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  1. #1
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    Nov 2016
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    Exclamation Cube 3 Clicking Noise (!)

    This is just a heads up.

    If your printer experiences a squeal and you decided to ignore it, read on.

    Sooner rather than later, the occasional short burst squeal will be heard where there was none before, ever.
    Over a period of the next kilogram of filament, you will begin to hear loud clicking sounds.
    The sound is very similar to a piece of PLA rubbing against a moving part of the printer.
    However, it will get louder, and it will not have a common position where the noise can be heard by moving things.
    The problem can be on any of the 3 motion axes.

    If you've ever taken apart super small bearings you probably ran into a cage that sits around the balls. There are several kinds of cages. Sometimes these cages get mucked up in the works. That is one of the common failure modes for smaller bearings.

    Why am I talking about bearings? Because that click you are listening to is most likely a failed bearing. It needs attention! A failed bearing can become a bushing riding against the plastic piece that holds the belt idle gear.

    The bearing that just failed on my white workhorse printer was on the X-axis (left side). The clicking was very loud. I decided to dive into the issue. I ran the printer and listened as carefully as I could to find out where the noise was coming from. Do you know how hard it is to chase down an intermittent click?

    I was pretty much convinced that the X-axis travel was the culprit so I put my finger on the everything to detect a "clunk" in the system. Nothing on the cartridge, nothing on the print-head, nothing on the tray. Sure enough, a very pronounced "thud" on the bearing carrier on the upper left.

    These bearings are common hobby bearings. They measure 3mm ID, 6mm OD, and are 2.5mm thick. I stopped by Tammie's Hobbies here locally who said they had 4 bearings for $5.99. Sure enough, they didn't! But they were good enough to find me a pair in a set and sold them to me for the same price.

    The printer was already apart from last night. I took it down further than ever before. But I accomplished getting access to the bearing I needed to replace.
    It took longer to go get the bearings than it did to install them. The printer is running a print now and no more clicks!

    As to getting to this bearing set... You have to remove the rear cover.
    Don't loose this link! It has some critical details as to how to remove the covers;

    I will save you some effort... DON'T PULL THE 4 SCREWS INSIDE EACH CARTRIDGE BAY! There is no reason to remove the cartridge bays.
    However, there are 4 hidden screws that face forward and backwards that do need to be removed from both bays.
    There are 2 Phillips screws that hold the rear cover deep inside looking from the front. 2 more in the left vertical rail.
    Do remove the two cap screws that hold the upper deck in place so you can get to the belt easily.
    Also remove the clear wire-tray on the back of the frame. Two Phillips screws in the upper horizontal rail.

    I took the tray apart just for giggles. Got it cleaned up and to make sure nothing was in the belt path.

    Anyway, I got more bearings on order for future wayward clicks. Bottom line, if you're good with a screwdriver and are willing to review the process, you should be able to get there without too much harm. Just be careful with the wires. You can't be careful enough to make sure you don't pinch a wire or have one get snagged as you move the print-head.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Didn't even recalibrate the machine

    Its working fine again.


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  3. #2
    Administrator bolsoncerrado's Avatar
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    Nov 2014
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    A few pics of the process (the cleanup, check, faulty/non faulty,...) would have helped!

  4. #3
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    Nov 2016
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    I gave that some thought, yes.

    Then again, it would have been wrong as I certainly didn't do this the easy way.
    Hence, this post-correction blog entry.

    However, if anyone is stuck having to deal with this, I'd be happy to expand on any part of the process where I can help.

    - - - - - - - - - -


    Now I'm ready for next time. ...although now that I'm ready, it probably won't happened

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Looks like the life of these bearings is about 2 years on the left X-axis. I wish I knew where I put those spare bearings.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    ...LOL & found them! Time for repair.

    Looks like the repair is about 1-1/2 hours if you get into some other stuff. I found the latch that holds the cable relief to the hot end was busted.

    I did a little wire-tie to held things fast;


    This poor unit has seen some days. New fan, 2nd bearing change, and starting to see some cracks in the plastics. Still printing some gnarly stuff!


    - - - - - - - - - -

    Quick review of replacement steps;

    1) remove 4 bottom hex drive screws
    2) remove 4 bottom feet
    3) remove 4 Philips screws, each side, facing forward in pockets in the corners. These have a small washer.
    4) unlatch the front bezel and slide forward carefully. Latches are in the center gap deep in the corners. These require a pull downward.
    5) disconnect the display cable at the motherboard
    6) remove the front bezel
    7) remove 2 Philips screws visible in the upper corners looking from the front.
    8) remove 2 Philips screws found in the left vertical rail
    9) slide off the rear cover
    10) remove the 2 Philips screws from the horizontal rail catching the clear tray before it falls to the ground
    11) from the backside - locate and remove the hex drive screw on the right that holds the white bearing carrier and pulley on the left side of the belt.

    Replace the bearings 6x3x2.5

    a) place the belt on the pulley and tip the bearing carrier into the captive slot.
    b) properly positioned, you will see the screw threads - re-install the screw.
    c) replace the clear cable tray - 2 Philips screws through the horizontal rail
    d) replace the rear cover - 4 Philips screws - 2 in the left vertical rail and 2 in the upper corners
    e) replace 2 hex drive screws on the bottom - 2 Philips screws on each side in the cartridge pockets facing to the back
    f) plug the display back into the motherboard - careful not to pull the cable out when placing the front bezel
    g) Slide the front bezel onto the printer
    h) replace 2 hex drive screws on the bottom - 2 Philips screws on each side in the cartridge pockets facing forward
    i) replace the 4 feet - remove the center pin and place pushing on the center plastic piece - install the pin to lock the foot in place


    note; to get to the cable relief, there are two more hex drive screws in the corners that hold the upper deck in place. The whole deck folds forward to allow access to the hotend cables.
    Last edited by TommyDee; 04-02-2021 at 12:18 AM.

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