WARNING: THIS ARTICLE IS OUTDATED AND IS HERE FOR REFERENCE PURPOSES ONLY.
Remember: Unplug your machine before performing any servicing with electrical components. Electric shock can cause serious injury or death.
This article effects Series 1 (2014 and 2014 BETA Customers) with machines of the following serial numbers:
- B21 to B61
- 1000 to 1080
Your machines came with A4988 Stepper Drivers that are susceptible to overheating. Some machines don't experience any trouble with the A4988 Stepper Drivers. Some however do. If you have been directed to this article by our support department, you will be getting new DRV8825 stepper drivers to replace your old ones.
What are stepper drivers?
Stepper drivers are those little chips on little boards as depicted in the image below. Each one is responsible for moving the motor (or motors) for each axis.
Sometimes the Y-axis stepper driver, which controls not one but two motors, needs to be replaced. We have seen this in machines with A4988 machines. Fortunately replacing them is pretty straightforward.
In order to upgrade from A4988s to DRV8825s you must make the following extra changes:
- Adjust the microstepping jumpers for the axes you are upgrading.
- Reverse the motor connection.
Skill Level: Easy
Time Required: 30-45 minutes
- Small flat head screwdriver
- 2mm Allen Wrench
- Ceramic Screwdriver
1. Completely disconnect, turn off and unplug the machine. It is extremely important that you do so as you will be handling high voltage electrical equipment. If you simply unplug your machine you can dramatically reduce your chance of electric shock.
2. Open the electronics bay cover. You'll find the E-tray with all of the electronics that make your Series 1 tick.
3. Remove the offending stepper driver. Later on, when it's time to put the new one in, you might have to remove adjacent stepper drivers to make room before re-attaching the stepper drivers you might have had to remove.
4. Adjust the microstepping jumpers. You will find three little header jumpers on the board. The middle and the left one need to be removed in order for the DRV8825 to work. If you ever for any reason go back to A8498, remember to put the jumpers back into the original position.
5. I recommend that you take a picture before starting this next step so if something goes wrong you know where to come back to.
If your old stepper driver looks to have a similar metal coating to the new stepper driver depicted in these photos, and the old stepper driver says "Cool8" on it, skip this step.
Reverse the motor connections. There are two motors that connect to the Y-axis, and this is where the screwdriver comes in. One of these motors, like on all the other axes are connected using a crimped connector.
You can use your fingers to disconnect and flip over the connection 180 degrees. The second motor is connected to the screw terminals, and to flip the connection over you will have to unscrew each lead and re-connect.
If you observed the order to be BLUE,RED,GREEN,BLACK then switch it to BLACK,GREEN,RED,BLUE and visa versa.
6. Once you have ensured that everything is back in place and you don't have any tools or old stepper drivers in the electronics tray, close the electronics panel, and plug in your Series 1.
7. Turn on your Series 1 and connect. The very first thing you should do after connecting is going to the terminal and sending a single axis home command. Read on before doing so.
"G28 X" will only home the X-axis and "G28 Y" will only home the Y-axis. If you replaced the extruder stepper driver, try doing a test extrusion.
Your axis should home normally. It may sound a bit grindy, but it should move like normal. We will fix the sound in the next step.
If it homes in the wrong direction, power off the machine immediately. It means the motor is connected backwards from how it should be, and you will have to go back and fix that.
If it homes at an incredibly fast speed, power of the machine immediately. The jumpers are in the wrong configuration, and you will have to go back and fix that.
If it does not home but gyrates and grinds violently, power off the machine immediately. It means that you reconnected the motor a pin off, and you will have to go back and fix that.
8. Adjust the current of the new stepper driver. Click here to learn about how. To remove the grinding sound of the stepper driver, increase the motor current until it sounds smoother. This last step may not be necessary. Advanced users can adjust the stepper drivers while the machine is running but are advised to use caution when handling electronic equipment.
Now that your new DRV8825 is installed, you should see much better print quality and less overheating! Contact support if you need any clarification as regards these instructions.