Layer Misalignment with Workhorse -- Need Help

We purchased a Workhorse at my job for help with prototyping about 9 months ago. Generally, we do pretty straightforward, extruded 2d shapes, nothing crazy. Lately we’ve been expanding what we do with the printer and some of the shape have been giving me trouble. When printing a profile with inset or protruding features, the layers become misaligned on the part on the surfaces only adjacent to said feature (see attached pictures of a Benchy representing my best shot right now). I’ve gone pretty far down the rabbit hole trying to solve this on my own, but have come to a dead end and now need fresh ideas for a solution. Here’s a laundry list of things I’ve tried:

  • Ensured bed is level
  • Ensured all axes are tight with no play
  • Calibrated E-Steps
  • Calibrated K-factor
  • Tuned PID
  • Played with retraction settings
  • Slowed the print speed
  • Reduced layer height

Not sure what to do next to fix this. Anyone else have this problem? When I search for others having layer misalignment issues, I have not found this particular variation of it. Hoping someone here can help out!

On the plus side, all the additional tuning time here has helped improve parts that don’t have this type of feature, haha!

Can you look in your slicer and see if the anomalies occur just before or just after travel moves? I have a couple ideas if so…but gotta run.

It appears that the anomalies are occurring mid-extrusion. For example, on the posts of that circular window in the image from my first post, the travel begins and ends on the interior of the cabin.

One thing I found late yesterday was that backlash compensation wasn’t active (I thought it was), so I re-calibrated and ran the part with it active. It helped, but it still has misaligned features. At this point I have to ask: Am I expecting too much from this?

Not sure what guide you were following when doing all of your calibration, but plugging this here as one that has a lot of great information and might be something useful for you in the future.

From what I can tell your K steps might not be in the most optimal spot and may need to be recalibrated among other things. Overall there are worse benchys, but it is useful to keep in mind that a benchy is a torture test and wont necessarily ensure results in your other prints. It would be useful to see what you are trying to print that is failing and using a more targeted test at that feature.

I looked for the Benchy off our Workhorse today, but it might be gone for good. I’m sure the printer can do better. Assuming you’re using the stock 0.5mm nozzle,don’t expect level of detail you may see in other people’s Benchys. However the walls should be smoother than this.

I agree the anti-backlash helped.

I have two theories.

  1. Over- (and occasionally under-) extrusion instead of misalignment. Could be caused by cheap filament that has an inconsistent diameter. Could be caused by slicer settings having to do with acceleration or travel or z-lift.

  2. Misalignment due to excessive acceleration. In a Benchy, this is usually visible as “ringing” around the anchor portal. See for examples.

I’m not convinced it’s either of these, but to help rule them out, try a quality, dry filament using a Cura Lulzbot Edition default profile for that type of filament (which I found to be very conservative). If either or both helps, I might be on to something. Otherwise, I’m probably wrong.