The Ender 3 is one of the greatest budget printers out there. But it does not come without its flaws. For starters, many users have reported that the stepper motor in their Ender 3 tends to overheat. If you are currently facing this problem, worry not, as there are many solutions available.
To fix an overheated stepper motor, you can:
- Put a heatsink on the motor.
- Make sure the filament path is smooth.
- Cut back on big rafts.
- Add a fan to cool the motor.
- Make sure the airflow is adequate.
- Reduce the stepper motor’s current.
- Change the stepper motor.
Put Heatsink on the Motor
Adding a heatsink to your extruder motor is an effective remedy for an overheating extruder motor. Your extruder motor’s ability to produce heat can be considerably decreased with a proper heatsink.
A heatsink is a piece of external hardware whose primary function is to draw heat from the extruder motor and direct it away from the equipment.
In order to channel the heat away from the extruder, it is transferred from the extruder motor and passed through a low-temperature medium.
One user discovered that his stepper motors were much cooler than they had previously been when he ran his 3D printer after installing a heatsink on the motor. He does advise against mounting too many heatsinks on the extruder motor (as some people do by attaching numerous heatsinks, each at the top, left, and right sides).
The motor will gain mass if you do this, which will lower the print quality. Although you shouldn’t have to, a passive aluminum heatsink is the best option because it has less mass.
Make Sure the Filament Path is Smooth
Maintaining a smooth flow for the filament is another thing you can do to stop the extruder motor from overheating. To prevent the extruder from using additional power to extract the material from the spool, the filament flow should be as smooth as possible.
By placing an additional strain on the extruder, this approach runs the risk of heating up the motor.
The extruder motor heat can be significantly reduced by simply ensuring that the filament travels in a smooth route.
Cut Back on Big Rafts
Avoid using rafts that are too large as this is another intriguing technique to lessen stepper motor overheating. Some users report that their experience with the same model’s extruder motor overheating on a direct drive arrangement was problematic. This occurred frequently while attempting to print a raft on a large print.
The raft created a constant current that heated up the extruder to a high temperature and even led to clogging problems because the filament softened close to the heat.
To lessen the stress on the stepper motor, try utilizing smaller rafts or decreasing the printing speed of your raft.
Add a Fan to Cool the Motor
Your extruder motor overheating problems may potentially be solved by using cooling fans for the motor. To lower the operating temperature, you simply connect an extra fan that blows air into your extruder motor.
Make Sure the Airflow is Adequate
Some advice making sure there is adequate airflow in order to prevent your extruder motor from becoming too hot. The extruder motor and 3D printer should have enough room for them to move freely and function as a fan on their own.
This minor effort can significantly lower the likelihood of the extruder motor overheating.
The ideal choice for this situation would be to use a fan or to place your 3D printer in a room with plenty of airflow, such as an open garage. One user who employed this technique discovered that his stepper motors for 3D printing were much cooler than they had previously been.
Do be aware that too continuous airflow might cause warping, which happens when your model’s exterior areas cool down too quickly and contract, lifting a little bit off the build plate.
Additional suggestions that can be helpful in this area include:
- Put the 3D printer and cooling fan next to each other. This will continue to exhaust the heat or hot air from space.
- Utilize air extractors to remove the heated air produced by the 3D printer and replace it with cool air drawn from the outside environment.
- Avoid using an enclosure or allowing a break in it to allow the temperature to decrease.
Reduce the Stepper Motor’s Current
To prevent your extruders’ stepper motors from overheating or becoming too hot, try reducing their current. This works because the extruder motor is constantly receiving high voltage, which raises the temperature and causes additional heat to accumulate.
The motor will generate less heat as a result of reducing the current, which the cooling fans can easily manage.
One user reported that the extruder motor was too hot for him to handle. At the extruder gear, it was creating jams and filaments to melt down. The temperature returned from 60°C to 37°C after changing the voltages and printing for almost an hour.
Users can change the current flow to the extruder motor because the current is the main cause of the motor being excessively hot.
Even for a little period, the reduction in current makes a significant long-term contribution to lowering the heat generated by the extruder motor. One user who employed this technique discovered that his stepper motors for 3D printing were much cooler than they had previously been.
Users assert that in the majority of cases, merely reducing the motor’s current to 50% or, if appropriate, even below 50% overcomes the problem of the extruder motor heating up.
Change the Stepper Motor
If you discover that these techniques aren’t particularly effective, you may simply have a stepper motor that is shorting, in which case you need to replace the stepper motor. Stepper motors have manufacturing issues and aren’t always flawless.
If you continue using them, this could result in too much power being sent into them via shorting, which would wear out your power supply. Even though it is uncommon, having faulty motors increases the likelihood that it may occur.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the Stepper Motor Vibrating But Not Turning?
The motors will tremble and not turn if the stepper drivers are not providing enough current output.
How to Check a Stepper Motor?
First, use an ohmmeter to test the motor. The sort of step motor you have—typically a bipolar or unipolar—and whether a winding has burned up will be indicated. There are four leads in bipolar. Five or six leads make up unipolar.
Do Stepper Motors Wear Out?
Since there are so many frictionless moving parts, stepper motors are thought to have longer lifespans and only the bearings need to be replaced occasionally.
To recap, the overheating Ender 3 motor is a common issue. Before you replace the motor, try attempting the above fixes to see if the problem can be fixed.