers used rods that weren't hardened steel and the bearings cut grooves into the rods and the result is sloppy motion and noise. The bearings can go bad, especially of they are poor quality (which is common) or have been used to print a LOT. Belt teeth hitting pulleys can make a zipping noise, too, especially at high speeds.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/05/2022 11:54AM by the_digital_dentist.

Ultra MegaMax Dominator 3D printer: []
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