Ender 3 Z-Axis Not Moving, How to Fix It?

It is so annoying when you work with your Ender 3 printer, and the Z-Axis stops working all of a sudden. If it is a matter of any specific axis, it is not that easy to fix. But here, I will try my level best to give you the right solutions regarding what to do when your Ender 3 Z-Axis not moving.

The reasons that Ender 3 Z-Axis is not moving could be printing scale issues, motherboard failure, or eccentric nuts problem. To fix the eccentric nut issue, loosen them and do tightening them. For avoiding the printing scale issue, loosen the screws on the lead screw bracket.

Now, I’m going to share the details of why your Z-Axis is not moving and how you can fix them with ease. So let’s solve the bummer once and for all!

Why is My Ender 3 Z-Axis Not Moving?

If you are experiencing difficulties with your printer and the Z-Axis movement is not working, classify the reasons and try to act according to the problems. Here are some common problems why Ender 3 Z-Axis not moving:

1. Main Board Error

The mainboard is the core of the Ender 3’s functionality. If you install a new mainboard and the printer still won’t move the Z-axis Ender 3, one of the wires from your stepper motor may be shorting out.

2. Overheating

Essentially, the Ender 3 is a very small printer. It doesn’t have a lot of airflow inside of it, and there isn’t much that can be done about it. If the Ender 3 extruder is not moving to overheat, it will cause the mainboard LCD screen to turn itself off (paper jam).

3. Hot End

The hot end is another common issue that can cause the Z-Axis to malfunction as well as some other issues. Sometimes the hot end can get too hot and start to become damaged. If this is the case, you should replace your hot end before you get it too hot. Also, check out Ender 3 Geeetech Metal Hot End V6 Upgrade.

4. Wiring Issues

The wiring may also cause issues with your hot end or LCD screen if they are faulty or has damaged. If your hot end doesn’t arise when printing, you may have a problem with the connectors on both ends of the wires.

5. Eccentric Nuts issue

The eccentric nuts on the stepper motors can also cause Z-Axis misalignment. If your printer has a loose or missing eccentric nut, you can inspect the Ender 3 eccentric nuts and use a spanner wrench to loosen or tighten them if needed. It’s a good idea to check this if you are experiencing any sort of issue with your Z-Axis.

How to Fix the Ender 3 Z-Axis Not Moving Issue?

If you can find out what is your Z-Axis issue with Ender 3, you can solve it with ease because here are the right solution for you –

When Z-Axis Not Printing to Scale: How to Fix

  • Your Ender 3 is having this issue because the rollers on the X-axis carriage are too tight or too loose and prevent it from moving as intended. To fix it, all you have to do is adjust the nuts which connect the X-axis carriage to the Z-gantry.
  • If the lead screws are too tight, they will prevent the lead screw from rotating and doing its job. Simply loosen the screws on the lead screw bracket. Make sure to not loosen it too much so that there’s no play in the system.
  • The Z-motor coupler is responsible for connecting the lead screw with the Z-motor. If these components are not connected, your printer will have issues driving the lead screw and printing accurately. Some of these issues include binding and making annoying noises.
  • One of the easiest ways to fix this issue is to reseat the coupler and tighten it with an Allen key until there is no play at all. If the issue remains, you will have to get a replacement coupler.
  • The Ender 3 uses a belt drive to rotate the lead screw connected to the Z-motor through a coupler. However, this belt has a tendency to break under heavy loads, so it can cause issues that include Ender 3 Pro Z-Axis binding and skipping extrusion.
  • To stop this, you will have to install spacers on the belt to relieve some of the tension and fix that issue completely. This will give your Ender 3 more precision in printing and ensure that there’s no play in the system between components.

Ender 3 Pro Z Cable Too Short: How to Fix 

If your ender 3 pro z-axis is not moving, the chances are that the Z cable is too short. While short cables can be a minor problem to some people, Ender 3 users who print large models may consider it a major issue at times!

  • To solve this issue, check the wires for tangles. However, if it happens to be tangled on any hardware, try to push the cable out of the way. If that does not work, try pulling out that cable part from its hardware and then putting it back.
  • The Ender 3 may come with cables that are zip-tied together. When it transports, the printer will be more compact. However, when you open the control box, you may find some cables that are zip-tied together.
  • If you find these zip ties, try to cut them off with scissors. You can also use your fingers to open the zip ties and pull out the cables.
  • You should extend the cable or need a cable extender when you do not find any tangled or your cable does not have a tied-up part. The extenders may help you to extend the shorter cables. You can purchase them from your nearest supplier or make them at home by yourself.
  • If all else fails, you can use wires to extend the cables. First, you will have to cut off a part of the existing wire and then connect it to Ender 3 with a connector.

Z-Steps Every mm & Calibrate the Z-Axis: How to Fix 

Ender 3’s Z-Steps Per mm and Calibrate the Z-Axis are stuck on one setting. If you would like to fix this issue, please follow these steps:

  • Ender 3’s bed leveling knobs, found on many 3D printers, are mainly used in leveling the print bed. Nonetheless, feel free to utilize them in calibrating Z-axis once again in tiny increments.
  • If you have a relatively high calibration distance and cannot get your Z-axis to move using the steps outlined above, then you can try moving the limit switch from its current position. It will allow the Z-axis to move down to compensate for the new thickness of your build plate.
  • You can use an Ender 3 pro z offset value to compensate for the new height of your build plate. Moreover, you can directly enter this value into something like Cura so that digital models will print at the correct height. They might not crush or overhanging.

Ender 3 Z-Axis Motor Not Working: How to Fix 

The Z-axis motor is the main driver of the printhead carriage’s motion in the Z direction. In case you notice that it becomes unable to function, then the printer will not move. You have to troubleshoot and find out what’s causing it in your situation and solve this issue.

  • When there’s a corrupted file or incomplete Fat32 format, the SD card may not support the settings anymore. If that’s the case, simply format it to FAT32 and try printing again. When there’s still an issue, replace the SD card again and reformat it to FAT32 again.
  • To test the mainboard, you should try to isolate it. Move the Z-axis motor out of the printer to check if there’s a problem with that component or not. If there isn’t, send a movement command through your computer through the X or Y axis and watch if it moves.

Hard to Move Ender 3 Z-Axis: How to Fix 

When you’ve been experiencing the problem of an Ender 3 Z-axis that’s hard to move, we’re in luck. Because the problem usually is caused by the Ender 3 Z-axis binding between the motor and lead screw, you can resolve it without much effort.

  • Checking the eccentric nut situation on the rollers is as essential as the X carriage to the Z gantry holding. If it’s tight, you can’t move the X carriage on the Z-axis. So, loosen them and tighten them again.
  • When tightening them, spin the rollers with your finger. If you’re still able to spin the rollers with your finger, continue tightening them.
  • You’ve reached the ideal tightness when you can’t spin them without moving about 3mm without actually moving it.

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q ):

  • What Are the Symptoms of the 3D Printer Z Axis Problem?
    The problem with the Z-axis is printing objects from the 3D printer. 3D printers print objects by printing thin layers of material on top of each other.
    This creates a three-dimensional object. The Z-axis is the direction in which the printer prints these thin layers. If the printer does not print the layers correctly, it can create a problem called the problem of the Z-axis.

Final Words!

When you experience your Ender 3 Z-axis not moving correctly, try to know about the problems and fix them. This can be a significant issue as it tends to impact the quality of the prints. So, it is crucial to get it fixed as soon as possible so that you can continue printing without any hassle. For your convenience, I have already discussed the issue.


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