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New Printer - Failed Stepper, FW Q & Upgrade Q

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Joined:26 Jun 2020, 16:57
New Printer - Failed Stepper, FW Q & Upgrade Q

Post by appoli » 01 Jul 2020, 03:56

Hi All,

Stepper driver for E2 blew right after filament loaded. Haven't heard back from Support yet, currently using a TMC2130 from Digi Key - is this OK (in SPI mode, but it has a pot)?
Worth upgrading to Marlin 2.0? Seems as though features added by BVC have been incorporated along with other extras (and MKS seems to have enough memory) Any guide on BVC additions to fw?
Purchased BMGs. Considering either getting Misumi precision bushings & rods OR Bosch precision bushings if rods are OK.

I was very happy to receive my B2X300 last week and so far have been getting the results I essentially expected to get - there is still more time I need to spend tweaking the device, putting together an enclosure and swapping out a few items (I have ordered BMG extruders as was previously mentioned as one of the useful upgrades - and I have noticed that depending on the scenario I do get the occasional ground gear so I am looking forward to this. I have been trying to not go crazy with buying other parts as I figure I would rather spend the money on building the next one using my own specs).

I should note that this is actually my first 3D printer, but I am not new to doing any kind of assembly (one of the main reasons I got it was to for making auto parts - either prototyping or building a 'production' item where tolerances aren't so discerning. Then I realized I could use it for all sorts of cool stuff like making jigs and such) & I've been working in tech for a few years, currently as a logical/metadata architect, having always had a knack for it.
Putting together the printer was pretty straight forward - the only real issues was that it seemed to be a bit confusing as to where the manual mentioned to leave parts loose (based on reading various guides/watching videos I gathered that at some points the bolts should be tightened afterwards and in others they should remain lose - but had to stitch together a few different sources for this info) - personally I would rather just have torque specs as I assume most people have inch/lb precision tools in this field *and* that it seemed as though my kit suffered a pretty serious drop during transportation.
The outer frame took the grunt of the damage with the most evident part being a knick where the steel is depressed inward/rolled 2-3 mm in the corner.
The dent isn't a big deal, neither were the few large loops in the frame that I had to bend out (such as where the extruder steppers mount to with the 2 M3 (I believe) fasteners. The biggest issue was that when lining up the right hand Z axis stepper/screw guide there was almost no room to play with, maybe a couple mm at most.I did my best lining things up given the circumstances, but I have to run through more prints to see how things go.

During assembly I took my time with my digital caliper (a Mitituyo model) and made sure to adjust everything to the specified tolerances. Once completed the only real adjustments I had to do were with the semi-slack x carriage bolts. Everything else was quite close to correct (measure twice, cut once :) ).

After a bit of testing with 1 extruder I decided to load up the second one (I hadn't received the Filament I purchased with the printer yet so I used PolyMax PLA). It loaded up just fine, but when I queued up the offset g code the printer only let out a tiny bit of the filament from E2 in the beginning after which E2 became unresponsive. After much trouble shooting I decided to let a self test wizard run for a *while* (15 min?) and eventually it gave me a bad stepper code. Taking apart the stepper drivers I saw that the E2 stepper had popped/burned a bit.

I emailed support (haven't heard back yet - also didn't get a US plug!), but didn't want to wait ages over a simple stepper so went ahead and bought one off of Digi Key. I soldered the headers accordingly & left it in SPI mode & all the self test wizard said all is clear. Everything prints OK, but I am worried that b/c the driver has a pot on it not all the settings are being transferred across correctly (difficult to determine what's what with the documentation - seems conflicting at times). Should I be waiting to get a replacement stepper or is this fine for now?

While doing this it got me thinking -
Marlin 2.0 seems to have all the features that BVC added to their Marlin fork (presumably 1.1 from a year ago ish?) and there seems to be a number of nice new features. This + based on what I can tell the MKS board has the memory for Marlin 2.0.
I was thinking of doing a comparison of the code (or if anyone has a summary of changes that would make things easier!) and porting over the BVC changes to a Marlin 2.0 config and loading it up. See how that goes?
Further down the road, probably before I design a new printer I was thinking of checking out these 'new' 32-bit controllers. Is there literature that is recommended to properly understand the benefits of these? (I get the increased ability to process more data part)

From the upgrade perspective I don't want to go too crazy b/c I will just end up making an entirely new printer haha. I got the BMGs, added some hot end socks & swapped the fan (would love to do a dual mosquito setup maybe with nibbler v2 extruders?). From there my biggest concern has been the bearings - didn't love what I saw when I was playing around with them although I have to be honest I am new to linear bushings.
I'm not sure what the quality of the rods/bearings are (and would love to go straight to linear guides esp if I can remove some printed parts!), but to keep things somewhat sane I had been toying around with Misumi higher precision bushings and rods (or if the rods are quite good possible some Bosch bushings?).
Are there any suggestions around this? The kink in the frame got me all worried + what I liked about the B2X300 was that it seems to have fewer printed parts than others & I really would like something that stays in specs for as long as possible. Having to re-adjust things after every print may what I will be doing, but would certainly save time/hassle if I didn't have to.

Thanks a bunch!!

Joined:04 Mar 2019, 13:41

Re: New Printer - Failed Stepper, FW Q & Upgrade Q

Post by srodrigues » 06 Jul 2020, 15:42

Hello Allen,

Thanks for your feedback! I will send you some info in PM about our firmware fork:
- marlin 1.1.8 B2X300 fork.

There would be much work to port all the features of our fork to the last marlin v2.0.5.3. In fact, there were several code changes to allow for unique features of the B2X300, most of which that exist to facilitate the use and configuration of the machine.

Joined:26 Jun 2020, 16:57

Re: New Printer - Failed Stepper, FW Q & Upgrade Q

Post by appoli » 20 Jul 2020, 20:30


Apologies for the delay in my response, it seemed to be taking a while for my forum post to be verified.

I upgraded to BMG extruders and in changing the steps/mm I did notice a number of the upgrades. I would be happy to help port, but some items (specifically the sensorless homing without the extra pin) might be a bit beyond my scope.

For now, however, I would like to address my most pressing issue:
Ever since I tried using the second extruder (this was before a change to BMG) the printer would go through the filament loading process just fine. But upon the first print the stepper driver would die (blown chip) shortly after starting the print.

This has become a HUGE issue for me, I am no longer able to print anything & have gone through ~6 drivers (I’ve been using wotterott, I have a few bigtreetech, but the printer doesn’t recognize those - & yes they are in SPI mode).

I’m waiting on some more stepper drivers, but I’m pretty sure the result will be exactly the same.

Any help with this would be VERY much appreciated! Otherwise the printer is useless to me!

To add some clarity: the machine blew 2 stepper drivers with the standard extruders and has gone through 4 with the BMG - haven’t even been able to print anything with the BMG extruders. My only change to the firmware was to update the steps/mm to 415. It was strange since It didn’t show up on the lcd display & I changed it there as well).
The amount the extruded extrudes for the initial primer line and the first little bit seems to be perfect, but they die shortly after this.

Edit: just in case it was a heat issue I upgraded the fan cooling the stepper drivers to a Noctua 40mmx20mm & am using a buck converter/voltage regulator to step the voltage down for the fan. The drivers are cooler now, but same issue.


Joined:26 Jun 2020, 16:57

Re: New Printer - Failed Stepper, FW Q & Upgrade Q

Post by appoli » 29 Jul 2020, 22:43

This is getting a bit ridiculous - I have finally gotten a couple responses from support, but it seems as though the detailed information I provided (to cut down on the number of back and forths needed) wasn't really digested & support decided to focus in on how M92 is set for the BMG extruders...
This would be ok if I hadn't specifically mentioned that 2-3 stepper drivers were blown with the original hardware using the original firmware (latest version of course) in the same manner - prime line is put down, followed a small amount of printing being done before the driver blows up.

Especially considering that a fix for this exact error is in the fw changelog for the revision before the previous revision. It very much sounds like something is being overlooked on their end.

Ahh yes, I had forgotten - BVC support had also brought up the option of swapping out the TMC2130 drivers with TMC2209. While the TMC2209 is a newer driver I feel like this is a very cavalier suggestion. As stated previously many of the features that BVC added to their fork of Marlin 1.1 (which are in Marlin 2) are done so via the SPI comms bit, which isn't available on the TMC2209.
This may be a hint at the issue having to be something about the manner in which BVC implemented these new features.

I won't lie, I am tempted to buy a 32-bit main board & some TMC2209 drivers and upload a version of Marlin 2.0 with as much of the information from BVCs fork entered as possible. However this would be committing a fair amount of time, and more money, to a printer that hasn't ever worked properly...
The amount of time spent on this alone makes me want to just say f*** this and get a lulzbot so I can focus on designing parts...

Then there is also the matter of having to spend time and knowingly destroy a brand new stepper driver just to rule this out for BVC support, BVC support not seeming to understand that with the firmware source code provided one can change a value (such as extruder stepper offset) in the appropriate area then recompile the fw then upload it onto the printer (they were confused as to how I made the offset changes to the firmware itself), and the general lack attention from support make me very wary about keeping this printer.
I had been in the process of running a bunch of initial prints to get a feel for the printer and see if the bend in the frame will effect it's performance (the whole unit might have to go back unless I can properly adjust the printer using the remaining available avenues) and can't even get to a state where I can perform a print without a part blowing up and failing.
(and note - the modification performed is one that BVC themselves recommend)

Help of any sort would be greatly appreciated from BeeVeryCreative if anyone is reading.

And for others out there - be careful with the factory power supply. Seems as though it can store a LOT of current on the AC side even if it's been powered off for hours (with the printer hooked up to the DC side as load). I got quite a light show when disconnecting it...
Id recommend getting a Mean Well replacement - the fan isn't controlled by PWM, but the fan doesn't come on right away - only when temps get high enough, the power supply has a much higher temp rating so can work in an enclosure, it's at least half the size and the components inside it are from quality manufacturers. The only 'iffy' bits are the capacitors on the AC side which are 2nd tier, but they aren't as critical as the ones on the DC side (which are made by a 1st tier manufacturer).

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Joined:31 Aug 2020, 03:18

Re: New Printer - Failed Stepper, FW Q & Upgrade Q

Post by ronny.villatoro » 31 Aug 2020, 05:16

Hello Friend,
Did you ever get a solution from BVC for your problem with the burning of the stepper motors?

Joined:12 Dec 2017, 11:44

Re: New Printer - Failed Stepper, FW Q & Upgrade Q

Post by DomingosRodrigues » 01 Sep 2020, 13:44

Hello Appoli,

First of all we are really sorry that you haven't received the support your require. I am here to try and help solve the issue.

The issue of the stepper drivers burning is a combination of both a defect on some units of the stepper drivers used, the TMC2130, the stepping mode stealthChop (that uses voltage control not current control like most stepping modes), the stepper motor that is used in the extruder and linear advance compensation.
If the stepper drivers were burnt in warranty condition, that is with the printer as comes in the kit and using the original firmware we will gladly replace the broken parts so you have a functional machine no need to buy your own parts.

All other TMC2130 should have a pot as they are designed to be used in both standalone and SPI mode, we made a custom version without the pot as it wasn't necessary.

As for marlin 2.0 I can provide you with a working version altough the finish is not close to the stable firmware for the B2X300 as it doesn't have most of the custom changes we made to B2X300 marlin fork, they aren't directly portable to the new marlin. FIY on 8 bit boards Marlin 2.0 can cause some micro stuttering on more complex gcodes, it was tested if there was any significant print quality of QOS improvement, as nothing significant was noted the firmware update to 2.0 has been postponed until a significant feature justifies it.

I would recommend against using busings for a 3d printer as it can lead to binding issues, I would rather recommend the misumi bearings. Be sure to match them with precision linear rods otherwise the advantage of a precision bearing will be lost.

As for using a BMG it is a good update but some changes need to be made on the stepper drivers configuration, changing it to spreadCycle mode otherwise it's reduction and added inertia can cause a problem on the steathChop control loop that leads to the stepper driver destruction.

If possible post some picture of the frame kink you mention so I can evaluate if it might cause any problem on the printing process, if the kit came with the defect at the delivery time you should have contacted with photos before using the kit so we could have exchanged the frame with a new one.

The original steps/mm are tied to the serial number as the extrusion drive gear was improved with iteration, if you run the self test wizard it should reset the original value.
You can change the steps/mm very easily without editing the firmware itself using a serial terminal like YAT or simplify 3d using M92 E"steps" command followed with "M500" to save, alternately you can add that line to the start gcode on the slicer then saving the data to the eeprom using a M500 command.

As for the firmware version being the source of the issue with the stepper drivers, its occurrence has been tested on several version of the marlin firmware and we can safely assure you that our custom fork isn't in the source of the issue and we have made all the changes possible to to mitigate the issue and it still rarely occurs with some stepper drivers, usually in the first minutes of use, normally it's an isolated incident, I cannot exclude the possibility that your motherboard or extruder stepper motors might have a defect that causes such a consistent destruction of stepper drivers.
We are internally working on changing the extruder stepper drivers to another one that can mitigate the issues that are happening. Please understand that if your machine has been modified with non official parts we cannot take responsibility for any possible damage on the equipment since it was changed unless specifically asked to be changed by us.

The TMC2209 exchange works as is being tested right now. As you mentioned the SPI features will be disabled, although in the extruder stepper drivers they were only used for the setup of the driver's settings on boot. TMC2209 can be easily configured using the jumpers below the stepper drivers. Despite loosing the SPI connection the increased robustness of the extruder driver, less power usage on the extruder and increased drive torque would bee a good trade off. We can provide you with a custom build of the firmware that disables the SPI checks on the extruder allowing the easy usage of modified stepper drivers.

You can change the original board for a 32bit one with TMC2209 without significant issues. But you will need to configure a new build of marlin and will loose the custom parts contained in our marlin fork.

We do not recommend changing the firmware as a wrong compilation can lead to several issues with the printer that will be very difficult to diagnose, as such it is our policy to use the tested and pre-compiled firmware to minimize issues and resolution time.

The printer's warranty is only valid on the kit's parts provided they have a factory issue any further modification of the machine unless specifically instructed to be done by us will void the warranty!

As for the power supply it cannot maintain any AC voltage inside itself, as all the AC power available should be directly converted to DC power after the input filtering and rectification. The connector of the AC side can arc when being connected/disconnected to/from the AC line and this is due to the input filtering applied on the AC side, it is normal and there is no danger for the user, that said if yours has such a behavior as you described please record a video of the issue and send it to so we can check it.

Best regards
Domingos Rodrigues

Joined:12 Dec 2017, 11:44

Re: New Printer - Failed Stepper, FW Q & Upgrade Q

Post by DomingosRodrigues » 01 Sep 2020, 13:46

Hello Ronny,

If you have such a issue with a stepper driver please contact with a video showing the issue happening in the printer so we can try fixing it or replace the defective part.

Best regards
Domingos Rodrigues

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