My Build platform gets stuck

So, My build platform gets stuck above the resin after maybe 5 min of printing. I greased the z rod up with super lube and it did not help. talking to form labs they said my z-axis motor needs to be repaired. but before I send it over to get repaired( which Is really expensive and I can’t afford) I was wondering if anyone has had the same problem and maybe there might be another solution.

thank you so much, I really want to get back to printing :confused:

I have a form 1+ by the way

Can you post more details on the issue. Do you know if it is an actual stepper motor issue or possibly the stepper driver. What steps were taken to troubleshoot? How much is the repair?

see, I don’t even know what those are, wish I did tho. All I know is the print will be going fine then after 5 min the build platform will get stuck a couple inches above where it should be as the poor machine occasionally makes clicking noises trying to move the build platform. I just sent this description, and a video with the clicking noises, their conclusion was a new motor. this will cost $800 +shipping D:

Ok. That makes sense. The fee is a flat rate. My printer is on its way to be repaired so I understand.

I think the Z stepper failing is a rare failure but it does happen.

Have you run a print with no vat and no build platform? If yes, does the same thing happen?

Can you share the video here as well?

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oops, I meant to add that to my previous post, here it is

let me know if it doesnt work

ummm, its not really letting me post the link? not sure whats going on

oh no D: yikes its a really high flat rate then :confused: I guess its a complicated service with only one provider so they can charge whatever they want.

I havent run a print like that, maybe I should mess around with it? but then I won’t be able to tell whats going on right?

Well, yes and no. While I completely understand the flat rate when there is a laser / laser control issue like my printer has I personally would request to have the motor sent to me so I could replace it. I am not sure if FL or many customers would be comfortable replacing the Z axis motor but I would.

There are benefits to having FL service the unit. Say you paid for the motor (assuming they were willing to send it out) you replaced the motor and find that the printer is now dead. You didn’t do anything wrong, just bad timing. You would be out the money for the motor and now need to pay the $800.- to have the printer repaired anyway.

If you could, run a print without the vat and build platform. The benefit of this come into play when you get to the area of the build where the machine is having issues while having no external forces on anything. We can see exactly what is going on and when. If you do run the test, take a video and post up so we can take a look.

Being that FL tech support listened to the audio, it is almost 100% they got the correct diagnosis but having the video online may help others in the future. It can’t hurt having us take a look for a second opinion as well.

I gather Frew or one of the other guys will chime in letting us know if the Z axis motor is considered to be a FRU or not.

There are so many different shapes and sizes of stepper motor available, I’d be surprised as heck if FL has a custom-designed stepper. So if the printer is busted and out of warranty anyway, I’d ask FL if they can tell you where to source a motor or at least the specifications so you could look for a replacement. Then I’d buy a replacement and install it.

This assumes you have some decent mechanical skills and some basic electrical knowledge, or that you know someone who does. The downside here is that it’s not the stepper and you pay for the part and do the work and the printer is still busted.

If you don’t have the skills (or access to the skills) to swap the motor, whether it’s the motor or something else you’ve got no choice but to have FL service it for you. On the positive side, they’ll check everything for that fee. Your printer could potentially be better (than it was before it broke) when you get it back.

I mean, my printer had been fine, I didn’t touch is and now it doesnt work :confused: I’m just worried about how much maintaining a printer will cost and I just don’t have money for it :confused: blegh its a bummer. I’m going to look into replacing the motor my self, I know some tech savvy people too, maybe they can help.

ok, I will try to film it without the vat and build but So should I (and can I?) take the back of the printer off and film it? so I can more clearly see and tape whats going on? its hard to see anything through the orange plastic.

thanks for your help BTW, I really like this community.

I’m going to do that, thank you so much, I know some techy people who might be able to help me out. if the z stepper is cheap it would be worth it to try, its busted any ways :confused: my printer has been fine, I just can’t afford to spend so much money fixing it, especailly if this is going to be a constant problem, I can barely afford to buy resin, this is like owning a car D:

The printer is not really any different then any other electro-mechanical device. It can and will eventually fail. It is not a matter of IF but when.

You should be able to take a video with the cover down that shows us enough. I would not run the printer with the cover or back removed. We will be able to see enough moving along with the audio we should get a good idea of the problem.

Hi, something similar happened to me once.

Sonr resin fall on the z rod, blockinkg the bearing.
I managed to remove it twisting the rod manually back and forth. Just make sure you unplug you printer first.

I was going to suggest a similar thing.

Unpowered, the stepper motor should not require a lot of effort to turn. I’d open the cover, reach in and turn the screw by hand and make sure that the force required doesn’t change noticeably in the area where the platform gets stuck during normal operation.

The load on a stepper motor doesn’t change as a function of where the ball is on the screw (the “ball” is what the build platform rides up and down on), so if the stepper can move the build platform up 1" it ought to be able to move it the full distance. The sound the motor makes is a key element of the diagnosis, and without hearing the motor run I’d hate to try and second guess FL’s diagnosis. But given the platform moves some distance, apparently smoothly, before getting stuck, it makes more sense to me that the Z-stage is jamming than that the motor is faulty.

I can think of three possibilities, listed in order of my view of probability:

  1. there is debris on the screw at the point where the platform gets stuck, that is causing friction the stepper can’t overcome.
  2. there is a heat-related problem with the stepper motor driver circuit on the printer’s controller board that interferes with its ability to power the stepper for more than a short period of time.
  3. there is heat-related problem with the stepper motor that interferes with the motor’s ability to run for more than a short period of time

Items 1 and 3 should be relatively cheap/easy to repair by the OP, especially if he’s got mechanically-minded friends who can help. If it was my out-of-warranty printer, I’d try both these before sending the printer to FL for service. Item 2 requires FL service, unless you really know what you’re doing (in which case you could troubleshoot the circuit and fix the failed components, which sounds a lot easier than it’d actually be).

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really? ok, this could be an easy solution! I’m going to try it tomorrow, thank you! I hope this is all thats wrong with it

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wow, thanks for the details, going to mess with this tomorrow, hopefully it will be an easy solution D:

SO here is an update

I had a hard time twisting the zscrew so I turned teh printer on and off, put some alchol on it, some grease etc to the point where I could twist the zscrew up and down no problem. this aparently did not help as my printer is still getting stuck around the same point (about 10 min into printing)

so I took some video of whatever I could see that seemed relevant here it is, got I hope this link works

I still havent tried what randy_cohen suggested, I was really hoping the z screw thing would be enough

Thank you for posting up the videos. I agree with FL support, your Z stepper motor is the issue.