Problem with print bed height on Creality Ender 4

5

I am a novice to 3D printing and have encountered an issue that I cannot seem to solve. Hopefully someone here can point me in the right direction.

I have a Creality Ender 4 that I purchased a few months ago and up until about 4 weeks ago, it worked great. I had moved it from its original place and in doing so, something became amiss in the firmware as it would no longer heat up the print bed either manually or by sending print commands via USB. The SD card slots would also give errors when trying to print from an SD card. So, after doing some research, I ended up flashing the firmware in hopes that it would reset any of the hiccups I was having.

This both did, and did not, work. I tried MK4Duo, but apparently there was no support for my auto bed leveler and the bed was coming up and hitting the nozzle tip when I tried to print. I switched and uploaded Marlin 1.1.8 which seems to have solved the non-functionality of the auto leveler, but it has caused a new problem that I just can't solve.

Now, when I try to initiate a print, the bed will not raise high enough. It stops, either when I set Z to home, or try to print, at about one quarter of one inch from the tip of the nozzle. Of course, at this point when the print starts, the extruded filament just comes out in mid-air like toothpaste and curls up all over the bed. I can manually push the bed higher to the point it needs to start at, but it still drops too low when I try to print.

I am comfortable enough in using Arduino to try to correct the problem in the firmware (if it is a firmware problem), but I'm just not sure where I need to look or what I need to adjust. If someone would be kind enough to assist me in tracking down some possible places to look, or what might be causing this, I would be extremely grateful! I want to be able to print again!

dusodesign

Posted 2018-04-04T19:12:13.373

Reputation: 51

When homing, the z endstop must be reached. Does it reach the stop at the top? It is strange if the platform stops before the endstop on homing! Is this stop height adjustable, or does the stop touch a fine tuning screw (that has moved) on the platform? The thing is, you cannot close the gap when the endstop is limiting the platform movement. – 0scar – 2018-04-04T21:59:02.613

do you have auto-leveling? – profesor79 – 2018-04-05T10:09:49.033

Interesting design! I like the X-Y carriage setup, but I'm concerned that all the support for the bed is along one edge. that seems guaranteed to lead to sag towards the far edge, and no way to compensate. If they put a second Z-drive (and guide rod) on the far edge, I'd buy one – Carl Witthoft – 2018-04-05T15:20:11.837

Thank you for the comments! Yes, I do have an auto leveler installed. It is functioning becasue when I manually push the bed higher the auto leveler will detect the bed when it gets close enough. If I leave it there though and go to the control panel and tell it to print from the SD card, the bed will drop back down to the previous position, about 1/4" below the nozzle tip. It won't raise back up to let the auto leveler detect it. The regular stepper for the Z movement isn't active since the auto leveler is plugged up in its place on the motherboard. – dusodesign – 2018-04-06T13:07:50.103

In moving the printer, either a wire was loosened/disconnected, or something shifted - Z-threads/screws turned, without the firmware/controller being aware, or the springs in the bed have changed level. Manually re-homing/re-calibrating should fix it. It's unlikely that in moving the printer the firmware changed. Does the new location the same "flatness" as the original? Was the original completely flat? Maybe the printer was calibrated for a slight tilt in the original location, and that tilt is no longer present. If you move the printer back to its previous location does the issue disappear? – Greenonline – 2018-04-18T18:36:50.257

I had the same problem, I noticed that the bed never tried to go up when the z-limit switch sensor was connected. If i disconnected it and attempted a Auto-home the bed will try to go up to meet the sensor. However installing the auto leveler sensor fixed it. With that connected instead the process completes correctly. – Chepech – 2018-06-20T00:18:09.460

@Greenonline This one has 5 tags... and might seriously benefit more from being tagged after the machine [tag:ender-4] than one of the others. Would you look after this? – Trish – 2018-07-08T10:12:39.310

@Trish - do you want to add the add the ender-4 tag? Oh, I see, one (or more) of the other tags needs to be deleted. Hmmm, which of the 5 tags, that it already has, is the least important? Thanks. – Greenonline – 2018-07-08T11:19:59.720

@Greenonline I do actually don't know! but I think that the question doen't touch the topic of the Z-probe or the Z-axis in itself, but only via bed-leveling – Trish – 2018-07-08T11:22:12.867

@Trish Good point. Although, on a second reading, the auto-bed leveler seems to refer to the z-probe – Greenonline – 2018-07-08T11:22:47.257

Answers

1

Moving a printer would most likely affect the hardware rather that the software. Unless you have tinkered with the software over USB or loaded an unknown G-code file over SD card that has embedded G-code commands that change your settings.

The most likely solution is that the printer or parts of the printer shifted as such that the printer is not aligned anymore as it used to be. Re-calibrating the machine should fix that for you.

0scar

Posted 2018-04-04T19:12:13.373

Reputation: 25 570

2also: checking wiring should be the first step anyway. – Trish – 2018-07-23T18:14:08.400

@Trish,yes that should always be the first step, is everything well connected, thanks for the addition! – 0scar – 2018-07-23T18:55:05.503