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Z axis steppers grinding noise TMC2130

cs2000cs2000 🌟 Super Member 🌟 Posts: 32

Hey all,

I installed the TMC2130 drivers a few weeks ago now, but had some printer downtime, so have really only been using them for a little bit.

I seem to have prints that after a certain amount of time begin to fail. I can hear the extruder motor begin to click, so I baby step the Z axis up a bit and its OK for a few layers, then it comes back again. I cant babysit the printer through a 20 hr print, adjusting the Z axis what seems like almost every layer!

So I thought tonight id raise the Z right to the top and measure the offset from the rails that the printhead moves on, to the top of the frame, and they were off by a 2.5mm from side to side. Ive actually done this numerous times over the last week thinking the grinding noise was basically the rails not being level. but it always keep going back to a few mm off after a print and I get the extruder skipping/clicking symptoms come back. Obviously this offset is then affecting my bed level and all sorts.

The only mod I have done in that area is upgraded to the TMC2130 steppers. I did set the Z Axis to 0.85V as detailed on the wiki, but am I right in thinking that its likely set too low? It only seems to grind right at the start and (possibly, but not 100%) end of a movement. If I move 10mm up, it grinds, moves perfectly and then stops as it should.

Do you agree this would likely be the cause, either a too low, or too high(?) stepper voltage, would both cases cause a grinding from the steppers? Im thinking it could be too low. When starting a movement obviously you need a lot more torque than to maintain the same movement, so it could be too low maybe? Just after some advice before I open it up (again) and tweak the voltages.

I have them cooled by a squirrel cage fan and a 3d printed fan duct, so im sure cooling is OK, just not sure where to go from here without reverting back to the noisy drivers that came with the machine!

I cant tell if its one of the other stepper, sounds like both in my opinion.


  • cs2000cs2000 🌟 Super Member 🌟 Posts: 32
    Also, if it helps, the steppers themselves are always cold. My previous printers, these things get too hot to touch, so maybe they are indeed under-volted? I don't really understand how that 0.85v setting was figured out personally, so I could be waaay off the mark. But id expect if it was too much voltage, they would be hot.
  • Samuel PinchesSamuel Pinches Administrator Posts: 1,536
    0.85V probably is too low from what I've seen people use. If you find some good settings, feel free to update the wiki - I don't use TM2130 myself.
    Thanked by 1cs2000
  • cs2000cs2000 🌟 Super Member 🌟 Posts: 32
    Hmm, so I opened it up to tune the voltages and realised I didn’t even upgrade the Z steppers. I just did the X and Y.

    measured the voltage in the standard steppers and it measures at 0.83 volts, so I bumped it up to 0.93 instead.

    will see how this goes and if it’s still acting up il upgrade the Z to the tmc2130
  • cs2000cs2000 🌟 Super Member 🌟 Posts: 32
    edited April 6

    Well rather embarasingly, I figured it out. I accidentally touched the threaded rods and realised they weren't lubricated, they were sticky! The grinding noise was not the motors, but rather then rods rattling against their bearings/nuts/whatever guides them up the rods.

    I lubricated the rods with some grease and all seems OK now!

    After a while, I started to get inconsistencies again , but the first 90 mins went perfectly. I didn’t clean the lead screws at all and I’m just using heavy duty grease meant for farm machinery, so it’s not the right stuff, but it’s proved the point!

    Have ordered some machine oil to use and will remove and fully clean the lead screws with a solvent when it arrives., should fix it totally

    Thanked by 1Samuel Pinches
    Post edited by cs2000 on
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