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Original post by: Just Helping ,


It's really exciting to hear you're getting some great use out of BoXZY! I know it was touch and go getting started with the random hiccups.

First, the limit switch issue. You are likely correct that you have a loose connection in that joint. Those early machines didn't have the tightest connections inside of the gantry. The easiest way to deal with this is hot glue. You can force it down in that joint and make everything very rigid, and it's easy to remove. But at this point I might take the limit switch cap off the gantry and secure the wiring with some hot glue and heatshrink internally as well. I can ask Alex to do a write-up for removing, tightening and securing everything if you want to do this. Also, If you'd like I can ask the team to send you a "glued" harnesses and a glued gantry plug. They have been using a special glue to keep everything rigid and stop the internal pins from moving around. Originally they only used this for the main harness, the earliest ones didn't have it anywhere. XY limit switches are a simple thing to play with, it's nearly impossible to permanently damage anything that can't be very easily repaired. It's just wires and switches.

Missing steps (printer moving away from the correct work area) is a little more complicated but still usually pretty easy to deal with. The majority of the time the machine is missing steps due to a cooling issue. The drivers overheat and reach the current cutoff limit for heat. They momentarily drop out to cool down and try to pick back up as if they had been working the whole time, usually far offbeat. I would check to make sure the fan filter is not clogged or dirty, and that your fans are still running at full power. The fans on the early machines have been proven to last roughly 10,000 hours of use. Since they run continuously, leaving the machine powered up when not in use can dramatically shorten their life. After 10,000 hours of so they begin to slow down and eventually stop running at all. Check them to verify they are producing reasonable airflow. You'll also want to make sure the circuit board itself still has all of the heatsinks, that they are not loose, and that they are clean and free of dust. If all else fails, it's not impossible for a driver to go bad. That's not likely the issue if this is happening in both axis rather than just one, but it's worth mentioning.

Missing steps can also be a purely mechanical issue. Making sure you can turn each axis by hand without feeling major catches or grit at any points (a little should be expected) will let you know whether you may need to replace or grease some bearings. If a bearing is randomly hanging up this can lead to the same symptoms as overheating drivers.

What you've described with your Z fits in "missing steps", but since the Z is a little different I'll offer some other thoughts for it as well. Debris can build up under the machine and fill the Z pulleys and belts causing them to jam from time to time, you'll want to make sure you vacuum under the machine frequently or raise it up with some feet or hockey pucks. Since the pulleys sit very low to the table, imperfections or softness in the table surface can cause something to touch them and jam them up. I set my machine on cardboard and couldn't figure out for the life of me why it was missing steps, turns out the feet had dug in just a little and the pulleys were directly against the cardboard. Otherwise, the same things for the X and Y hold true for the Z. You'll want to verify cooling and turn the pulleys by hand to verify there it's not extremely tough to rotate in an any specific areas.

Also, it's unlikely this is the issue, but the early Interfaces had some communications glitches that could randomly ruin a print. It's a good idea to have the latest, make sure you completely remove the old interface or the glitches will remain even with the new one.