Design stretched in horizontal direction - not a laser arm squaring problem

Yesterday my GF suddenly started cutting different distances for x and y directions, so that a 50 mm x 50 mm square for example becomes a 52 mm x 50 mm rectangle.

I have squared the laser arm so it is precisely 90° (and redone this many times). I have adjusted tension on the horizontal belt, cleaned all wheels and rails.

Any more ideas?

I’m in the middle of a big project … cutting 700 puzzles. I have 300 more puzzles that need to be done in 10 days, so I have don’t have another day to lose!

I’m so sorry to hear that your prints haven’t been turning out as expected. That’s good to hear that you’ve checked the tension of the belts.

Could you please post an example of a print that had trouble? Including the approximate time (with time zone) and date that the print was run is very helpful to locate and review the logs.

Also, if you could please confirm - is the trouble is occurring in the x axis (horizontal) direction?

Hi Chelsea! Yes, it’s just the x-axis. The y-axis is working just fine. Here’s an extreme case with scoring lines (usually not this bad, but off in some places). Those squares should be aligned. NOTE: In this picture the squares do not like they are stretched in the x-direction, this is because this picture comes from an attempt to scale the file horizontally so that it would print correctly, but for some reason when scaling it down skinnier it became WAY too skinny.

And here’s cutting. This piece should be symmterical, but is stretched so that if I flip it, it won’t fit in. This is happening consistently, so a piece that should by 13.5 cm x 13.5 cm is coming out 14.3 cm x 13.5. I tried scaling the file horizontally by a percent that should correct it, and then instead of coming down to 13.5 cm it becomes much narrower, 12.6 cm. (This is what the first picture shows). Very wonky.

These cuts were done all day Sunday between 10:00 gmt +1 and around 21:00 gmt +1, and also Monday morning. There were no successful cuts on either of these days.

Sunday morning I had bad cuts and the laser head was not moving smoothly on the rails. It would tense up as I pushed it and then jump to a comfortable position and tense up again, in a pulsating kind of manner as I slid it back and forth. When I removed the belt it slid very freely, and all wheels turn freely. I reduced tension on the belt and got it to move freely, and did many pieces before I discovered the stretching effect. I adjusted the tension again and again, from very loose to so tight it began to feel like it was about start the too-tight pulsating effect. None of the tension settings made a difference.

I also squared up the laser arm, many times, and I’m 99% sure that it is as square as it can be.

Thanks for taking a look!

Thank you for posting that additional information. Based my findings so far, the likely cause of this trouble may be the pulley under the laser arm on the right side. If the pulley is damaged, the plastic ring may be slipping down and can cause a slight horizontal shift in the prints like you are seeing. If this is the case, I can send over the next steps to order a replacement pulley.

Could you please let me know if you can see the metal bearing between the black plastic piece and the laser arm?

If you are unsure, please post a close up photo of the pulley and I can take a look as well.

Let me know what you find. I’ll be watching for your reply.

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This could very well be it. Some months ago, the black plastic wheel fell off. During the belt removal and cleaning and tightening, it fell off many more times and I kept pushing it up. It can slide up and down easily. Yes, I should order a replacement. Do you think as a temporary fix that I could put some paper or tape around the bearing so the plastic wheel sits tightly?

If the plastic part of the wheel is intact - i.e. not cracked or otherwise damaged - you can glue it back onto the bearing. Suggest doing this with the whole thing removed to make sure they are aligned. Just a small drop of CA will be enough as it’s a pretty snug fit. Apply, them press quickly in one swift motion, on a smooth surface (the GF lid, for example…)

Be sure to examine it very carefully, however - as those parts are designed to be a one-time press fit, so it shouldn’t be coming off at all.

Thank you for your reply. This definitely sounds like the source of trouble with the prints.

I’ve just sent you an email with the next steps to order a replacement pulley. We’ll continue to work on this with you there, so this post will be closed.