I have a z-axis which follows schematically the same principle as the makerbot one's (threaded rod and two leading rods with linear ball bearings carrying a level). It is from an old experimental lab doing physics or chemistry.
The axis move gorgeously about 5 cm, but then it get's stuck on either sides of this way. Both driving threaded rod and the leading rods seem perfectly fine and should be able to allow for further movement. This is as far as I can see by eye.
Where should I look to find further issues and how could I improve the performance? Do I need to take the construction apart?