CR 10 S4 y-axis locks up, bed does not move smoothly

CR-10 stepper y-axis

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  • Stock CR-10 S4, a little over a year old, well used
  • When I got the machine, the bed moved smoothly by hand with a little resistance
  • A month ago, it suddenly it became harder to move the bed
  • Takes 2 hands to move, not smooth anymore, almost jerky once it starts moving, but it still printed fine
  • Now the y-axis will lock up during a print, X and Z continue to work. You don't want to see the picures
  • Restarting the machine restores the y-axis and the machine homes correctly
  • With the machine shutdown, still hard to move the bed
  • Removed the y-axis cable, still hard to move
  • Removed the y-axis belt, bed moves sooth as silk, does not appear to be any flat or over tightened rollers
  • Removed the y-axis stepper,
    • It is not difficult to rotate, it spins like a stepper should, with a stepped rotation
    • But randomly you feel a snap/click, once or twice during a full rotation, never in the same spot
  • Am I correct in assuming this is a failed y-axis stepper?

Not sure if it's still relevant, but I had the same issue.
Bed would not move smoothly, would hardly move at all..

Turned out to be to much tension on the belt. Not sure how that came to be after about a year..
But anyway, at the front in the middle you see the belt loop around, there are 2 screws you can undo slightly and move the bracket a bit to loosen the tension on the belt.
This fixed it for me, and it's easy to do, you don't even have to remove the bed for this.

Many good reply here:

  • Checked all the rollers,tightened a few, loosened a few, it still moves silky smooth, with no stepper and belt
  • The clicking in the stepper seem to change depending on which side is up, seem worse in its original position
  • When I put it back on the printer and turn it until it clicks, it it much more pronounced and reverberates through the frame
  • Thinking this is a bearing in the stepper, I can see how the stress in the same direction could cause a bearing failure like this
  • $20 for the 60 mm S4 version at Tiny Machines, I'll wait for a new one to test with
  • I like the idea of rebuilding it and having a spare, wont hurt to try, if I can locate the proper bearings
  • Sounds like this could happen again over time and will keep an eye on the X-axis stepper
    Thanks for the advice, I will update this when I get it all back together

The belt pulls in one direction only. This means the bearings will wear in that direction. Eventually, The rotor will start rubbing against the stater. Without the tension of the belt on the shaft, the magnetic field may equalize, And center the rotor. By rotating the motor 180°, you will position the rotor on a good portion of the bearing, This will get you going for a little while. But it is not a fix. you will need to replace the motor.

Note: the X and Y motors move approximately the same, But in different directions. This means they will have a similar bearing problem. Plan on replacing both of them.

Also note: make sure you check the idler pulley on both axes, replace as necessary.

Thanks for the replies on this

  • New stepper mounted up, smoothness returns to the bed motion, with the belt on. There is that stepped resistance, but no random click/snap like before.
  • Printer is working again with no y-axis lock ups
  • Adjusting the rollers while the belt was off, helped to get it rolling as smooth as possible with zero wobble
  • Sounds like turning the steppers 90 degrees, would help distribute the wear to different sides of the bearings and could extend the like of the stepper. Kind of like rotating your tires a couple times a year
  • I will keep an eye on the x-axis, belts, and spindles as they will probably be due soon. They all seemed fine at this point
  • Any ideas where I can get this type of bearing if I try to rebuild the old one?

Yeah sounds like the stepper has gone to Phuket. If you do replace it, maybe take the opportunity to open up the failed motor and see if it's something fixable. No risk of it's redundant.

It is more than likely 608z or 608zz bearings in the motor. I keep one spare motor on hand and change it out when one goes bad. I then rebuild the old one. It costs me only a couple of bucks to rebuild.

Replace the motors and then rebuild the old ones. While you are at it, replace the idler bearings and the belts, check the remaining bearings for travel, and perform a complete tune-up.

My Anet A8 eats idler bearings for breakfast and the bearings in the motors for lunch. What you are describing sounds a lot like a bearing that has gone.

Loosen the eccentric nuts under the bed slightly until it moves freely. The rollers will get flat spots if they sit long enough but they will round back out with a little back and forth. Probably not the stepper. I have seen this with new 3D printers and very used ones.

Let me know if that helps,

sounds like the bed wheels need to be adjusted, i had a similar issue on mine and found a flat spot on one of the wheels that was causing the issue