X axis motor failure

Hardware issues, problems and solutions
awerby
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X axis motor failure

Post#1 » Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:51 am

My printer was working fine, and I was starting a print when I noticed the build table was out of position in X. So I canceled the print, so I could put it into the correct place to start - when I've neglected to do that, I've gotten solidified resin from all the stuff the projector projects as it starts up.

But then, when I commanded a reset, I got this message: "X motor failure detected Code U3 close program and troubleshoot hardware". Nothing I've been able to do since then - closing down the program, unplugging the printer, restarting my computer, trying the horizontal switch - has produced any movement in the X axis; I just get a faint whining sound when I hit the switch.

There are no relevant instructions for troubleshooting the hardware in the Wiki, and I haven't seen anything in the Forum that helps either. It's hard to believe I really damaged any hardware by cancelling the print program; it seems more like a software glitch. So what do I do to bring it back to life?

Andrew Werby
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Metalcaster
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X axis motor failure

Post#2 » Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:17 am

Hi Andrew,
I have had a few issues with the x axis motor. It might not be software. If you hear a wirrr type sound, it sounds like the motor is turning, but it is not connecting to the gears. On my x Motor, I removed the arm ( held in with 2 set screws) unbolted the complete assembly (4 nuts and screws).
Now I had the motor and gear box ... I noticed that there was a some play in the gearbox casing. It turned out that the gears had skipped couple teeth because the housing had come loose. There are 3 small screws that go through the gearbox casing into the motor. Those must be tight.
Mine had come loose Be careful if you pull it apart as the gears can easily fall out. I put it all back together and made sure the screws were snug .
The screws are easily damaged so be careful to use a good fitting small screw driver. I tested the motor /gears by using the x switch and made sure it worked and re-assembled. it.
I ordered the 131.1 motor from the Robotshop ( search on here for the link) which is about 30% stronger. That motor arrived and the screws were loose on that one right out of the package! Tightened them and the motor works great. Mike gave me the settings for the new motor. It was easy to do.You have to use the New software to use the upgraded motor.

awerby
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X axis motor failure

Post#3 » Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:47 am

Thanks for replying, Metalcaster! I guess I'll have to tear this thing apart and check it out. But having bought it as a fully-assembled unit, I'm not sure how to do that. How do I get access to the arm and its set screws? Do I need to remove the assembly that holds the vat first? If so, how is that done? I tried pulling out the screws that hold it down, which were the most obvious point of attack, but that didn't make it let go. Can I drop the whole X axis assembly by removing the 4 bolts that hold it up against the bottom of the build chamber, or do I need to get the arm off first?

Andrew Werby
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X axis motor failure

Post#4 » Sun Jul 27, 2014 2:27 pm

First thing I would do is get a q -tip and slide it in the grove of the rails. What I mean by this, there are two black plastic rails with a red plate resting in the groves. What you are looking for is any red on the q -tip. This will mean you have resin in the grove and it must be removed. This is the first thing because the test and solution is very easy.
The comment about the casing on the motor is appreciated. If I pinch the out side of the motor and twist it moves a small amount, does this give a clue that the screws may be loose?

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behold3d
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X axis motor failure

Post#5 » Mon Jul 28, 2014 3:09 pm

If the open vat did solidify the resin with the projector then its quite possible you've stuck your table to your vat... or very nearly.

If this is the case i would undo the thumb screw of the table and lift the z arm out of the way with the actuator switch and try to manually slide the table to the deep end of the vat in the same manner that the x axis motor does.

If you cannot get your table to slide off your print is stuck to the pdms and you'll have to tear it and recoat your vat.

If you are getting a warning when trying to move the x axis that is a fail safe when the motor is receiving any resistance.

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behold3d
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X axis motor failure

Post#6 » Mon Jul 28, 2014 3:11 pm

The wiki also doesnt represent any of the 1.2 machines but this may happen on 1.1 machines too if the motor receives resistance if bonded.

awerby
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X axis motor failure

Post#7 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:38 am

I was able to remove the X axis motor - with a lot of difficulty, because the set screws that hold the arm on weren't accessible, even when the motor is detached from the machine. But even after I had the arm off and the motor dangling from its wires, it wouldn't move. All it did was emit a faint whining sound when I triggered the switch. I checked for any looseness, but that certainly wasn't the problem. On the contrary, the 6 bolts in a circle that hold the motor to its bracket were so stuck that I was only able to remove one of them. Are these brackets available as spare parts, or do I have to drill out the remaining 5 screws to remove it? I guess I could make one myself - if I did, I'd put in a slot to make it easier to access those set screws.

So it looks like that motor is dead, for whatever reason, and since it didn't last very long in the first place I figure I'll replace it with the stronger one Metalcaster suggested above. But looking at the Robotshop selection: http://www.robotshop.com/en/gear-motors.html I don't see any 131.1 motors listed. Is that a part number, or does it refer to the gear ratio? Is the motor I need on that page, or do I need to search for something else? If so, can someone tell me what the gear ratio, voltage, amperage, frame size, induction and holding torque are supposed to be?

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mikej
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X axis motor failure

Post#8 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:39 am

This is the listing for the 131:1 motor: http://www.robotshop.com/en/pololu-gear-motor-encoder-1447.html

If you use this motor with v1.1 hardware, you'll need to change the highlighted Settings below.
Image
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awerby
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X axis motor failure

Post#9 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:56 pm

Thanks for jumping in, Michael. I'll get that motor and change the settings. Do I need the mounting hub as well? What about the bracket that holds it on - can I order one from you, or do I have to salvage the one that's firmly stuck to the old motor?

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Metalcaster
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X axis motor failure

Post#10 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:34 pm

Hi Andrew,
I cut the short end of the allen wrench so that it was very short which made it much easier to remove the X arm . This also helps when reassembling and if you need to adjust the position of the arm while the motor is in place.I have had to do all of those things and the shortened end of the Allen wrench is very helpful. I also have a mechanical hole punch and made the motor hole larger so that I can take the entire assembly out quickly and replace it if I should have a future problem with the x motor.I don't have much time for repairs as I have a factory full of machines and I do all the repair work so speed is of the essence for me. I suggest you use a good fitting screw driver to remove the motor screws so you can reuse the brackets. I ordered 2 x motors since they are so inexpensive to have.. you never know when they may be out of stock . I rebuilt the old one as a backup as well.. In doing that, I realized that Having a little grease inside the gear casing goes a long way to having a very quiet motor and makes it last much longer. The new motor seems to work very well at higher speeds... 60,70, 80's . I had issues running the motor in the 30to 35 range , so if you use the slow speeds... don't walk away . I tore the Pdms and jammed the table thinking that running it slow was going to be beneficial. I can't speak for any one elses experience with the x motor, but thats what happened to mine and these are the steps I took which have worked well for me.

The old motor had very good torque at low speeds and would not work properly at higher speeds. when I got the assembled B9. The new motor seems to be the exact opposite... which is a good thing..I am getting 2 inch tall prints in about 2 hours. The new 1.7.1 software is a dream to work with . I have 2 other printers... all that cost a lot more then the b9 and I can assure you that I would swap those for more B9's Any day...Good luck with your B9. It is an excellent machine .

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mikej
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X axis motor failure

Post#11 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:42 pm

Quote from awerby on August 5, 2014, 18:56
Thanks for jumping in, Michael. I'll get that motor and change the settings. Do I need the mounting hub as well? What about the bracket that holds it on - can I order one from you, or do I have to salvage the one that's firmly stuck to the old motor?



You can order one, but I don't keep them in stock yet and it would be some time. If you can't get the screws out then I'd suggest drilling off the heads and reusing the bracket. You'll need screws, the specs are in the inventory guide along with the McMaster-Carr part numbers.
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awerby
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X axis motor failure

Post#12 » Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:16 pm

So I changed out that motor, salvaged the motor mounting plate (it wasn't pretty) and ported it for the allen wrench so that it might be easier to remove it if it dies again. But despite poking around extensively in the Settings, I couldn't find the page shown above with the Slide Full Open and Slide Home Offsets values. Where is it hiding?

Andrew Werby
www.computersculpture.com

awerby
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X axis motor failure

Post#13 » Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:19 pm

I've been trying to find this elusive Active Printer settings screen for 2 days now. It's certainly not anyplace obvious. I click Settings, I get a choice of Printer Cycle Settings, Calibrate Build Table, and Calibrate Projector. None of these has a place to input the new Slide Full Open and Slide Home Offsets values. I can open the Terminal Utility, but there's no place for them there either. Opening the folder that B9 resides in, I find the application and a bunch of DLLs. Has anybody found this screen, or is it something that only appears once every hundred years, like the legendary village of Brigadoon?

Andrew Werby
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mikej
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X axis motor failure

Post#14 » Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:36 am

Only available on the newer v1.7.x software version. Look at "Settings->Printer Settings..."
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KNSCi
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X axis motor failure

Post#15 » Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:46 am

@awerby; I think the settings window shown is in v1.7.2 of B9 software. If you're using 1.6, other settings would probably apply. From recent posts it sounds like Mike is mostly focusing on v1.7.x. It's supposed to run a v1.1 printer (I haven't tried it with mine yet), and lots of discussions will be about that sw going forward. Possibly not a bad idea to move to that version. In 1.7.2 it's under Settings > Printer Settings, which will be available if you have a printer connected. Hope that helps.
ZLab3d, printing with B9Creator 1.1 & 1.2 since 2013

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Robert Howle
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X axis motor failure

Post#16 » Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:50 am

I was reluctant to change to the 1.6 beta (now using the 1.7.2 on my 1.1 machine) and finally did and printing def improved. The new SW is a big improvement in the way the pixels (exposure) are controlled. Use it.
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awerby
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X axis motor failure

Post#17 » Sat Aug 30, 2014 6:22 pm

I upgraded to the v1.7.2 software. But when I looked at my choices under the Settings menu, I got Materials Catalog and Printer Management, but Printer Calibration is grayed out. Do I need to do something special to activate it? Or do I need to look somewhere else? Could this problem be due to the Vista OS on this laptop?

Andrew Werby
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behold3d
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X axis motor failure

Post#18 » Sun Aug 31, 2014 2:33 am

Are you certain that the machine is connected to the computer and plugged in. I believe that the b9 control software will say "connected" when it is and certain options will not be available otherwise

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mikej
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X axis motor failure

Post#19 » Sun Aug 31, 2014 5:55 am

Quote from awerby on August 31, 2014, 00:22
I upgraded to the v1.7.2 software. But when I looked at my choices under the Settings menu, I got Materials Catalog and Printer Management, but Printer Calibration is grayed out. Do I need to do something special to activate it? Or do I need to look somewhere else? Could this problem be due to the Vista OS on this laptop?

Andrew Werby
www.computersculpture.com


Yes, you need to open Printer Management and get that set up.
You'll basically need to know what version of the hardware you have (v1.1 or v1.2) and what micron setting you have (or plan to) calibrate to. Selecting that config will upload the new firmware.
Also select the display that is connected to the projector.

Once that's all set up, you can access the printers Settings, and do calibrations.
Measure Twice, Cut Once.

awerby
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X axis motor failure

Post#20 » Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:03 am

Okay, that sounds promising. How do I tell which version of the hardware I've got?

Andrew Werby
www.computersculpture.com

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