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I recently had a problem with the z-axis of my printer. To resolve the issue with the Z axis not moving I remove the left polished rod. Am I able to use the printer with just one smooth rod?

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    $\begingroup$ Please define "problem." Arbitrarily redesigning a system without knowledge or analysis is a bad idea (TM) $\endgroup$ Dec 29 '16 at 14:28
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First a resounding no. Not a good idea. Are you saying it works now that you have removed the smooth rod?

That tells me for sure your issue was Binding. Which is a tricky problem to solve. Binding usually happens when your carriage is not level. Take a bubble leveler and verify.

Another time it happens is when your Acceleration / Jerk settings are too high. Try reducing the Acceleration for Z in the firmware.

Another possibility is your rod is Bent. Take the rod on a flat surface. Inspect it as you roll it around. Do the same with the other rod. If it bows and is not completely flat, then you will need to replace it.

Last is make sure your printers frame is put together. If it is causing the rod to bend as it is not aligned right then you should try to see if you can fix it and contact the seller.

Technically you can run without the second rod. Maybe. I do not advise. It is sort of like cutting off a leg because you have a cramp. It will hurt your overall quality and it is better to just resolve the issue.

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    $\begingroup$ quick note that a bubble level is only going to work properly if the surface the printer is on is level too. it doesn't need to be level to gravity, just relative to the printer. laser leveler works if you got one, though you can just level the surface the printer is on first then bubble level it. $\endgroup$
    – Eric Kelly
    Jan 3 '17 at 17:21
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No, this is not a good idea. Your X axis is now free to rotate by a few degrees around the remaining Z rod. Parts may appear to print OK, but depending on the dynamics of a print, you will see offsets between layers. You need to resolve the issues with your Z-axis. These questions, z-axis hard to move in some areas - what could be faults, how to improve? and Z-axis steppers and bed alignment problems have some answers that are probably relevant.

Obviously, you can use this limited setup to print new parts if you need them, but you'll be lucky to make anything accurate enough.

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It may help someone I am just noting that all your comments are valid. I was reading through forums to find a solution to the binding problem. After calibrating, levelling, and adjusting, what I found out was rather simple. The two motors came out of phase (not sure how).

Here are the steps I took.

  1. I unplugged the motor on the left and the other motor was driving the Z axis just fine.
  2. I unplugged the motor on the right and the other motor was driving the Z axis just fine.

I started thinking in terms of my power supply providing enough current to drive both motors and then I rebooted the controller. When the system came back both motors were driving in synch.

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