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3D print quality; Lines along X-axis vs. Y-axis

My 'box shaped' prints come out with a fairly smooth wall texture along the x-axis, but transition lines along the y-axis are rougher (stepped).

I am trying to determine if it is a hardware issue or a software problem.

What is a good approach to troubleshooting such phenomenon?

(I use Hatchbox PLA & print w/o heated bed).

Answer this question I have this problem too

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I suggest checking your linear bearings. Loosen the set screw that holds each bearing in (on top for Y, on bottom for X), then push the bearings out of the carriages. You can then slide each back and forth on its rod and judge whether it is sticking. My Y bearing was very frozen up causing lots of uneven movement.

To reinstall a bearing, just slide it back into its carriage, center it and lightly tighten the set screw to prevent it from slipping out. If you find one is bad, you can replace it (bearing no. LM12UU) or try cleaning it. Use kerosene or diesel fuel to avoid damaging the rubber seal. Blow out the solvent with compressed air and re-lubricate with sewing machine oil.

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