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X and Y axis slipping when 3d printing

So I can see that my X and Y axis has slipped mid-3d print. I've seen other threads about this and have tried all of the fixes i've found including

1) Lubricating the machine

2) Replaced the stepper driver boards with DRV8825's

3) Set the acceleration speeds to 80mm/s for X and Y (down from the defaults of 100)

4) Updated to the latest Boxzy interface (v1.6.3)

While doing all of this has reduced the slippage occurances and amounts, I'm still unable to complete 3d prints with a smooth line along the Z axis.

I have very carefully configured my slicer settings such that the last print was *almost* perfect except for a single slight offset (maybe 0.2mm - 0.5mm) on the Y axis mid-way through. The rest of the print then continued at that new Y position.

Has the Boxzy team worked out what is causing this issue yet? I've seen lots of guesses in the unofficial forums as well as on here but nothing where they have officially acknowledged the cause of the problem and suggested a fix. It feels like chaging the driver boards and the accelleration speeds is just masking an underlying problem that needs to be found and fixed.

I haven't been brave enough to try the laser or milling attachments until I don't get any axis slippage (I hate to think what that'll do with a router embedded in material.

Answer this question I have this problem too

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I sent you a private message. Let me know if you did not receive it.

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I replied with a heap of attachments. let me know if it didn't get through.

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I fixed the problem by upgrading the BOXZY power supply from 19VDC @ 10.4A (200Watt power supply) to a 24 VDC 14.4A power supply (400 Watts). Ths helps prevent the brownouts that can cause the control board in the BOXZY to glitch, resulting in the jumping X & Y problem. Please see my tutorial on the community-made how to guides: “Upgrading the BOXZY power supply from 19 VDC to 24 VDC”.

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Did you change the amperage that the drivers using when you switched over to 24V? Higher voltage and lower amperage should reduce their heat build-up which would reduce their skipping.

For me, the skipping was probably a thermal cut-off and then recovery.

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This issue is primarily caused by overheating drivers. It can also happen if the user has increased XY jerk settings or raised acceleration settings (there of course can be other mechanical or electrical causes, but the primary cause is overheat or settings, more on the other potential causes below).

Driver overheat can have many causes of its own. The primary cause is when the current is set too high or the cooling is inadequate. Cooling issues tend to be dying fans, clogged filter, lack of heat sinks, improperly installed heatsink, wires are blocking the airflow, or the room temperature is high. The higher the current setting the more cooling that is necessary. Overheat is most common during 3d prints and rarely occurs during laser files or milling because far less acceleration and deceleration moments are happening in a given period of time. During acceleration and deceleration is when the current draw is at its highest, and the most heat is being pumped into the drivers in the shortest period of time.

When we talked missed steps we are looking at three primary factors; available torque, clean stepper pulses, and mechanical resistance. If the motor torque available is too low for stock settings the machine will miss steps. If the stepper pulses become erratic due to overheat you will lose steps (or if they go into thermal shutdown for protection momentarily), and if the resistance in the axis or axes has increased due to a mechanical issue and is above the available motor torque, the machine will miss steps.

It's all about power and torque over time. When you increase acceleration and XY jerk you Increase the demand for torque by decreasing the amount of time the axis has to get up to speed (those two settings are mathematically connected in the firmware). By reducing those settings you are solving the problem simply by reducing the amount of torque required to turn the axis in the same period of time. This also reduces the amount of heat being produced by the driver in a given period. It does this by increasing the amount of time over which the current draw is happening, allowing more time for the heat to dissipate for the same amount of overall current draw.

Most electrical, software, or mechanical issues will present as missed steps (or offset moves).

As a note; If your computer has power saving features active and momentarily stops commands to the USB when they go into affect, this also results in missed steps during very long jobs that would otherwise complete perfectly (very common). The same effect will happen if you use an overly long USB cord or one without ferrites and shielding, in which case, the resulting EMI will cause missed commands over the connection, which show as offset printing or missed steps.

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Hi and thanks for your reply. I forgot to add that I also had replaced the usb lead with a much better quality one that is only a meter long and has 2 ferrites and is shielded, and I checked the fans recently when I replaced the motor drivers. It looks like in my last print it literally slipped a single step somewhere and while it's pretty good, this is an expensive machine so I'd still like to fix this.

Having already reduced the acceleration rates to 80mm/min is the only fix to reduce it further each time I try and print something and it fails, and then i reprint it?

The new motor driver boards have all their heatsinks attached and short of tearing apart the back of the boxzy in a somewhat more permanent way, there isn't much else i can do to increase their cooling. It's running in an office space which is 60 - 70 degrees F and ambient temp appears to make little difference. (running it today with no heating on so the large space was at 62 degrees still missed steps).

The computer running it has no power saving enabled and it was still entirely active when I returned 4 hours later.

It's essentially printing boxes (cases for electronics projects) so there should be nothing difficult in the models. Other than further reduce the acceleration or liquid cooling the motor drivers, is there anything else I can do?

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Im happy to help! You shouldn't need to do anything dramatic to resolve the issue. BoXZYs are running all day, constantly, in non air conditioned facilities with no missed steps and stock EEPROM setting. I just wanted to share that there are limits, and many causes of missed steps, along with sharing the fundemental concerns when looking for a solution.

The fans in BoXZY provide far above adequate cooling so that they work well in a large variety of circumstances. You also should not need to reduce acceleration below factory settings if the machines components are installed properly and lubed. In most cases, after break-in, you can even increase them. However, the drivers you are using traditionally run at a much higher microsteppong rate than the stock ones and that is usually the biggest issue with those drivers. BoXZY, as it comes, is set to the highest microstepping they were able to achieve reliably from the factory with the 2560 processor (maximum speed of processing achievable within spec), and it is likely that is the issue. Could you tell me what your steps per mm are in the X and Y axis and what your XY jerk is set to?

Just to add another note, using linear infill instead of a geometric style infill (such as honeycomb) will dramatically reduce the likelihood of missed steps. Honeycomb or similar requires acceleration and deceleration to occur extremely often and at very high speeds. Any infill with arcs are the most difficult and cause even more stress than honeycomb, as motor torque reduces nearly exponentially as speed increases.

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I'm running the new drivers at 1/4 steps for X and Y, 1/8 for Z and 1/16 for the extruder. Replacing the original driver boards seems to have significantly inproved the performance (I'm no longer getting 10mm+ offsets mid-way through printing... fingers crossed). I have been following all of the answers and guides here, as well as the threads on the unofficial forum and everything is well lubed and seems to be moving well.

I am using linear infill.

I tried to take some photos to illustrate the problem and the simplicity of the shapes. In all of these prints it doesn't seem to have been doing at infil at the time.

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this is before I changed the acceleration settings down from the stock speeds.

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After setting the acc to 80 (down from 100) I got a single missed step about 1/3 of the way up the print.

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This is a different part, but 2/5 of the way up you can see on the right where it missed 2 steps, so there is just a small slice of my print that has been offset from the rest.

I have a heated bed but it is entirely separate from the boxzy (not even connected to the same wall outlet) and is controlled by an independent box. Running with out without this doesn't seem to change the slippages, I just get a slightly curled up print as well when I dont use it.

I will have to look up what the XY jerk is set to tomorrow when I'm back at the office.

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I still have the original A4988 boards and can swap back to them easily enough but I was having worse problems with them intalled originally.

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Assuming you are getting actual 1/4 microstepping, it is unlikely the issue is microstepping. I'll look forward to your actual steps per mm and XY jerk to try and draw a conclusion. What are your max X and Y speeds set to as well? Does this only ever occur in one axis or both?

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I posted the entire output from the M205 command below. The problem seems to occur in multiple axis but I'll try different rotations of the print (i'll be printing those same parts a few more times so they seem to be a good test).

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Your settings look good. I'll keep my eyes open for the new prints to determine which axis is having an issue. Does this issue usually happen at the same height?

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The only values I've changed in here are the X and Y acceleration but I'll give a full list.

10:49:01.209 : EPR:2 75 115200 Baudrate

10:49:01.209 : EPR:3 129 854.136 Filament printed [m]

10:49:01.213 : EPR:2 125 602171 Printer active [s]

10:49:01.217 : EPR:2 79 0 Max. inactive time [ms,0=off]

10:49:01.221 : EPR:2 83 60000 Stop stepper after inactivity [ms,0=off]

10:49:01.225 : EPR:3 3 160.0000 X-axis steps per mm

10:49:01.230 : EPR:3 7 160.0000 Y-axis steps per mm

10:49:01.230 : EPR:3 11 320.0000 Z-axis steps per mm

10:49:01.234 : EPR:3 15 40.000 X-axis max. feedrate [mm/s]

10:49:01.238 : EPR:3 19 40.000 Y-axis max. feedrate [mm/s]

10:49:01.242 : EPR:3 23 20.000 Z-axis max. feedrate [mm/s]

10:49:01.246 : EPR:3 27 25.000 X-axis homing feedrate [mm/s]

10:49:01.250 : EPR:3 31 25.000 Y-axis homing feedrate [mm/s]

10:49:01.254 : EPR:3 35 10.000 Z-axis homing feedrate [mm/s]

10:49:01.258 : EPR:3 39 5.000 Max. jerk [mm/s]

10:49:01.262 : EPR:3 47 0.300 Max. Z-jerk [mm/s]

10:49:01.262 : EPR:3 133 0.000 X home pos [mm]

10:49:01.266 : EPR:3 137 0.000 Y home pos [mm]

10:49:01.271 : EPR:3 141 0.000 Z home pos [mm]

10:49:01.271 : EPR:3 145 165.000 X max length [mm]

10:49:01.275 : EPR:3 149 165.000 Y max length [mm]

10:49:01.279 : EPR:3 153 165.000 Z max length [mm]

10:49:01.283 : EPR:3 51 80.000 X-axis acceleration [mm/s^2]

10:49:01.287 : EPR:3 55 80.000 Y-axis acceleration [mm/s^2]

10:49:01.291 : EPR:3 59 25.000 Z-axis acceleration [mm/s^2]

10:49:01.298 : EPR:3 63 80.000 X-axis travel acceleration [mm/s^2]

10:49:01.299 : EPR:3 67 80.000 Y-axis travel acceleration [mm/s^2]

10:49:01.303 : EPR:3 71 25.000 Z-axis travel acceleration [mm/s^2]

10:49:01.307 : EPR:0 880 0 Autolevel active (1/0)

10:49:01.312 : EPR:3 200 100.000 Extr.1 steps per mm

10:49:01.316 : EPR:3 204 100.000 Extr.1 max. feedrate [mm/s]

10:49:01.320 : EPR:3 208 20.000 Extr.1 start feedrate [mm/s]

10:49:01.324 : EPR:3 212 10000.000 Extr.1 acceleration [mm/s^2]

10:49:01.324 : EPR:0 216 3 Extr.1 heat manager [0-3]

10:49:01.328 : EPR:0 217 255 Extr.1 PID drive max

10:49:01.332 : EPR:0 245 70 Extr.1 PID drive min

10:49:01.336 : EPR:3 218 4.0000 Extr.1 PID P-gain/dead-time

10:49:01.340 : EPR:3 222 0.5000 Extr.1 PID I-gain

10:49:01.340 : EPR:3 226 15.0000 Extr.1 PID D-gain

10:49:01.344 : EPR:0 230 255 Extr.1 PID max value [0-255]

10:49:01.348 : EPR:2 231 0 Extr.1 X-offset [steps]

10:49:01.352 : EPR:2 235 0 Extr.1 Y-offset [steps]

10:49:01.357 : EPR:1 239 1 Extr.1 temp. stabilize time [s]

10:49:01.361 : EPR:1 250 130 Extr.1 temp. for retraction when heating [C]

10:49:01.365 : EPR:1 252 15 Extr.1 distance to retract when heating [mm]

10:49:01.369 : EPR:0 254 255 Extr.1 extruder cooler speed [0-255]

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I assume that nothing there seems wildly incorrect? It's mostly the default settings.

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Yeah, they seem to be good, I don't think the issue is related to your EEPROM settings. I posted this yesterday to you "Your settings look good. I'll keep my eyes open for the new prints to determine which axis is having an issue. Does this issue usually happen at the same height?"

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I'm getting super delayed notifications apparently. And yeah, the axis slip is almost always in the same place. I'll print more tomorrow and post pics.

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It slipped very badly (small amounts but very often), mostly on the X-axis this time, whereas the slips in the photos above are mostly on the Y-axis.

There was slipping at a dozen different heights, entirely unrelated to the other prints.

Without any kind of indication as to where the fault may lie, I'm back to slowly replacing the printer with another one. It seems like this is just a very unreliable 3d printer which is a huge disappointment given its cost.

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Photos of the terrible print. I ended up using some old parts and melting them with a soldering iron to make them fit because it seems that the printer isn't going to do a better job.

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Can you tell me how you set the current on your new drivers? What exactly should I be seeing in these new photos? It looks to me like the left side of the first image curves left for the first several layers, however, the right side seems to be mostly straight in that same section. Is that just my perspective? Or is it truly that way? What is troubling me the most about this issue, is that it seems like the missed step or steps eventually corrects itself. That is extremely unlikely (and unprecedented in my experience) given the complexity and number of moves it's doing between what we think are skips. Let me know about those questions, and please run the test print in this guide section for me and show me the results 2.1 3D Printing with BoXZY

It is a very fast print and only takes a few minutes. The first layer will extrude odd, it is nothing to be worried about and is done for testing purposes.

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I'll give that test print a go tomorrow.

I set the current of the new drivers by using their specs and a multimeter between the leg of the pot and a ground and adjusting the pot until it read correctly. I'd have to dig up the details to tell you what i set them too but im pretty sure the info was posted to the "unofficial" forums.

In my prints, it shifts the entire layer, so opposing sides are moved by as much but when you rotate 90 degrees, the other axis hasn't necessarily slipped in the same place. It's just hard to take photos with my phone.

In these prints I don't know if it ever corrected itself, it seems to slipped small amounts fairly randomly. If it is "corrected" at any point, it might just be a fluke of it slipping around randomly.

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Oh, ok. I think I understand what you're saying. It would be helpful to know what you set those drivers to, as current is directly tied to operating temperature and available torque. Solving this may be a simple as lowering or raising the current to a more reliable level.

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I followed these steps exactly:

Installing the DRV8825 boards is really as simple as:

Attach the heatsinks to the chips on each board -- most come with peel-n-stick thermal tape (clean off the chip with isopropyl alcohol and let dry, then peel the backing on the tape, line-up and stick it in place, holding it firmly for a minute or so to set).

Hook an ohm meter between the metal top part of the pot (the wiper) and a ground pin (look for a pin labeled "gnd" on the board and use it) and adjust until it reads 2575 ohms or slightly higher to set it for 1.7A (X, Y, and Z axis).  Or 2121 ohms for 1.4A (extruder).  [*** Or if you prefer, you can wait until after you've installed them and powered up your BoXZY and use a volt meter instead to set them, measuring the voltage from the pot's wiper to ground -- use 0.85V for a 1.7A setting (X, Y, and Z) and 0.70V for a 1.4A setting (extruder) ***]

Clip the appropriate step select pins with cutters.  For X and Y axis, clip pins MS1 and MS3 to select 1/4 steps.  For Z axis, clip pin MS3 for 1/8 steps.  And for the extruder, clip MS1 and MS2 for 1/16 steps.

Turn off all power to your BoXZY and disconnect from USB.  Open up your BoXZY's electronic bay.  Remove the A4988 boards.  Plug in the DRV8825 boards making certain that they are turned correctly with the pins labeled 'EN' lined up.

Put the cover back on your BoXZY and plug everything back in.

I measured the resistence but I can check it by voltage now that its all back together again. unfortunately i dont have one of those cool IR thermometers so i cant easily tell how hot the DRV8825's are getting.

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Hi,

I got a chance to print the test part and if i'd known what it was i could have told you that i'd printed an almsot identical part previously (tho mine was twice as tall) without any issues. There is definitely something in all of the movements that is causing it to fail on other prints.

I'm getting someone to loan me a better multimeter (hopefully tomorrow) and i'll take voltage readings from the wiper leg of the pots on my DRV8825 boards.

Attached image of the test print

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Sorry for the delay. Yeah, please let me know if they're on target for resistance. 1.7 amps is a good number usually, but the 8825 drivers are somewhat foreign to me. Also, just for a corner field test, can you try printing the part that failed after slicing it with a different slicer?

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I went back over them and set the voltages this time, using a better multimeter than I originally had. It seemed like the voltages were reading a little high (0.95V instead of 0.85V) which means it would have run closer to 2A? I've adjusted them down now and I'm printing my same parts again (It's weird having so many "almost right" parts laying around. 3d printers for the win?).

I'll let you know how it went in 4 hours or so.

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It is less than 1/3 the way through a new print and I can already see where it has slipped. So setting the reference voltages appropriately doesn't seem to have made any difference at all.

I'll try again on another slicer (I'm using slic3r and the problem was worse on cura when i first tried it. but i havent tried cura with the new driver boards)

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I know how frustrating this must be. There is a solution and a specific cause of this problem, hopefully we can find it. What voltage converter are you using and how close is it to the machine? Are you near any other electrical equipment when you run BoXZY? If you do a completely different print that is similar in size do you have the same issue?

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I'm just using the boxzy power supply. I'm still in the USA so no voltage converter. The only equipment near the boxzy is the laptop driving it and the heated bed controller (which is basically basic temp circuit and a relay).

I can do a print with the heated bed off to eliminate it as a problem, but it's entirely independent of the Boxzy itself apart from the pad stuck to the bottom of the build plate.

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Yeah, please do. My Keenovo style independent heater created skips for me until I added 3 well placed ferrites on the cables. They create alot of electrical noise and interference.

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Mine is a Keenovo 500W or 550W heated bed and printing with that turned off might have been slightly better but the walls are still wonky. Where did you put the ferrites?

If the heater was causing problems then that would mean that the boxzy power supply is sending through enough noise to mess up the arduino when things turned on and off somewhere else in the building on the same breaker?

Still looking for ideas

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Another day, another print with one or two missed steps.

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and i think the wavy pattern along the walls is becoming more pronounced or maybe I'm just paying more attention now.

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From what I have read, the wavy pattern is caused by the way that the ball screws had their shaft size reduced to fit the toothed gear that the belt goes around? I.e. to fix it I need to replace the expensive parts of the printer?

Is there anyone in the San Fran bay area who wouldn't mind helping me work out if this machine is fixable or if I have to get a new one?

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I may have found something to help you get this resolved. When reading this, it's important to note that BoXZYs motors are indeed rated for much less current than the supply voltage (on purpose in their case). The post provides a solution towards the end.

http://cabristor.blogspot.com/2015/02/dr...

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I've ordered some diodes from Amazon that should arrive later this week. I don't have the necessary equipment to find out if I'm having the same problem as him but for < $20 I'll just build the circuits and wire them in. If I'm still in the country when these arrive I'll try it out this week otherwise I'll be back to it in a few weeks.

Thanks.

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Sounds great. Let me know if it works out. I'm very interested in the result.

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Short answer: adding the diodes didn't fix anything.

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== FYI everyone. It seems to be printing really well now. I do wish i knew what was causing it to be screwy but i suspect at this point i'll never know.

Thanks Boxzy team. ==

It appears to have made no difference except to waste a heap of my time. Some part somewhere in this process must be faulty (or I guess multiple parts). Perhaps the PSU is faulty? Any way to test it?

About 1/2 way through the print it decided to screw up on x and y axis. For all I know it also screwed up Z but that is harder to tell.

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I might be moving back to Australia and it's hard to tell if it's even worth shipping this over. It can't actually 3d print anything properly, plus I'd need to buy a 240V PSU for it. I'm not game to let it try and CNC anything while it's this unreliable. I haven't heard anything from the Boxzy team regarding the missing parts of the pledges. Haven't heard much of anything at all. This seems to be shaping up as just a failed kickstarter in general. It's just super disappointing to see what could have been a great device end up useless because its defining feature (accuracy) is actually not a feature of it. Instead of a 6 micron accuracy, mine is closer to 600.

Still looking for ideas. I can put the original driver boards back again but seeing they had the same problem, and its happening on more than one axis at the same time I suspect it's going to be a faulty board, arduino or psu. Unless the boxzy team can send parts it's basically DOA.

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Best bet at this point is to have the BoXZY team send you a box so you can have it rebuilt before you leave the country. If you'd like to do that, let me know and I'll ask Mary to contact you to set it up. Will be free as long as shipping is within the US.

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Hi. I think we'd better get on that because I might be leaving within a month or so. Should I restore the whole thing back to stock (other than the heating pad stuck to the build plate)?

Thanks

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Yeah, definitely. If you can swap it all back to stock that would speed things up. I'll reach out to Mary tomorrow so she can get in touch with you.

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I've just replaced the A4988 boards, removed all the diodes and closed the printer back up. I'll give it another test print with these just to make sure (but my prints with the A4988 boards were worse than the DRV8825 ones, but I'll make sure that changing other settings since then hasn't fixed it). It's always best to be 100% sure before shipping a heavy machine across the country.

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It has already slipped with the A4988 boards. There is something more substantial going wrong in the remaining parts. Let me know what I need to do to have this sent back. Rather than peel off the build plate heater, I'm going to send that with it. If it doesn't make it back to me, no real loss. its 110V and can't be used in australia anyway.

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Hi,

I'm back and reviving this old thread because it appears the axis-slipping issue is back in a big way. At least now I can probably rule out the power supply as I've replaced that with a 200W 240V power supply now that I'm back in Australia.

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This one had a whopping 21mm slip +Y some time in the middle of the night. I haven't changed any of the settings since the Boxzy team returned it to me. Is this just going to be a game of replacing parts of the machine until it seems to be working? Sounds expensive, frustrating and a massive waste of time. I haven't seen anyone who has solved this issue yet.

There is no problem with the part I am printing.

Maz

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What power supply are you using? BoXZY is very sensitive to power supply noise and frequency which leads to skipping. You may also want to look at the board to make sure nothing shook lose in transit. That's a long way to travel.

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I'm using a power brick i acquired elsewhere. I only mentioned it because I was having this problem with the stock one and I wondered if the original one was faulty but having replaced it, I still have the same issue. I can try the 8825 stepper driver boards again as they seemed to significantly reduce the problem (it would only skip small amounts on those). Everything looks fine internally. No loose connections or wires in the wrong place. My best guess is that one of the steppers is switching off for a period, either because of the driver boards, or the stepper itself, or the main arduino. As to which one and why, I'm not sure.

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Here is a picture of the one that printed successfully. The only difference is that I did the first one in two separate prints, and for the second one I tried to do all three pieces at once. Nothing in that should make the printer crap out.

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One of my stepper drivers burnt out and when i replaced that one, I replaced the whole set.

After replacing the drivers, i tested the others and some of them were dialed up too high so I’m assuming that is why it was skipping. I haven’t had any issues since.

I am also using an alternate 19V 180A power supply from a laptop (because I needed a 240V supply but i had received the 110V) but I was still having issues on this supply before changing drivers.

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Maz will be eternally grateful.
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