It’s no secret that 3D printers, and as a result, the 3D printing process, relies on many components to function correctly at once, with many pieces of software, electronic hardware, and mechanical hardware working together to make a successful print possible.
On the other hand, so many components working together also means two things; even the failure of one part can cause the printing process to fail, and it’s reasonably likely for a component to undergo some problems, requiring a fix before you can get back to utilizing your 3D printer.
Today, we will be talking about one of the simple yet critical mechanical problems your Ender 3 can have, known as the bed wobble, where the print bed cannot stay stable during the printing process and wobbles around, causing problems for the print by introducing inconsistencies in positioning.
So, what can cause the bed of your Ender 3 to wobble?
The main reason that will cause your Ender 3’s heated bed to wobble is the eccentric nuts getting loose, which are essentially the tightness-adjustable parts that hold the wheels that fit between the heated bed and the rail, which are responsible for the movement of the heated bed.
In the upcoming sections, we will examine the reasons that can cause your Ender 3’s bed to wobble in better detail, find out how to fix this problem as efficiently as possible, and take a look at some of the signs that may appear on your prints as a result of a wobbling bed.
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What Can Cause the Ender 3 (Pro/V2) Bed to Wobble?
As a wobbling bed will directly impact your prints negatively by throwing off the positioning calculations of your Ender 3, it’s a problem that you will need to identify the source of and resolve as quickly as possible before printing again.
The eccentric nuts, which are the components that determine how tightly the wheels on your Ender 3’s bed grip the rail they are moving on, becoming loose is the primary culprit behind the Ender 3 bed wobble problem, where the severity of the wobble is directly related to how loose the nuts are.
In a nutshell, when the eccentric nuts are in a loose position, the space between the bed’s wheels and the rail becomes too large, which prevents the bed from making contact with the solid ground that allows it to stay stable and gives your Ender 3’s bed some room to wobble freely.
As the eccentric nuts are mechanical parts designed to rotate and be adjusted, they can eventually end up in a position where they are looser than optimal after the assembly process or due to wear and tear that comes with prolonged usage.
On the other hand, it’s worth noting that the eccentric nuts being too tight is no good either, as this will cause the wheels to become too firmly attached to the rail, essentially stripping them of their capability to rotate freely, which will end up with the bed not being able to move.
How to Fix the Ender 3 (Pro/V2) Bed Wobbling Problem?
Fortunately, fixing the bed wobbling problem of your Ender 3 won’t be a long and tiresome process, as the reason that causes the issue is straightforward to identify, and the solution does not require any technical expertise or a lot of effort.
To fix the bed wobbling problem of your Ender 3, you need to locate the eccentric nuts behind the wheels that connect the bed to the rail and slowly tighten each one of them until the bed does not wobble anymore while giving the wheels enough space to move freely on the rail.
You will find that the eccentric nuts rotate very quickly, which makes tightening them too hard, or even bringing them back to a loose position (as a full rotation will cause them to loosen) is very probable, making it a good idea to perform small rotations and check whether the bed is still wobbling or not.
Finally, as four wheels (2 on each side) connect your Ender 3’s bed to the rail, there are also four eccentric nuts in total that you will need to tighten to stabilize the bed and stop the wobbling.
Once you’re done, considering that you have tightened all the eccentric nuts to an optimal level, the bed should be sliding easily on the rail without any wobbling when you manually push it.
What Are the Signs of a Wobbling Ender 3 (Pro/V2) Bed?
While a wobbling bed is usually apparent in most cases, a print bed that is only wobbling slightly during the printing process may be hard to notice unless you inspect the model you have printed for flaws that appear as a result.
A wobbling bed can cause your Ender 3 to misprint your model in various ways, with examples such as layer misalignment and poor bed adhesion immediately coming to mind as they are essentially guaranteed to happen due to the wobbling bed causing the printhead to position itself inconsistently.
While less likely, more dangerous issues that can damage both the printhead and the heated bed due to the inconsistencies in the positioning, such as the nozzle crashing into the build plate is also possible, making a wobbling bed a considerable problem.
If you suspect that the bed of your Ender 3 is wobbling, we recommend trying to wobble the bed with your hand by applying some force, as this process is highly likely to give you some feedback about the stability of the bed in cases where the wobbling isn’t very noticeable during the print.
Even though the Ender 3 bed wobble is a nuisance that will most likely cause your prints to have sub-par quality or even fail, fixing it should be a pretty straightforward process once you notice the wobble and take the necessary steps.
To quickly recap, the heated bed has four wheels that allow it to move on the rail, and these wheels are connected to the bed and the rail through components called eccentric nuts.
When the eccentric nuts become way too loose, the wheels lose their grip on the rail, which causes your Ender 3’s bed to wobble during movement as a result of this problem.
As it’s a reasonably straightforward process to tighten the eccentric nuts to the point where the wheel has a good grip on the rail, you should be able to stabilize the bed of your Ender 3 in no time and continue your prints without problems.
Mike started his 3D printing journey with the Anet A8 when it first came out back in 2017, and has been obsessed with 3D printers ever since. Nowadays, he primarily uses his Ender 3 to print functional parts that make his life more convenient whenever possible.