I have an Ender 3 with a 32-bits version 4.2.2 controller board (5 weeks old, <10 prints).

This is a video of what it does during a mesh bed leveling MBL (9 points):

I upgraded the firmware to Marlin to get the MBL feature. Did a few short prints, 1-2 h, and everything was fine. When I was printing a 4 h print, sometime after 2 h I got a huge permanent layer shift in X-axis (5 cm) and it started printing mid-air.

Unaware of all the possibilities I generated the G-code again and checked belt and bolts for loose parts. Started the print again and this time I got the layer shift way sooner, like 30 minutes.

Then I started looking online for other solutions. I swapped stepper motors and again it was the X-axis. Swapped cables and again it was the X-axis. When the stepper was alone at the table with no belt it got the same "holding" that we can see on the video. It does a weird sound like something is holding it. And instead of moving the 10 cm for each point at the MBL it struggles to move 1 cm.

When using the "Move X" it goes smoothly with no problems; 0.1 mm, 1 mm, 10 mm all fine.

I tried to reduce the DEFAULT_MAX_ACCELERATION to 300 but nothing changed. I also reinstalled the Creality Ender 3 firmware and the problem persists. Now when I try to print a simple cube at the middle, it starts printing at the left side and with nasty layer shifts.

What could it be? I am running out of hypothesis to test.

  • $\begingroup$ When you say swap cables, do you mean just use a different cable on the same circuit (x driver to x motor/axis, y driver to y motor/axis)? Or do you mean temporarily swap x and y carriage to test if the problem is the driver, or the motor, or the axis (x driver to y motor/axis, y driver to x motor/axis)? Have you beeped (conductivity tested) the cable connections from the board to the motor with a multimeter? $\endgroup$ Sep 27 at 5:10
  • $\begingroup$ @ChinchillaWafers I swapped both endings and the problem was always with whatever was attached to X socket at mainboard. I bought a multimeter and did the measures according to a creality video and the X driver is not getting proper voltage. The readings were 0.9 V for Z and Y but 0.003 V for X. Turning the trimpot change it from 0 to 0.007 V. Is my driver dead? $\endgroup$ Oct 2 at 21:22

This is an issue I have had when doing maintenance on my printer. If your belt is too tight, it will cause resistance to the motor turning. In addition, you may not have properly set the motor current (tiny trimpot next to each motor driver).


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