NEMA 17 Motor Vibration Damper = Night and Day

Running just one Mini can be loud, but 3 at a time can be deafening! In an effort to make our office a little more conducive to things like reading, 3d modeling, or even just conversation, I did some research into noise reduction. My results:


You only need ONE damper to make a remarkable, astonishing difference in the sound your printer makes. The key is to install that damper on the Y-Axis stepper motor (thats the one that moves the bed). This is by far the loudest motor on the entire printer, second only to the two Z stepper motors that typically only make a lot of noise when the print is starting and the bed is leveling.

I looked into installing the dampers on the other four motors on the Mini, but I ran into some problems and would love some advice.

The X-axis motor is mounted too close to the frame for installation. It requires a minimum of 6mm of clearance, and that simply isnt there. Cutting the frame or printing a new mounting bracket is needed

The extruder motor has a special plastic piece attached to the drive head that lets it fit perfectly into the herringbone drive. Installing the damper misaligned the gears. A new plastic piece will need to be designed and printed to use a damper on the extruder drive.

The most trouble I ran into was with the Z axis stepper motors. Not only are they the most difficult to access, I almost damaged the part that links the drive head to the long screw. Advice on removing the NEMA 17 motor from that coupling would be appreciated.

Thanks for reading!
RMO printer/designer

Even a cork vibration damper makes a big difference. The Astrosyn vibration damper is an amazing piece of tech.

I just ordered 3 of these for my new Lulzbot Mini. Hopefully they will cut down on the noise complaints from the girlfriend…

I just received the dampeners in the mail. I am waiting for my current print to finish before I install them. Anyone know if any loctite is advisable on the motor mount screws? I was going to use some of the blue 242 loctite unless someone advises otherwise. I figure it is the least I can do to prevent vibration loosening.

Loctite wont hurt. Just make sure to use blue, not red Heh. Loctite may affect the part surface slightly at the plastic.

I just added the damper on the Y axis motor only and am running my first roctopus test print now. It is a drastic reduction in high pitched noises the machine was making. I ran a before and after audio recording through an FFT and found the high frequency noises more or less dissipated after the damper was added. I don’t have a professional decibel meter but it definitely sounds a lot quieter to my girlfriends ears. That is what matters at the end of the day. I honestly think the y-axis motor was mostly to blame for the mini’s whine as it is the only one directly connected to the metal frame. I think I will leave my other two dampers off for now as I am satisfied in this reduction in noise.


Interesting… I just ordered a 4 pack to give it a try.

Wow, would love a step-by-step on installing these. My wife is giving me grief on the noise and is threatening to put out in the garage if I don’t do something about it. This looks like a simple fix.


Edit: the shorter screws are only needed for the taz and not the mini! Also this is instructions for the taz but you should be able to follow it with the mini.

For the Y axis
First you will need two shorter m3 screws for mounting the dampener to the motor as the original ones are too long. I just cut two of the original ones with a hacksaw and that has worked fine. I think you have to shorten them by 5mm, you can measure this by installing the dampener with the original screws and measure the gap when you cant thread the screw anymore and then add 1 mm.

The dampener only has two screws on each side, two for the motor and two for mounting to the frame. The side that has threaded holes is for the mounting to the frame.

Unplugging the printer before you start is always a good idea. Especially if its wirelessly controlled.

  1. Loosen the 4 screws for the Y motor and take it away from the belt. Probably best if you also unplug the wires and remove the motor so it is easy to install the dampener.

  2. Place the dampener on the motor with the side that has unthreaded holes and screw the two short m3 screws in (if you don’t have short screws cut the current ones as stated above).

  3. Mount the motor with the damper to the frame, with the wires facing the electronics box.

  4. Adjust the belt pulley so that i matches its previous height to the belt you will maybe also need to adjust belt tension or have to loosen the belt to get it on the pulley. Follow this guide At step 7.

  5. Plug in the motor cable.

  6. Print “silently”

THANKS!! I’m ordering one for the Y-axis motor now! Can’t wait.


Just as a follow-up to this thread. I received my Nema 17 dampener and installed it on just the y-axis motor (the one that controls the bed) as others have suggested. The installation was super straight forward. I was able to use the existing black screws with washers that were on the motor mount, so I’m not sure why it was suggested that they were too long. I simply removed the four screws, rotated the shaft to remove the belt, used two of the four screws to mount the unthreaded holes of the dampener to the top of the motor, loosened the set screws on the belt gear, adjusted the height to be the same as the original height, and used the two remaining screws to mount the motor w/dampener back on the mount. Put the belt back on and BAM! Super frigin quiet.

Seriously, if everyone doesn’t just run to order this $8 part and install it on their Mini, then they are just plain dumb. Lulzbot should just put this on every motor and be done with it. This thing has probably cut annoying whine down by 300%. It’s now just a dull whirring instead of a whine. How can such a small thing reduce that much noise?

Thanks everyone for the great suggestion. So happy with the result.


Congratulastions! About the shorter screws i was talking about the taz and not the mini. The mini has 4 * 6mm screws while the taz has 4 * 12 mm will add that to my earlier post.

Any help on getting the set screws out of the pulley? I can’t seem to break them free. Is it a metric hex key? I’m afraid I might have ruined them already.

EDIT: Ok nevermind. I got them loose. Tapped a 1.3mm in and it held.

WOW! What a difference the damper makes on just the Y motor! Big difference. Thanks for the tip.

I just did this mod to my Mini. Wow! What a difference. I only did the Y-axis as that one seemed to be the noisiest.

I put the Mini up on the power supply end (it didn’t want to tip from there). Unplug the cables first. You can leave the spool on if you’re careful.

Loosen the screw (2.5mm ball end) holding the belt. I backed it up a ways, and then let the belt slack just a little.

Loosen the four screws (2mm standard allen) holding the motor to the bracket.

Pull the motor out by rolling it slightly to get the belt off the pulley. Be careful with the wires.

Measure the distance from the face flange of the motor to the underside of the pulley. Mine was 9mm.

Loosen the pulley set screws (0.050" allen) about 1/2 turn. Do not use a ball driver here as it may wreck the set screw. Make sure your allen wrench engages full depth of the set screw. Wiggle and push and it will go in. A 1.27mm allen is the same size if you have that.

Put the vibration damper on the motor using two of the screws (2mm allen) with the washers that were on there. Tighten pretty snug.

Measure the distance from the new flange surface to the underside of the pulley, and move the pulley to match this distance as measured before.

Tighten the allen screws for the pulley. I like to tighten-loosen-tighten a few times to get the set screw to bite just a little. Leave them good and snug.

Put the motor back in while working the belt around the pulley.

Install the remaining two screws and tighten them down securely.

Use needle nose pliers to pull the belt tight by rolling the pliers. Tighten the belt tension clamp (2.5mm ball end).

Lay the machine back down and reconnect the cables.

Turn it on, and move the Y-axis manually to make sure it works.

Print something with some circle patterns and marvel at just how quiet it is now. :open_mouth:

Pat yourself on the back and have a cold one!

Big thanks to the OP for sharing this! :bulb:

Cool, thanks for the info. We’re looking into this.


They also work well on the Taz Y axis. It didn’t seem to do much to reduce noise on the X axis, and the Z doesn’t move enough to make it worth the effort of adding them.

I just added a dampener to the Y axis. I was skeptical of whether or not it would make that much of a difference, but I was happily surprised at how quiet it had become. I have two more dampeners that I bought as well, definitely going to use them as well! Thanks for the write-ups and guides, it made it incredibly easy.

I also just installed on the Y axis and ended up wishing that I had gotten more than one.

The Y axis is now nice enough that I may even re-design the x-axis mount to give the space needed to install it there. I’m probably just going to just order 4 more now.

I will definitely share the new parts I make (along with the full 3d model I am making of the mini), and I’m sure if I do all that, then the extruder will be up next, and I think I can see a redesign of the small herringbone gear that could make that work properly with dampers reducing the reach of the motor.

The one thing I don’t like is that I can’t stick my mini directly on wire shelving any longer since the y-axis stepper now sticks down below the level of the mini’s metal bottom chassis, so it needs the space created by the rubber feet that it didn’t need before so I found a spare plastic cutting board in the kitchen just the right size to let the mini would sit up a little higher. The cutting board also helped quiet the mini by isolating it more from the metal shelving I am using.

On the “don’t do what I did” front, I broke a torx bit by trying to unscrew the grub screw to take the gear off the y axis stepper. In the end I never did get it off and just accomplished the swap by removing all the screws and tilting the stepper towards the center of the mini a bit to take the belt off. The missing piece of the torx bit is still lodged in the grub screw.

Great post - thanks for the info. Just ordered my mini and also ordered this damper today. Looking forward to installing as soon as I get my printer.



Earlier, you reported improved adhesion with the improved mechanical smoothness of OpenBuilds Y-Axis hardware. Do you think these vibration dampers make a difference as well?

Also, any idea what material they are made out of?

Rigid threaded rod drives used on the TazMega seem to transmit vibration losslessly. Looking for ways to isolate the motors as well as the mounting plates.