Ender 3 Max Nightmare

Printer Details:
Ender 3 Max (Marlin 4.2.2)
Creality Spider 2 hotend (nozzle 0.4mm)
Glass bed
CR Touch autobed leveling
Octoprint v 1.8.2
Cura v 5.2.1
Attempting to print with Sakata White PLA

As of late, I have been having a nightmare with my Ender 3 Max just trying to get a successful layer let alone an entire print. I spent forever trying to level it. When I would manually level it with paper, I would run the automatic bed leveling and it would report that it was very unlevel and when I would correct that I would find manually that it was very off. Eventually, I discovered that there was play in the gantry and after a while of fiddling with the rollers and the eccentric nuts discovered that there were two screws loose that were causing the issue. Now, I am able to level the bed and find that my manual level and the automatic level seem to generally agree.

However, even after adjusting the probe offset several times, I still cannot get prints to stick in general on the outline part of the first layer. I even tried increasing the initial layer flow all the way to 150% and all that happens different is that different places on the calibration print do not stick. I don’t know what details I am missing that are preventing me from solving this problem or if there is something that I am overlooking. I would really appreciate if anyone could help me solve this problem as I am ready to be done with this printer.

Thank you in advance for any help anyone can offer.

Could be the print bed is warped. Have you been using this printer for a while and this something that “just happened” recently or is this a new machine.

Hey Maddy, thanks for coming by and using our forum!

As a safe bet its always good to clean your bed as much possible with a bit of isopropyl alcohol or even water. Left over oils from your hands or other residues may inhibit good bed adhesion.

So you didn’t have any luck by lowering the z-offset by a little bit at a time? In some cases even just 0.05mm or more can mean the difference of a good first layer sticking to the bed or not.

I did my best after leveling it to hone the z-offset to a multiple of 0.05mm and eventually land on -12.5mm as the best value, above or below this the performance worsened. I cleaned the bed yesterday with window cleaner, is that sufficient?

I’ve always had a harder time with this printer but over the past few months, it has gotten to be near impossible to work with. If there is a warp in the print bed, I would imagine it to be only slight. I have set nozzle near the bed and watched it travel across the bed and I have not visually identified any significant changes as it travels.

Is the Z axis gantry level and stable IE: wheels are adjusted properly and the gantry doesn’t shimmy or move at an angle. It doesn’t take much misalignment to screw things up. Just a thought.

Yeah, that was one of the things that I discovered was the issue with the gantry. I had hoped when I discovered that the problem would be resolved. I did notice that when I fixed that the discrepancy between manual leveling and automatic leveling went away. But, unfortunately, this did not resolve the overall issue of adhesion to the bed. Perhaps, I should speak with the folks at 3D Printing Canada and see if I can have someone attend my house and see if they can get it in working order or maybe just drive the machine down to them. Honestly, my patience has worn thin with it. I do not have problems like this at all with my Ender 3 Pro. This machine has been cursed since I bought it. When it works, it works great but unfortunately, I seem to spend more time getting it to work than using it.

My son bought a used Ender 3 Pro and it was having real problems too. He tore it down replaced all the wheels, belts, nozzles etc. squared it up, basically rebuilt it. It works fine now.

So, I think I have met some success… at least for now. I turned up the nozzle heat which seems to have helped a lot. I, also, noticed that once I did get a print going that there seemed to be some underflow and after a while a jam that seemed to be from heat creep. I noticed the fan was changing speeds intermittently and was kind of noisy. I took it a part and found a spool of filament around it and maybe a cat worth of fur. I cleaned that all out and things appear to be flowing much more smooth. Maybe now I can get a full print.

Maintenance, maintenance maintenance.

Glad you figured it out, I had the same problem with the Sakata PLA. 230-235 works on my CR-10 Smart Pro. Any lower and it won’t stick.

What screws did you tighten? I’m having a somewhat similar problem but i have no problems with adhésion anymore * once i figured out that a gear from the extruder had been worn out because of tpu*. But now by your comments it seems the the gantry being lose is my current problem. Here’s what i had posted explaining the problem "
Hi, I’m looking for a workaround if not a fix or at least info on whether i got a dud. The issue as per the title is that I level (align? -whatever) the printer and the first few layers are printed ok, but then the side where the Z axis screw is not located starts to lose height. I then have to manually lower the bed on just that side both front and back. The problem starts happening gradually but gets to a point that i have to adjust a few mms! What’s worse is that if I want to start a second print I need to reset the alignment altogether. Is the way to fix this only to get a second z axis screw kit or there’s something i need to tighten? I have (really bad) mobility problems and would prefer just to tighten a few screws and not assemble/tighten the whole thing. So if you could please point me to the most likely “fix” even if temporary (i.e. having to re adjust every few prints) I’d appreciate it. Thanks!"

If you have a pic showing what to tighten I’d appreciate it since it would save me some literal pain. Thanks!

The screws that control the gantry movement are the eccentric nuts that are located on the rollers for gantry. You can recognize them as the spacer between the wheel and the gantry will have a flat bit that you can put a wrench on. This video helped me learn how to do the adjustment. For me, the issue turned out to be that my z-stop was too high meaning my bed had to be too high and so the bed screws were too loose. When I adjusted the z-stop position, it allowed me to tighten the bed springs more adding more pressure to keep the bed in place. I, also, replaced my glass bed with a PEI bed and I find that it is a lot more will to just stay in place even when the bed is cool.

I hope this helps.

1 Like

Thanks a lot, will give it a try. :pray::pray: