Mark2 Troubleshooting

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Mark2 3D Printer

Common Mistakes

Z Axis Binding / Vibrating

  • X Axis spaced wrongly
    • Loosen screws on back of x-idler or x-motor, adjust spacing, tighten, try again
    • Make sure X Axis belt is not too tight, it could pull the Z Axis out of alignment / bend the Z rods
  • Z stepper driver current too low
    • Increase current to Z motors. Turn Z stepper driver trimpot 1/4 turn, try again.
  • Too much friction on leadscrews
    • If the previous two things are not to blame, it's worth greasing / oiling the leadscrews. Lithium grease works well.

Axis Reversed

Most likely the motor is connected the wrong way around. Turn off / disconnect power, disconnect the motor from RAMPS and plug it in the other way. Alternatively, the firmware can be modified to reverse the direction of the motor - but it's easiest to reverse the connector.

Axis Skips Steps

Make sure you're using the provided heat-sinks on each of the stepper drivers. During operation, carefully feel the heat-sink (be careful, as it can get very hot) - if the heat-sink is uncomfortably hot to touch, the stepper driver may be set too high. Power-off the printer, and turn the potentiometer counter-clockwise slightly (1/4 of a turn). Try printing again, and see if there is any change - if the problem remains, repeat the process until the heat-sink is hot but not burning / uncomfortable to touch.

You can also check the temperatures of your stepper motors - during operation, they should be warm but not uncomfortable to touch. If they are, the stepper driver current is too high.

HotEnd Can't Maintain Temperature

Check that the duct on the print fan isn't pointing directly at the HotEnd - it has a bit of wiggle room for adjustment, and should be angled downwards, towards the print. If you find the duct is occasionally bumped out of alignment, a dab of super-glue should hold it firmly to the fan - but be sure you're happy with the orientation first! Additionally, you may want to try running the fan a little bit slower - they're pretty powerful fans, and even at < 50% speed they should be more than capable of keeping the print cool - check your slicing settings.

Print Problems

There's a lot of information out there already on troubleshooting printed parts - check the guides on print quality below. We have a few common problems listed here too:

Print not sticking to bed

  • The nozzle is too high (probably). The first layer of the print should be smushed against the bed, significantly flattened by the HotEnd nozzle. Adjust your Z offset to achieve the correct first-layer height.
  • The Kapton tape on the bed may be uneven or contain air-bubbles - make sure it's perfectly flat, it's important and makes a big difference.

Print corners are lifting

  • The nozzle is too high (possibly). Double check bed temperature against the Printing guide.
  • Bed temperature may need adjusting. This varies with material (check what the supplier says), and it's worth trying a few different temperatures around their suggested value if you're having trouble.

No extrusion on first layer

The nozzle is probably too close to the bed surface. If you are using the LCD control panel, you can use the Z baby-stepping feature to raise the axis slightly (Menu -> Tune -> Babystep Z-> Adjust with dial). However, this is a temporary measure - the problem is the probe offset, and to fix it the process on the calibration page should be repeated - particularly the section on Further Calibration.

First layer extrusion is inconsistent

Several things could cause this - the automatic bed levelling eliminates most of them, but there are still a few things that can cause problems.

If the nozzle seems too high in some regions of the bed, and correct or too low in other regions, it's possible the bed has a slight warp or deformation to it. Examine the bed for any visible signs of warping, and make sure it isn't tightened / bolted down more in one corner than the others.

If the warp cannot be eliminated, there are print strategies to remove its effect. One such strategy is to print a raft underneath your printed part. A raft is a sacrificial layer (or multiple layers) which sit underneath your print, forming a base. Most slicing software (Slic3r, Cura, Simplify3D) support rafts - they can be an easy way to overcome this problem.

Overhangs are messy

Cooling fan may not be set high enough in your slicing settings, or the fan-duct may not be pointing at the print (it has a bit of room for adjustment).

Extruder / HotEnd

E3D have a great troubleshooting page for the V6 here - most of the info is also applicable for the Lite6, so be sure to check it out if you're running into problems.

How to get help

If you run into trouble, we'd be happy to do our best to help you out! You can contact us through the website, or email us directly (address on that page).

One of the great things about 3D printing is that so many people are getting into it - there are a lot of other people out there who might be able to answer your questions. Here are a few good places to ask for a hand:

Other Troubleshooting Guides


Print Quality