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Fresh build - Issues with first prints

Posted by mpit52 
Fresh build - Issues with first prints
March 07, 2017 08:14AM
Hello all,
I decided to dip my toe in the 3d printing environment by purchasing a DYI prusa i3 variant from Amazon and am running into issues with first prints. After my best attempt to level, my first prints started off good but then I notice the extruder not raising and a clicking sound. I ran the motors up and down. It seems that the right motor wasn't vertically aligned properly. I listened the motor mount screws and it started to smoothly climb up and down. After doing that, a new problem arose (see video). There is this terrible squeaking coming from the left side. I want my 3d printing experience to be a happy one so I figured it was time for some community help.

How do I properly fix the right z motor?
How do I stop the squeaking?
How do I make this printer work correctly?
smiling smiley

Any and all suggestions are appreciated.

PS. I did some Google searching on this and fixes includes loosening motor mount screws, the brass bearing/screw nut screws and removing guide rods..none of which resolved my issues.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/08/2017 11:51PM by mpit52.
Re: Fresh build - z motor squeak
March 07, 2017 12:12PM
Try to reduce max. speed for z-direction.
You don't have to change firmware to do it, just put the line " M203 Z3" in the start code of the slicer. I'd put it above the G28 command to reduce homing speed as well.
You can also try M203 Z2 if it still screams or M203 Z4, if you want to test your luck...

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/07/2017 12:13PM by o_lampe.
Re: Fresh build - z motor squeak
March 07, 2017 12:58PM
Thank you for the reply. In terms of modifying the splicer code, are you referring to the .gcode file itself or are you referring to the current firmware? I though that this may have been a physical issue and not a logical one. I can try later and report back.

I found some useful information from another users, which in retrospect seems obvious. I am not 100% sure that my printer is on a level surface as its just on a cheap coffee table. I'm going to go build a quick mount for it to sit on and test afterwards. Hopefully its something silly and simple like that.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/07/2017 01:18PM by mpit52.
Re: Fresh build - z motor squeak
March 08, 2017 02:21AM
Clamping down the printer to a solid, flat MDF plate solved 50% of my printing problems. But it can also make things worse, when clamped down while the axis' are not aligned.
Manually move the axis to find binding rods and take your time to level the bed.
Re: Fresh build - z motor squeak
March 08, 2017 08:53PM
Alright so I created a level base for my printer and am still having issues printing. On the positive side, I no longer hear a skipping noise but the squeak is still there. I think a little lube should fix that tho. I think I either have an issue leveling the bed or with the file print speeds, fill and other settings. My first layer doesn't want to stick and after a few passes it turns into one big ball...

The file I am trying to print is a X, Y, Z cube from thingiverse:

I'm leveling the bed by putting the extruder at all 4 corners and adjusting the height until its about .48/.5 mm away. Is that to far away? I'm using a laminated insurance card as a leveling tool and that the thickness as per my digital calipers.

As for my print settings:
Layer Height: .2mm
Wall Thickness and Top/Bottom Thickness .8mm
Infill: 20%
Print Speed: 30mm/s
Travel Speed: 120mm/s
Base Plate: skirt
Re: Fresh build - z motor squeak
March 08, 2017 11:49PM
So I started to use a piece of paper to level my printer but I'm still having trouble. I can't print the cube or any of the test prints. The corners never stick and cause a clog...Would it be easier if I just picked up a sensor or would that not help if I can level the bed on my own?
Re: Fresh build - z motor squeak
March 09, 2017 06:42AM
what material are you tiring to print and to what surface and temperatures ?

First layer issues are very common as there are a number of causes, non level bed only being one of them.

Since a test cube to curls up in the corners at the bottom im going to guess ABS ?
Re: Fresh build - Issues with first prints
March 09, 2017 08:08AM
I am printing with the PLA that came with the printer kit. 1.75 190deg-230deg.

I'm preheating extruder at the default of 190deg and bed at 60. I'm printing at what I assume is the file default of 200deg.

I have 3M multi-surface blue painters tape on the bed as I read it would help adhesion. I know some people recommend getting tempered glass for their beds but I feel I should be able to get it to print without that. There must be something that I'm missing.

PS. I verified the couplings on the z motor screw rods are th same height by using a cut piece of wood as a guide.
Re: Fresh build - z motor squeak
March 09, 2017 09:00AM
How much wiggle do you feel when you move the hotend up/down? The Prusa MK8 extruder bracket is a bit on the weak side.
I had to push the nozzle into the blue tape to get good 1st layers. Especially when the Y-carrier ( frog ) is to flexible.

Don't worry, after wasting a whole spool of filament printing cubes, you will learn to read your printer.
Re: Fresh build - Issues with first prints
March 09, 2017 11:08AM
I have also just put together one the amazon prusa i3 printers . I noticed when I did the bed leveling at the
Corners it was good but the centre of the bed was lower so I check it where it will be printing. I ended up getting a peice of glass
To make it easier to level. To get the actual printing area level the head would be touching the corners
Re: Fresh build - Issues with first prints
March 10, 2017 08:11AM
Thanks guys, I appreciate the comments. I haven't had a chance to take another look at the printer yet. When you say hot head, do you mean the nozzle itself or the entire extruder assembly? I don't recall to much wiggle room and am pretty sure I tightened down the nozzle good.

A warped bed would make sense because I'm pretty sure I leveled the bed correctly. I guess a sheet of tempered glass is the next purchase. Do you guys recommend getting a thermal pad as well? I assume this goes between the glass and hotbed.
Re: Fresh build - Issues with first prints
March 15, 2017 04:12PM
So the printer beat me. I put close to 20 hours between build and troubleshooting but couldn't get it to print a single item. Build a stable base, mounted to said base, purchased tempered glass, used painters tape, tried to modify code etc. Neither the default test prints or the XYZ cube would print. I couldn't get the first layer to stick for anything. The printer has been returned and replaced with a pre-assembled unit. Thanks everyone for the help and assistance. Always happy to see an active community.
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