Misaligned print layers

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pleppik
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Misaligned print layers

Post by pleppik » Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:58 pm

My brand-new Up Plus 2 is printing certain models with the layers misaligned by up to 0.5mm. This is affecting both the X and Y axis, and is reproducible.

My 2-year-old Up Plus prints the same models perfectly, so I know this is not normal and not a problem with the STL.

So far I have gone through and checked all the screws and belts for tightness and confirmed that there is no free play in the platform or print head. Any other suggestions for troubleshooting, or should I just go ahead and return it for a replacement as defective?

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wackojacko
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Re: Misaligned print layers

Post by wackojacko » Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:53 pm

Try putting a couple of bull clips on during printing. If you find that's the case tighten up the spring clips with under side screws.
Bruce
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pleppik
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Re: Misaligned print layers

Post by pleppik » Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:04 am

wackojacko wrote:Try putting a couple of bull clips on during printing. If you find that's the case tighten up the spring clips with under side screws.
Good idea!

Unfortunately, it didn't help. But it does rule out one more thing.

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wackojacko
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Re: Misaligned print layers

Post by wackojacko » Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:41 am

Take some photos and post here
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teamcarlisle
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Re: Misaligned print layers

Post by teamcarlisle » Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:03 am

It could also be that the screw holding your print head to the y axis is lose. (If you havent ever had to attach or remove the print head, you might not have noticed that screw. Look at the print head from underneath and you should see a screw back behind the heater block) If that screw isnt real tight the head will slightly pivot during direction changes, which in turn moves the nozzle a little bit. This will cause mis-aligned layers also. I recently had this happen to me, turned out I stripped the threads :( I have an Up! Plus 1 but I'm guessing that particular part is the same.

teamcarlisle
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Re: Misaligned print layers

Post by teamcarlisle » Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:16 am

Sorry, just re-read your original post and realized you said you already checked the print head screw. :( Maybe double check it, lol. I "knew" mine was tight because I checked the screw with the allen wrench, it wasnt until I re-printed a part and saw it was worse that I realized that even though the screw was tight, I could pivot the print head on that screw by hand with out too much effort, thats when I realized that I had stripped/cross threaded the screw, and even though the screw was tight, it wasnt holding the print head tightly. And the print head would shift ever so slightly whenever it went through a rapid movement change.

teamcarlisle
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Re: Misaligned print layers

Post by teamcarlisle » Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:43 pm

One more thing you can check that I remember biting me in the past. Again this is assuming that the up! plus 1 and 2 arent too different where the printhead is concerned. When your printer is cooled off reach up and see if your print nozzle and heat block can be wiggled by your fingers. I had the scew that holds it tight come loose once, not loose enough for the heat block to fall out, but enough that a change in direction during printing would occasionally shift a layer about 0.1mm off. If yours is loose, pull off the cooling fan and fan holder and tighten the middle screw on the bottom of the heatsink. Thats the screw that holds the heater block and nozzle tight (Also check this if you constantly have problems with having to recalibrate your starting layer height)

pleppik
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Re: Misaligned print layers

Post by pleppik » Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:22 am

It's been a few days since I've had time to work on this.

Attached is a photo comparing the output of my new printer vs. my old printer. The misalignment of the print layers on the new printer is very clear even though my camera didn't focus perfectly. Both models were printed with the same settings (and it was the same model).
Print-Quality-Problems2.png
Print-Quality-Problems2.png (207.3 KiB) Viewed 21658 times
As mentioned before, I've already checked the screws and belts, and I tried adding some extra clips to keep the perfboard from sliding on the platform. Nothing so far has made a visible difference.

Unfortunately, x-object (the USA distributor) has not been responsive. I submitted a trouble ticket a week ago, and got a response that they would escalate it and get back to me within a day. That was on the 2nd, and I have heard nothing since, despite pestering them for an update. I'll probably try taking this directly to pp3dp.com support soon, but I'd like to respect their distribution channels if I can…

pleppik
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Re: Misaligned print layers

Post by pleppik » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:46 am

Just a quick update….I have sent four e-mails to x-object for support on this issue since January 2nd. After the first one I got a reply saying I should expect a response within a day, then nothing.

I sent a note to support@pp3dp.com today. If I don't get some resolution soon I'm going to return it to Amazon as defective.

Sad. Such a great product, and yet such an unresponsive distributor here in the U.S.

pleppik
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Re: Misaligned print layers

Post by pleppik » Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:06 am

It looks like I found the problem.

In case anyone has a similar problem, here's the solution--it wasn't obvious.

The right hand side of the platform is held in place by a springy printed plastic clip with a couple of bearings, which rides between the walls of the right hand pillar. This is meant to be slightly compressed when the printer is assembled so that the right side of the carriage can't wobble. This springy clip is called the "Z Axis Fixer" and there's a file in the software install in case you need to print a spare.

For whatever reason, on my printer this part wasn't being held firmly (or firmly enough) which allowed the platform to wobble a little. I tested this by cutting a thin sheet of plastic to fit inside the case, and thereby narrow the space for the Z Axis Fixer and ensure it was held in position with some force. Doing this resolved my print quality problems completely.

I don't know whether the root cause is that the Z Axis Fixer part was slightly undersized or out of shape; or whether the case to the printer is out of spec and the pillar is a little oversized.

Either way, the key clue was when I noticed that on tall models, everything above about 3cm would print without problem, and the misaligned layers were confined to the bottom of the print. That made me suspect the problem had to be somewhere in the Z axis.

I should also mention that x-object finally got back to me with some troubleshooting suggestions. This was nearly two weeks after they promised a next-day reply, and only after I had sent multiple e-mails asking for an update (the last of which basically said that if I didn't hear back I was going to return the printer to Amazon as defective). So even though I did find and fix the problem (knock on wood), I'm really not happy with the level of support. In the U.S., I would strongly recommend buying an Afinia, or if you want the features of the Up Plus 2, buy it directly from pp3dp.com.

pleppik
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Re: Misaligned print layers

Post by pleppik » Wed Jan 22, 2014 5:56 pm

Just another quick update…after further testing I'm not convinced that the problem is fixed. Improved for sure, but not fixed.

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wackojacko
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Re: Misaligned print layers

Post by wackojacko » Wed Jan 22, 2014 6:17 pm

It might be the stepper controller on your MB
Bruce
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pleppik
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Re: Misaligned print layers

Post by pleppik » Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:33 am

wackojacko wrote:It might be the stepper controller on your MB
That had occurred to me, too, but I don't know a way to test that directly (do you?), and the x-object people are not being helpful.

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wackojacko
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Re: Misaligned print layers

Post by wackojacko » Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:44 am

Post some photos or take a video and send it to pp3dp
Bruce
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Helicopter
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Re: Misaligned print layers

Post by Helicopter » Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:44 am

Hi,

I just discovered something similar (though not remotely as severe) on my prints.
Posting it here since the symptoms are similar, probably misaligned layers, and only the bottom
few mm of parts are concerned.

The bottom about 5mm of any print has significantly inferior print quality than anything above.
I only just discovered it now since I started printing larger items (My UP is just 2 weeks old =).
But it is visible on my earliest test prints, now that I noticed it.

I'm not entirely sure if these are misaligned layers, but it sure looks like it.

All prints done in 0.15mm, fine, wit raft on perfboard and UP original filament only.
Visible on both white and black filament. Fill mode or shape of the object don't seem to
matter really.

Does anyone see similar issues in the bottom 5 mm of their prints ?
Attachments
misaligned web.jpg
Quality Issues in the first 5mm of all prints
misaligned web.jpg (203.08 KiB) Viewed 21408 times

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wackojacko
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Re: Misaligned print layers

Post by wackojacko » Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:48 pm

What axis is it skipping on
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Helicopter
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Re: Misaligned print layers

Post by Helicopter » Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:36 pm

The way I see it, judging by the round surfaces being misaligned all the way round, both X and Y.

Thanks for any help!
- Frederic

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wackojacko
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Re: Misaligned print layers

Post by wackojacko » Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:50 pm

Print a square column and check.

Also check that the screws on the x axis are nice and tight.
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DrewPetitclerc
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Re: Misaligned print layers

Post by DrewPetitclerc » Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:29 am

Considering the location in Z are you certain the build plate assembly is not hitting something in the first few millimeters of travel, perhaps a cover screw (could be too long) on the right column is interfering with the stabilizer inside, this has been a common issue lately.
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pleppik
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Re: Misaligned print layers

Post by pleppik » Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:46 am

Helicopter wrote:Hi,

I just discovered something similar (though not remotely as severe) on my prints.
Posting it here since the symptoms are similar, probably misaligned layers, and only the bottom
few mm of parts are concerned.
Yes, this looks very much like the same problem I'm seeing.

Good suggestion above on checking the screws in the frame. I'll put that on my list of things to check.

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