TAZ 5: Click noises on Z axis

Hello! I´ve recently purchased a TAZ 5 and for a month everything was perfect.
But suddenly I´m getting this weird “click” noises when I move the Z axis (both up and down, but the noises are slightly different).

I attach 2 videos of each one, hoping that someone recognize them and give me any clue about this.
I´m afraid I will have to unmount some pieces of the printer, but first it would be great to know what is happening (and why, in order to avoid it in the future).

So, here we go. The first one is the noise I hear when the Z axis is going up:

The second one is the Z axis noises when going down:

Sorry, I wasn´t able to embed them, no way to make the [youtube] tag work…
The printer works, and the printed jobs are ok, but I think I should fix this as soon as possible, is not normal…

Thanks in advance, people

Well… I decided to remove some parts to see if the “click” would stop, I couldn´t stand it anymore.
First, I removed the top part that joins the two Z axis at the left side (one smooth, one screw). I totally would have betted that this was the part where the noise was originated, but it was just my perception, the noise continued:

So after having removed the top, I went on and removed this other part (in red). This HAD to be the source!!

And finally, the noise stopped. I carefully analyzed that part, and the only strange thing I saw was some minor errors that I removed with sanding paper. I left the hole totally rounded, in case it could be touching the screw bar when rotating (NOTE: You can notice that the noise appears when the screw makes a full round, so it made sense somehow).

I put the part back on its place with a smile on my face, screw it again and the noise re-appeared!!
There is nothing there, I swear, only lithium grease. Nothing that could make that strong, metallic CLACK sound.

I only found one similar case (the noise is the same) but I don´t understand what he says and there is no solution or something…

Someone…? Please, give me any info before I start removing other parts, break the TAZ and kill myself :astonished:

The video you linked has a loose z leadscrew couple. Watch the setscrew holes as it goes up.

If you are having that kind of noise you have something loose in the power train, or something sticking out and hitting things.

Hi, Piercet. Which video are you talking about? Mines or that last one? I´m afraid I can´t see a thing in any of them… Where are you seeing this holes? Sorry… I´m a total noob and maybe this is more obvious than it seems for me.

I watched every single corner with a torch, seeking for small filament parts or something like that. But with no luck, everything is fine. The noise clearly comes from this single plastic part (the one I marked in red). If I remove it, the noise stops. Obviously I need that part to print so I´m totally stuck.

Take another video with you camera pointed at the motor and the couple that joins it to the leadscrew please.

I had a Z axis coupler snap in two places recently. It makes a nasty clicky thumpy noise as the coupler flexes as the motor turns. The printer appears to still be working fine. I contacted support, they responded in less than an hour asking me to confirm that I can loosen the set screws (apparently some have troubles with this). I had a chance to try this a couple days later - no problem. When I replied that I could do it, they sent me a tracking number for shipping a replacement part again maybe an hour later. Had I not been able to loosen the set screws, they would have shipped the printer back for them to fix.

Lulzbot support is awesome.

Piercet: Sure, here you have. As you can hear, the noise down there is very low. I guess the motor is fine, right?

Suraky: Hi, I didn´t thought yet of using the tech support. I came directly to the forums to share the videos. But I´ll do it tomorrow if I cannot fix it. Thanks for the tip.

Hmm. Its not your coupler. It has to be the leadscrew nut. If your printer is under warranty, call support. If it isn’t, you will need to undo the 4 mm cap bolts to remove the leadscrew, along with the top plate and the leadscrew coupler. Check the leadscrew nut for debris or cracks, if you are lucky it will be debris.

Thanks, Piercet. This seems too big for me, contacting support… I´m wondering if I should use the printer until the replacement arrives (in case that´s required).

By the way: The “leadscrew nut” is the black part that goes up and down around the screw bar, is correct? Sorry, I have troubles with some terms in my own language, so in english it gets even more difficult for me. I don´t find the equivalent image for a TAZ5, but is that part?

Yes that is the part. The leadscrew nut mount is the part it bolts to, which bolts to the x end plate. The leadscrew nut itself is what is actually in contact with the leadscrew. I think it might have debris in the inner threads. Its the only thing that makes sense.

I think the same. I´ll try to find it out soon.

There is an old mechanics trick to locate engine noise you could try. You place a long thin (the thinner the better) screwdriver touching the parts in question while you hold the end of the screwdriver handle up near your ear, it acts as a sort of stethoscope and you just keep moving it around (with the noise happening) and it will be loudest when on the part that is the cause.

Ey, tmorris, that´s a nice reasoning. In fact I was applying a simplified version, just holding long metal tweezers with my hand. I sensed anything… :unamused: But I will try this tomorrow, using my ear and a screwdriver. Not easy on a Z axis moving up and down but I´ll try just to verify the source.

I contacted support (quick response!) and the last thing they propossed was a too-high value on my retraction properties when using Cura. But as I´ve just replied to them, that won´t explain the clack noise also when moving manually the Z axis both with Cura/LCD control panels or just when homing the axis.

I have this link with the TAZ5 assembly information but I can´t find good details about how to remove the Z axis nut.
Is there any other document/video out there to take a look? As I´m seeing, removing the Z axis nut is not a common operation, but I feel I should take a look inside it.

You can look up the Kittaz instructions. It looks like you will need to removing the top bracket, and the coupler to the motor. Then you should be able to unscrew the lead screw and remove the nut by removing the three screws that holds the nut to the bracket.
Before doing all that, you might want to use a small block set between the bottom bracket and the z nut. Then lower the z axis until it touches the block. That way, when you put it back together, you will have a reference to set the z nut so it will be level with the other side.


Well, finally the problem was found. And had nothing to do with the rod nut, my fault.
The click noise came from the left coupler on the Z axis, because it´s broken.

I wonder how did I managed to apply so much pressure in this piece after only a month… :question:

Wow, I can see the crack in that video i had you post now that I know where to look for it, but thats definitly a hard to see break. Glad you got it figured out though!

For what its worth, your motor is at a slight angle to the leadscrew. Thats probably what caused the break. It should be directly in line, and all the spring gaps should be even.

did you end up finding a way to source this part? Exact same thing happened to mine. looking at taz 5 bom shows part number GSASL 16-5-5-NAB. uk.misumi shows a GSASL 16-5-5 without the NAB part. US.misumi does not show this part number. can somebody confirm if part number CPL 16-5-5 is an exact equivalent from us.misumi?

it shows this as a 5 day wait to ship though and subject to change which does not sound promising.

If your machine is still under warranty, Lulzbot should replace it for you.

i think i read somewhere that warrenty involves sending whole printer in. i could be mistaken. and ive only had it since 2 weeks before they went on sale for black friday… :unamused: i assumed they would have cheaper filament not cheaper printers for black friday

For a small fix like that they might send you the part, wouldn’t hurt to ask.