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Print Shifts

Overview

If you notice misaligned layers in your print, it could be due to one of a few issues outlined below. 

Before proceeding, please collect and record the following data

  • Gigabot number
  • Photo of the shift while the print is still on the bed
  • Direction of print shift (X, Y or both axes)
  • .factory file
  • Photo inside electrical box
  • With the Gigabot on, are you able to manually push the print head around the bed smoothly or is the movement choppy or bumpy?

Possible Causes: 

  1. Improper cooling inside the electrical enclosure
  2. The print curled and caught the extruder tip during a print or rapid travel move
  3. The print is close to the edge of the bed and shifted once
  4. The wheels are too tight. Measure force required to move gantry and trolley.
  5. Missing electrical box cooling duct
  6. Gigabot operating in hot/dusty environment
  7. Loose motor pulley
  8. V-groove wheels out of round
  9. The motor driver is overheating. (Bad motor driver or outdated electronics box configuration)
  10. The print head is not freely moving in X or Y axis and the system is “bound up”

Possible Solutions:

  1. Ensure the cooling duct is installed (see 4th item below) and cooling fans are working.
  2. Make sure the nozzles are level: Link. Also, inspect the factory file for overhangs. Reducing from two perimeters to one can help. Make sure the Z axis home position is properly set so you get a good first layer adhered to the bed: Link
  3. It's possible that one of the limit switches was hit during the print. Make sure that all of the part, including additional features such as brims, skirts, rafts, ooze shields, etc. are completely on the bed. Use the Gcode preview of Simplify3D to make sure everything is on the bed, or modify the position and print parameters to make sure it is before starting the print.
  4. Adjust the wheel tension to specification.
    1. Note: The V-groove wheels should be tight enough against the rail so that you can turn them, but only with considerable effort.
  5. Add electrical box cooling duct:
    1. Measure the location of the side fan on your Gigabot's electrical box.
      1. If the bottom of the side fan to bottom of the electrical box is greater than 3", download and print this model
      2. If the bottom of the side fan to bottom of the electrical box is less than 3", download and print this model

Cooling_duct_temp.jpgAbove photo: Motor driver temperature is greatly reduced with the addition of a cooling duct 

cooling_duct.jpg

Above photo: Electrical box with cooling duct installed

  1. Move your Gigabot into a cleaner, cooler environment. Clean dust off of Gigabot with compressed air, including in the electrical box. Wipe down all rails where the V-groove wheels travel with a rag and isopropyl alcohol to make sure they are smooth.
  2. Tighten the motor pulley set screw by following these instructions: Link
  3. Replace V-groove wheels that are out of round:
    1. We have found that some of our V-Groove wheels can be slightly out of round, causing the hot end to move up and down as the print head is moved along the X or Y-axis. This should be immediately apparent if the dial indicator reading moves up and down in a cyclic fashion when you are leveling the bed. Please contact re:3D support if you need replacement wheels.
  4. Replace the motor driver (Test steps below).
    1. Testing the motor driver can be done by swapping the problematic axis with one of the motor driver of an axis that is working.  If the motor drivers have a black heatsink, check the back and see if it is missing the three pins along the top. If there are only rows of pins on each side, you will need to re-tune your motor drivers for the appropriate axis when swapping. Contact support@re3d.org for help with this, or adjust the potentiometer yourself according to the values in the electrical section of this article: Link
  5. Update the electronics box to the current configuration.
    1. Gigabot has undergone several revisions since its inception. Early Gigabot 3D printers had one of several different configurations of the cooling fan for the electronics box. Through the change in fan configuration, we have found that some of those configurations have caused the motor driver for the Y-axis to overheat and cause shifting in the Y-axis during the print.
    2. The current and stable design is one cooling fan on the right side of the electronics box blowing air in and one fan on the bottom of the box blowing air out. With this design, we have eliminated the shifting of the Y-axis due to motor driver overheating.

Enclosure.jpg

Above photo: Current configuration of the electronics box fans

  1. Adjust the belt tension to specification.
  2. Add a second fan to the print head, especially for cooler temperature filaments like PLA. 

1200px-Second_head_fan.jpg

Above photo: Print head with second fan added

Print Shift in Dual Extrusion

If there's an offset in your dual extrusion print, please collect and record the data listed at the beginning of this article, and also include: 

  • X3 or X3 Pro controller?
  • Right or Left extruder active?
  • How big is the offset (mm)?
  • Firmware version?
  • Photo / Video of extruder and print head
  • Gcode file 

Possible Causes:

  1. If the offset is about 55mm:
    1. You may be using the wrong .factory file.
    2. You may be using Firmware 4.1.4 (GB-440 to GB-455 DO NOT USE -Known bug with dual extrusion and filament detection) 
    3. Your tool head offset may not be set correctly. 
  2. If the offset is small (less than 2mm):
    1. Your extruders may not be properly calibrated.
    2. Your print may have caught the opposite nozzle 

Possible Solutions:  

  1. Verify your .factory file is a dual extrusion design
  2. Verify you are using the correct firmware. The latest firmware slows down the homing speed for better repeatability. 
  3. Ensure that your tool head offset is set to the distance between the two nozzles, or 55mm.
    1. If your Gigabot has an X3 controller board, the tool head offset is set in Simplify3D. If your Gigabot has an X3 Pro controller board, the tool head offset is set in the firmware. 
    2. Verify that your extruders are calibrated with the dual extrusion settings. 
  4. Make sure your nozzles are level: Link

Print Shift After a Filament Change

If there's an offset in your print after a filament change, please collect and record the data listed at the beginning of this article, and also include: 

  • Right or Left extruder active?
  • How big is the offset (mm)?
  • Firmware version?
  • Photo / Video of extruder and print head
  • Gcode file 

Possible causes: 

  1. The XY bracket is too far left (as viewed from the front)
  2. Using Firmware 4.1.4
  3. Using old .factory file (FFF Settings)

Possible Solutions: 

  1. Loosen the M5 x 20 and adjust the X/Y bracket upright to the right to avoid contact with limit switch.
  2. Update to the latest firmware.
  3. Verify you are using an updated .factory file.

Questions or concerns? Reach out to our support team at support@re:3D.org or open a support ticket

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