I keep seeing problems and if no one has been able to get the printer to work as advertised then I am not going to bother to continue.
I will, however, write a review for several industry newspapers.
If Makertech 3D is willing to provide video showing the steps along with more detailed, my review will not be so critical.
finally got my -first- printer assembled... started some time ago but due to missing tools and other projects didn't find the time too complete the printer until now... :/
Let me also share some of my prints. I'm quite happy with the results and didn't got that much troubles as some other users.
I really enjoyed building the printer and learned a lot about 3D printers in general as this is my first encounter with the 3D printing world. Got stuck sometimes due to eg not having the appropriate tools or some cables that were too short. I struggled the most with the guides from the bed and the gantry...
The first prints showed some clear z-wobble. See the first cube.
After some research and reading through the forum (thanks everyone!) I assumed it was the wobble from the lead screw which was transferred to the gantry.
After tighten the gantry I reduced the wobble but the movements where not smooth anymore. But this confirmed the theory. See cube nr 2.
Then I ordered the aluminum coupler @Makertech mentioned (https://www.makertech3d.com/apps/help-center#hc-z-wobble-wavy-lines-in-the-z-axis) and this improved the result clearly. See cube nr 3.
Next steps are waiting for the replacements with longer cables to tidy everything up and starting experimenting with dual extrusion.
Thanks again to everyone wo took the effort to document their experiences in the forum, I learned a lot from you.
Last print seemed to be significantly better than the others, but printer still needs a lot of work. I don't trust it to print anything taller.
That would seem to make sense. I notice that the stepper shaft is pressed into the motor and then "unloads" as it tries to move the gantry up. This issue seems to have gotten more pronounced as when I added the coupler and the bearing mechanism at the top it wasn't an issue but then it came back.
Why is this an issue on this printer when I have another printer with the same lead screw and coupler setup just pushing a gantry up to extrusion pillars?
I'm still struggling with the assembly and i'm afraid its not my incompetence.
I have a massive wobble on the z-axis in the z-direction that i can't seem to fix. I've ordered a metal coupling, because the plastic one provided streches and compresses a lot. This stretching and compressing is largely due to how tight I made the guides of the gantry grip the vertical support. However if i loosen them a little bit i get a wobble in the x-y plane everytime the z-axis moves.
I'm afraid i won't be able to a simple print anytime soon...
Great results @Simon Halliwell and @Pritesh !
I had a little bit of Z wobble but I think it will be good now that I've tightened some of the guided and replaced the Z motor coupling with a metal one.
Thought I would share my first print. This is just as it came off the printer and hasn't been cleaned up apart from removing the additional printed base layers. For a first print I'm pleased with the quality.
The Axis being a kit does mean that users will have varying degrees of success when printing.
One of the key factors here is the motion system, it needs to be set-up just right to get the best out of it, and being a low cost printer it doesn't have things like linear rails so the guides and belts need extra care when setting up. Belts should be guitar string taught, and the guides should be loose enough to allow sliding but tight enough so that there isn't any wobble on the axis.
Another important factor will be filament and adjusting the settings in software to get the best out of that filament. The image that Holger has posted looks like the filament is over extruding and the flow rate needs to be reduced in Cura.
3D printing is still not a perfect technology and the price point that the Axis was set at, and also being a kit, means that it requires more from the user than a more expensive out of the box printer. So with all that being said, if this is your first printer, keep with it, as building it from the kit will not just give you a 3d printer but also an great deal of knowledge about desktop 3d printers and 3d printing.
A more detailed post on lead-screw wobble can be found here:
Until the replacement parts I ordered arrive, I cannot go any further. I dropped the spring and cannot find it.
I decided to dump all the bags into a clear plastic tray with dividers.
This was probably not the best "first" 3d printer to own. I'm glad that while waiting for this I picked up another printer because I had to do something during quarantine. I'm sure some of the problems each of you are running into would have similar but maybe less magnitude with other cheap and entry level printers. So far what I've seen with, jams, auto-leveling, and assembly are all issues that I ran into fairly quickly when going beyond the defaults on my Ender 3. Getting a printer like that would easily allow you to print right out of the box, but what I see with building and learning this printer will be a better appreciation and understanding of the whole hobby.
Make sure everything is as square as possible, that all nuts and bolts are tight, that each axis moves freely without binding or drag, and that all limit switches are activated without components colliding with other parts of the printer BEFORE powering it on.
Double check that the hotend is put together correctly. I don't think this is an all metal hotend. That means the PTFE bowden tube should go right up against the nozzle.
Watch YouTube videos on compiling and uploading Marlin firmware. I think a lot of the setup issues regarding oddities in behavior will be fixed by a flash of an updated Marlin build. I've not owned a MKS board that Mackertech included in this build but it is common in the 3D printer community. There are tutorial videos from TeachingTech on YouTube for working with this board and Marlin. It is highly suggested to watch his videos for help. When I have some free time I plan on creating a branch of Marlin 2.0.3 bugfix with the Makertech config applied. Until I get the printer I won't be able to test, however.
Get some basic 3D printer tools. I still haven't received mine so I don't know what exactly they're providing in the box, but a good scraper, wrenches sized for the nozzle, and hex keys should always be right next to your printer (print a tool holder!). I also suggest getting a nozzle cleaning tool. They look like acupuncture needles and are just big enough to fit in a nozzle. You heat up your hotend to 200-220 and then poke it through to help remove clogs (https://www.amazon.com/Printer-Nozzle-Cleaning-Tool-Kit/dp/B07FBMYFS7/ref=sr_1_7). A brass bristle brush found at most hardware stores is also good for cleaning the bottom of the hotend after a failed print hits the bottom and melts all over it.
Make sure the bed is as physically level and trammed as best as possible. Even with ABL (auto-bed leveling) it is good to try to make your bed as flat as possible and it is still important that it be closely trammed (the process of making sure that the nozzle would be a constant distance from the build surface across the whole build plate)
Investigate babystepping and how to enable it in the firmware. This will help GREATLY and is much better than the paper method that is recommended in the instructions. Again, TeachingTech on YouTube has some good instructional videos on how to set up babystepping and printing a one layer large "X" that allows you to perfectly set the distance from the build surface to the nozzle.
Once you get it printing you need to print a calibration cube so that you can set your steps per mm. This is important as it's how the printer determines how much the motor needs to move in order to travel some distance in mm. The value in Makertech's GitHub for the Marlin firmware should be close but it is always better to check it after your printer is completely together so that if there are any variances it can be corrected.
The calibration cube will help for X, Y, and Z axis. You should also make sure that your extruder is moving the amount of filament it thinks it needs. Placing a mark on the filament 100mm away from where it enters the extruder and then telling the printer to extrude 100mm should tell you if it is pulling too much or not enough. Having over or under extrusion can create horrible prints or clogging.
Googling this process should yield the best way of making the calculations and then applying a formula which will tell you how to adjust the steps per mm in the firmware.
Being your first printer it's most likely your first time working with a specific filament. Print a temperature calibration tower (YouTube has videos on this) so that you can understand what temperature your hotend needs to be for best performance with the filament and how your cooling fan settings can have an affect.
Keep your filament as dry as possible. It is hydroscopic so it will want to absorb water. This causes poor printing. Google the topic and be prepared to be amazed how much there is regarding this (this is something I'm fighting with in my current high humidity environment of FL)
That turned into a longer list, but hopefully it will help you out. I've been waiting with anticipation of this printer for a while. Hopefully it's just some growing pains with the instructions and we can get them working and printing!
So far, I've gotten one print to come out. The benchy boat printed alright, there are some oscillations in the z-axis that I need to fix. My x-y platform shipped with a pretty evident curve in the x-direction, not sure how to fix that (the heat bed is straight, thankfully). On top of that, I had some pretty noticeable stringing. My hope is that messing with the temperature settings will alleviate that problem. Got OctoPi working with a dedicated power supply, which is not ideal but works. However, I am unable to print any more at the moment. The nozzle become completely jammed. I've been soaking the nozzle in acetone for two days, with the hope that it'll loosen the debris inside. A couple of amazon searches revealed that the extruder, fan, hotend combo had some questionable reviews, most notably about the nozzle jamming. Hopefully, the nozzle will eventually clear up in the next few days so I can fine tune the axis travel. This is also my first 3d fdm printer, so like the other comment, I have nothing to compare this to. While it has taught me a lot about 3d printer construction, I do feel like there were some design flaws. In the coming months, I'm probably going to mod this printer to upgrade it. (First thing I'll do is probably replace the nozzle) I think others should as well.
I got the benchy boat to print the first try. Had some waves to it along the X axis but other than that it was ok. I tried 7 more times to print out the same thing to see if the error was duplicating. Filament would get caught in the line, there have been many issues with the Z axis movement and overall just not getting another print.
I finally got it to kinda work. I got enough of a print to see that the X axis wave was repeating. After some research, I hypothesized it was the screw for the Z axis that was causing the problem. I adjusted the gantry connections and lubed the track and screw and decided to try again.
Now when I run the auto level I get an error. When it reaches the top left corner the gantry will drop, the sensor will trigger and then it'll error out. I can't even test my hypothesis.
I backed this project because I saw that MakerTech had some pretty good reviews on their other printers and thought the quality would be comparable. This is my first printer so I have nothing else to compare it to but it's been very frustrating to say the least.
No its a piece of trash and worthless buy a different printer. i will also be posting YouTube videos about how terrible this product is.
I managed to get it work. My first print today was this little benchy boat. It is far from perfect but recognizable.