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I think a stepper or driver is failing?

So I’m now unable to reliably drive the X-axis on my boxzy. Just telling it to move (with the extruder etc off)

X +100

X -100

X +100

X +100

X -100

Resulted in the following movements (youtube video)

https://youtu.be/Q5ziLY0usJE

I’ve no idea what the beeping is either, but it seems localised to the X-axis. It also just started at random (mid-print it started skipping so far that it was hitting the end-stops on the X-axis that was for a part roughly 50mm x 70mm in the center of the bed.

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Chosen Solution

So to summerise,

I checked the heatsinks were attached to the driver boards and that the fans were working and clean.

I turned the X-axis motor by hand, feeling for any binding or roughness that might indicate a damaged bearing.

I swapped the X and Y driver boards and confirmed whether the problem followed the board or stayed with the axis.

Determining that the X-axis driver was damaged, I replaced all of the drivers with this set

https://www.amazon.com/DRV8825-StepStick...

Because of the way the boxzy ultimaker board is setup. You can either cut tracks and use the jumpers to set the microstepping, or cut the pins on the driver boards themselves.

Follow this guide to set microstepping and current limiter Replacing a Stepper Driver

Test the machine.

Fixed (I think)

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Assuming you haven't adjusted your feedrate or acceleration past stock settings, it's either a driver or a jamming linear bearing. The beeping is the sound of the motor skipping steps and the driver trying to make it do them. I would start by checking to make sure a driver did not lose a heatsink or that it has not become loose. It's acting like that, overheating. I would also check outermost linear bearing for the X (which is located at the end of the Y rail). I would look for jamming or vibration. It may also be one of the bearings in the gantry. If all looks well, my money is on a weak driver.

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I did just recently re-grease the machine so I'm familiar with the teardown process. I think I'll start by checking the heatsinks on the driver boards (although this happens immediately on starting the machine) then I might swap the X and Y axis. If the problem persists on the X-axis only it's likely a jammed bearing, if it moves to the Y instead, then the driver needs to be replaced.

IIRC it's an A4988 driver, is that correct?

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Well yes, and no. Its a previous generation pololu A4988. The new generation are weaker and have to be set to a different value with the pot. I know, sounds nuts, but the team has put them against each other over and over. Pololu, I believe, is done selling the previous generation, but in my experience the knockoff ebay drivers work great. If you want to use brand name or newer version, be sure to check pulolu's guide on setting current and cross reference with BoXZY's driver replacement guide. You're trying to get them right at 1.6-1.7 amps

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i have a set of DRV8825's here. Would those be adequate?

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Depends on what generation they are. People have reported good results with the newer generation, but issues with the older ones. I haven't personally tried them. In any case, make sure you use a heatsink.

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These would be the older generation ones. I bought them while I was still living in the USA. The problem is that for me to buy anything to try, it'll take a few weeks to get it shipped here to Australia so I want to make sure I buy the correct part the first time.

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