I have built a couple of 3d printers now and I'm having a little trouble with one I'm currently on. I frankensteined this one with two of my other printers that I had built. I took the Arduino mega and ramps 1.4 out of the older one and wired it up to the newer one. When I plug the printer in and try to move the stepper motors they will go in the positive direction and skip and make loud noises when going the other direction. I have taken and separated out all the wires to make sure it wasn't a stray signal. I have also tried turning the voltage up and down on the drivers with no luck. I also swapped cables in case one might have been broken. The next step when I get home I'm going to try is connecting the old steppers and see if they work. After that I am pretty much at a loss. I already search Google and found a couple of things I could try, but figured maybe someone here might have an answer to why this might be happening. Steppers motors from the old printer are the same as the new one the only difference is manufactures.

Update: The printers are: HE3d Prusa XI3 Max Micron Foldbot

I'm just using the LCD, Ramps 1.4 and Arduino Mega 2560 R2 from the He3d and putting it on the Foldbot. With some other features but those shouldn't matter as they would work on both printers. The board from the Foldbot is the Arduino Mega 2560 built into the Ramps board MXP_PRO_V3.0. I'll try and get some pictures. Also switching steppers didn't work. Going to try to get X,Y,Z axis working separately see if i can find the problem that way.

Update: Ok so I attached the old axis up and did a test with the endstops. Basically I think the new endstops must be the opposite of what the other printer was cause when i hold the end stop down the motor rotates in both directions and when i let go then it rotates only in a positive direction. I will see if this is part of the issue. I also believe that one of the motors is bad and that's why it wasn't making any sense when i first diagnose it.

  • $\begingroup$ "Frankenstein" and complete homebuilt 3D Printers are notorisously hard to troubleshoot without some help on your side: a Picture that shows the general design (like, is it a Prusa clone? a Hypercube? A cantilever design?) and at best some of the configuration of the controller. $\endgroup$
    – Trish
    Commented Dec 23, 2017 at 16:44
  • $\begingroup$ The way you are describing the issue, it seems there's nothing specific to these steppers being installed in a 3D printer. You may have extra input by asking on electronics.stackexchange.com as well. $\endgroup$
    – mac
    Commented Dec 24, 2017 at 0:30

3 Answers 3


From an electrical standpoint, a two-phase stepper motors (what most 3D printers use) works the same backwards and forwards, the phase just reverses. If you are stalling on only one direction, I would look to see if you have a mechanical bind in that direction. Generally a wiring issue will cause the motor to either not run at all or to run in the wrong direction.

A few things you can check:

  1. Decouple the motors from their mechanical load and confirm that they all run correctly when they aren't driving a load. If you can't do that, disconnect them all then connect a spare motor to each cable one-at-a-time.
  2. Turn each of the axis with your hand and make sure it turns smoothly throughout the entire range in both directions. Note: Some times a binding issue is acceleration related - a loose frame or coupling can cause this.
  3. Monitor the supply voltage to make sure that one of the motors is not pulling the supply down causing all the others to stall.
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your answer. I found that one of the stepper was bad using this. Also the end stops were inverted that is why the steppers were also misbehaving. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 5:11

Sounds like you are configured for NC switches but are using NO switches, causing them to invert their reported state. Issue a M119 command and see if the endstop statuses are correct when none are triggered.


Had a similar issue with one of the stepper motors on a Flashforge Creator Pro.

Just finished a print as the head was returning to the home position and sounded like it was jammed up, inspected in jog mode and it would move left but not right then neither direction, disconnected, check for free movement and all was good found this thread and was thinking it might be a bad motor but turned out to be just a bad wire going to the motor.

  • $\begingroup$ Yes, if one of the four leads to the stepper doesn't always connect, you can get no movement, stuttering movement, or movement in the wrong direction. $\endgroup$
    – Davo
    Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 17:50

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