I currently have the V4.2.2 motherboard and it is producing some very poor prints on the X- and Y-axis. I have tried many quick fixes to no avail. Every print out of the box more than a few cm tall has these major defects. Belts are sufficiently tight, the bed is level, the printer is on a flat sturdy table, and I still have this issue. Thanks for your help


  • $\begingroup$ I'm not convinced that this defect falls in the traditional category called "layer shifting". Have you checked the bed and the portal assembly for play? $\endgroup$
    – 0scar
    Jun 3, 2021 at 11:15

1 Answer 1


Layer shifting can be caused by a number of different things. The following list of solutions is from All3DP's article "Troubleshooting Common 3D Printing Problems" under the heading Print Offset in Some Places:

Place the printer on a stable base and in a location where it will avoid being knocked, poked and generally fiddled with. Even a small nudge of the printer can shift the print base and cause issues.

Many 3D printers use some form of detachable print bed. Although this is handy when it comes to removing prints and avoids damage to the printer, it also means that over time clips and screws can work loose. Make sure that when you reinstall the print platform it’s clipped or bolted tightly in place to avoid any slip or movement.

A print’s upper layers can easily warp if cooled too quickly. As the layers warp they rise and can cause an obstruction to the nozzle as it moves. In most cases the print will release from the platform, but if it doesn’t the powerful stepper motors can push the print and platform around. If your prints are suffering from warping in the upper layers try reducing the speed of the fans slightly.

It is possible to speed up the print times for your machine by increasing temperature and flow. However whilst this may result in the filament flowing in the correct quality the rest of the machine may struggle to keep up. If you hear a clicking during printing this could be a sign that the printer is going to fast. If you do hear a click the first port of call is to check that the filament isn’t slipping, before you take a look at the actual printer speed. You can adjust your printer’s speed easily enough in any good slicing software.

If layers are still shifting then it’s time to check the belts. A quick check is to just go around all belts and pinch the two together. The tension in each belt should be the same, if not then you’ll need to adjust the belt position to even out the belt tension. Over time the rubber belts will stretch (You can often tell if they do as they’ll start to slip on the drive pulleys), if there is quite a bit of play in the belts then it’s time to replace them with new ones. Over tight belts can also be an issue but this is usually only a problem if you’ve built the machine yourself. Some printers such as the Prusa i3 have belt tensioning screws that enable you to easily adjust the belt tensions.

These are usually connected directly to a stepper motor, and one of the main rods that drives the print head. If you carefully rotate the coupler you’ll see a small grub screw. Hold onto the rod and taking hold of the attached belt and then tug the belt and try to force the pulley to turn. You should find that there is no slip between the coupler and stepper or rod. If there is, tighten the grub screw and try again.

Over time debris can build up on the rods which means that at some points along their length they encounter an increase in friction. This can affect the free movement of the head and cause layer shifting. A quick wipe and re-oil of the rods usually solves the issue.

If you see the print head falter at certain points then it could be that one of the rods has become slightly bent. You can usually tell by switching off the machine so there’s no power going through the steppers and then move the print head through the X- and Y- axes. If you feel resistance then you know something is amiss. Start by seeing if the rods are aligned, if they are then remove the rods and roll them on a flat surface. If any are bent then it will be quite obvious.

  • $\begingroup$ This has a good order for checking. Try an additional adhesive layer (glue stick or hair spray) and try lifting z by one step size when moving the extruder and not extruding. $\endgroup$
    – Perry Webb
    Jun 2, 2021 at 11:54

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