If you are experiencing issues with one of your printer’s motors, the root of the problem may be the driver chip that controls that motors movement. This includes the motor on the extruder head that ‘grabs’ filament and pushes it through the feed tube.
Your printer has four of these red driver components plugged into the chipboard in the base of the printer. Each of these chips controls its own motor; one for the X, Y and Z axis, and one for the extruder. Problems may occur if these chips are not installed correctly or are tampered with.
How to fix it
If you are experiencing an issue that you think is related to the drivers, first make sure that your printer is powered off, unplugged and carefully laid on its side before running through these steps:
1. Looking at the chipboard underneath your printer, check that the drivers are installed correctly. Gently push on each driver to make sure the pins are all the way in and making full contact with the larger chipboard.
2. Remove and examine each driver for any signs of damage (e.g. missing or bent pins).
3. Make sure that the drivers are oriented correctly. These chips can be installed back to front, but will only work if facing the correct way. Correct installation is indicated by the small screw on each driver. Refer to the image below for the correct orientation of the drivers:
4. You may also swap the drivers to confirm the problem. For example, if the Z motor is not working, swap the driver that corresponds to the Z motor with any of the other drivers, making sure to keep the same orientation as shown in the image above. If the Z motor now works and issue is transferred to another motor, then you have a problem with that driver.
Do not tamper with the screw on the drivers as they change the amount of power running into the motors. This level is set during production and shouldn’t need to be changed. Tampering with this screw may cause permanent damage to your printer.