Tuesday, November 3, 2015

X-Axis cable repair

It's been a little while since I had to tear down and fix my printer, so I guess I was about due. This time I was running into problems with my x-axis. Have been for a while, But when the x-axis movement starting jigging back and forth like it would rather be dancing than printing and not even touching the electrical engineer hat (which I don't wear particularly well) and do some investigations. The first thing I thought to figure out if it was the cable or the motor. So I went to disconnect the cable and hook it up to a spare motor I had when i saw this.
 Okay, the cable is definitely in need of some maintenance. I also had a spare cable that I could have just restrung, but since that would have involved flipping the bot and removing the bottom panel I decided to just go for a splice and patch.
I thought that would have it sussed, but when I hooked the cable back up to the motor it arced pretty good. So maybe the cable was symptomatic of the real problem and the stepper motor had burned out. But since my original plan was to try a different motor it was no problem to swap it out. 

After fixing the cable and swapping the motor out everything seems to be back in working order. I don't want to curse things, but I feel like I'm getting pretty good at this 3D printer maintenance thing.


  1. Where did it arc from? That's one repair I haven't needed to do yet. But when I crossed that 10k hour mark I did head over to HobbyKing and grabbed plenty of their super soft high strand count silicon wire in 18ga. It's amazing stuff and I've never found anything close anywhere else, cheap too.

    One thing I have had to do was change the voltage regulator on the mobo. The machine would just reboot mid print on hot days. Second regulator was fine for months then it started doing the same. That's when I glued a heat sink on it and ran a small tube from that silly little fan down there that needed a job to do. Been good so far and my best prints come on days when my garage is near 140F. No shrinkage issues then. :) :)

    1. It was arcing from the red wire, the one that burned out before.

      Have you heard if the voltage regulator problems persist in the new FlashForge or Wanhao printers? Just in case I ever scrape together enough to buy an upgrade.

    2. Red wire at the stepper connector? or splice? or mobo?

      Haven't heard about that on those two printers, probably because they are using a switching regulator which is a much more efficient design. The linear ones work fine but need proper cooling. It's a simple mod to cool it.

      The Rep1 and Rep2 are only only printers that come stock with a stainless steel filament tube in the heater and those never clog. Changing that ptfe tube often made me give my donor FF back. Plus I do a lot of nylon and XT Clear and that needs 250C to go down well. Unfortunately that would kill a ptfe tube so I'm told.


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