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This problem started technically just before a major move but I had hoped it was a "one off" issue... I started up my trusty Ender 3 today to find it may have actually gotten worse and I'm not entirely sure what the solution is. I was printing a replica of a weapon from a game and I noticed at one point through the print I had a rather extreme X layer shift now today after finally getting the printer setup I've come to find the problem may have actually gotten worse, additionally I'm having a strange gap issue on the top most layers of my prints and strange waving patterns. Now I should note my printer is printing within an enclosure and its temperatures have been adjusted for it but this is rather extreme.major layer shift and waving

extreme gaps in print

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    $\begingroup$ Can you please check your belt tightness, and that all your frame bolts are secure. I'd suspect the X belt, presuming that's the "bow to stern" axis as opposed to the port/starboard belt. $\endgroup$
    – Criggie
    Nov 8 '21 at 20:38
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    $\begingroup$ belt is fully tightened and bolts seem to be secure I may need to double check the bolts though $\endgroup$ Nov 8 '21 at 21:11
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As others have said, shifts in the X-axis are generally from belts at the wrong tension and loose frame screws. Especially after moving, I would say to check all of the frame screws and retighten them to their original torque. Moving a printer puts a lot of stress on its joints and hardware if it’s not handled correctly.

I highly recommend you print a quick X-axis belt tensioner for your printer. It takes no time at all and it did wonders for my Ender 3 when it was having issues with skipping and layer shifting.

Even if your belts feel tight they may not be at the correct tension. This is generally from the belts stretching out over time or the printer just rattling the belt pulleys loose. After printing the belt-tensioner for the X-axis you’ll be able to adjust the tension mid-print if it’s still skipping.

Honestly go ahead and print one for the Y-axis at the same time. Both shouldn’t take longer than an hour.

X-axis Belt Tensioner for Ender 3

Y-axis Belt Tensioner for Ender 3

If all else fails you can buy a new belt(I’d recommend one with some kind of reinforcements embedded in it) for like $10 on Amazon.

Also, as someone else said - it could be a connection short between your computer and printer If you’re printing straight from the USB cable. I’ve had a ton of trouble with that in the past which is why with the nurse three I decided to just put all of my prints on the SD card and start them from the screen on the printer, it saves on the headaches and you can at least rule out your PC and the Printing software as the culprits.

Good Luck!!

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Some things that can cause this.

  1. You eliminated the belt.

  2. The extruder colliding with something rigid enough to cause it to lose track of the origin.

  3. What seems most likely is intermittent power to your x-motor, so that the computer continues as if the motor moved when it didn't completely. This is a possible intermittent at different locations accociated with the motor.

I've seen a power glitch cause a single offset in print when the computer has battery backup, but the printer does not.

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  • $\begingroup$ hmmm this could be a solution I havent noticed any power fluctuation but I actually have a battery backup thats been sitting aside I could attempt to run with the printer if its within its specs. I'll have to try that! $\endgroup$ Nov 10 '21 at 18:03
  • $\begingroup$ It looks like you had multiple small shifts and one big one. It they are all on the x-axis, I would suspect an intermittent connection related to the power to the x-axis motor only; probably not ac power. If you see x-axis and y-axis shifts, it may be due to ac power. $\endgroup$
    – Perry Webb
    Nov 10 '21 at 19:49

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