Vat won't tilt during printing

My vat does tilt at startup, but is no longer tilting while printing. I’ve tried new gcode as well as the diy test gcode I downloaded from the wiki. I thought the problem might be suction from the new pdms so I tried running it without the vat; still no tilt. I’ve tried resetting the printer for several minutes and I noticed while troubleshooting that I had firmware version 1.16 so I updated to 1.18. Any ideas what I need to try now?

Hello @BrentCain I am sorry this is happening to you!

A couple questions just so I can attempt to narrow it down:

  • Can you post all your settings here from the Moai for me please (photos are fine if that is easier)?

  • Is it a Pre-built Moai or a kit?

  • Did you reformat the SD card?

I started with the latest system settings for the Moai with PDMS vat:
X Size 900
Y Size 900
X Deviation 100
Y Deviation 100
Smooth 50
Z Motor Speed 2
PM Motor Speed 15

Laser Power 58
XY Speed Set 4
Z Reset Postion 1877
PM Reset Position 10
Z Follows 2
CompensateX 100
CompensateY 200
PM Initial Speed 10

I tried increasing PM Moto Speed to 25 and PM Reset position to 20 and I tried increasing the Z Reset position to 1880.
The Moai was a kit I built in January. It was printing fine until last month.
I did reformat the SD card when I updated the firmware during troubleshooting.

Z Motor speed: 15
PM Motor speed: 30
PM Reset Position: 40
Z Follows: 40

You can look here also to see what else you may need to adjust.

Also here for the Tilting and Peel:

Let me know if that works for you. :slight_smile:

I made the suggested changes and still no tilting during prints. I watched it with the side panel off I can see the screw that is supposed to twist to lower and raise the vat keeps twisting back and forth instead of moving smoothly.

@BrentCain Can you take a short video of this and email it with the link to this thread and purchase number to please?

I emailed Saturday morning but I haven’t received a response yet. How long is the normal wait time?

I am sorry about that, I contacted support. They will be in contact with you.

After 705 print jobs, my Moai is now exhibiting the same behavior: vat tilts on startup, but will not tilt between layers. I can feel the peel motor vibrating slightly when it’s supposed to be peeling, but the vat won’t move. I’m assuming the peel motor is shot? Does Matterhackers stock replacement peel motors?

If it tilts on startup the motor is probably fine (?)

It’s like the motor has lost some of its torque. I loosened the two bolts holding the motor to remove any strain they might have been causing on the motor frame, and I increased the PM speed values and the Reset distance and got it working again. The increased peel speed might have an adverse effect on surface finish, and it’s now noisy, but if I can keep printing until I get a replacement then it’s okay.

For anybody who runs into this issue, here’s how I fixed it: I got a replacement PM motor from Matterhackers and now it’s good as new. While I was waiting for the replacement, I was able to use my printer by increasing the two PM motor values from default 15 to 30, and increased my PM reset from default 40 to 60. I also increased my Z motor speeds from default 2 to 5 to compensate for the faster-moving vat tilt. The weak PM motor was stalling with the very slow movements, but by increasing the values it was able to get moving. This is with a PDMS vat; the additional resistance from a FEP vat might not work the same way.

The replacement motor fixed the issue for me but now I can’t get a decent print. My smaller supports won’t print and larger supports are blobs and merged together. The print itself has almost none of the detail of the stl file. I’ve made sure my settings are correct for the pdms vat.

Something is moving during print. Your supports should be straight as arrows…

Check for vat movement or tilt assembly movement. All should be rock solid.

as @Whazaa said, there might be movements during the print, also check for dust since you opened the Moai to install the motor
the easiest way to know if the Moai is working properly is using the pre-sliced gcodes

Okay, I’ve made sure nothing is moving during the print. I’ve cleaned the mirrors. I’ve tried the 4 printing the 4 posts test and the ring and nothing is printing correctly. It looks like the laser isn’t focused correctly; there’s a lip around the base and the prints themselves look lumpy. What’s next?

can you show the picture of the “lumpy print”?
also, try to re-format the SD card and try the test prints again
If the print still comes out lumpy, run the circle test with the laser power at 50,put a small piece of paper in front of the laser and see how it diffracts
make sure to record a video or pictures so we can exam it

Here’s what I mean by lumpy. You can see the extra skirt like area that is printing around the peg. In the first picture its a little hard to make out but the surface of the cylinder is rough and lumpy. I reformatted the sd card using the software suggested.

Here’s a picture of the laser point on paper. Unfortunately the picture doesn’t convey what the focal point looks like. Its actually a wavy line in the center with a ring around it and a lot of diffuse light around the ring.

That is not a correct laser dot and explains why the prints are so “fluffy”. Please examine the galvo mirrors for dust particles. If they are clean there is something wrong with the laser and you should contact the seller for a new laser module.