You might experience issues with homing your 3D printer that doesn’t allow you to 3D print properly. I decided to write an article showing users how to fix homing issues in their 3D printers.
To fix homing issues on your 3D printers, make sure your 3D printer’s limit switches are connected securely and in the right places, as well as on the motherboard. Also check that you have the correct firmware version flashed on your 3D printer, especially if using an auto-leveling sensor.
There’s more information that you’ll want to know about fixing homing issues in your 3D printer, so keep on reading for more.
How to Fix 3D Printer Not Homing
Many issues can result in your 3D printer not reaching its home position. The vast majority of them are usually due to problems with the limit switches on the 3D printer.
However, homing issues can also be due to the firmware and other hardware on the printer. Here are some of the causes of these issues.
- Loose or disconnected limit switch.
- Bad limit switch wiring
- Corrupted printer firmware
- Faulty limit switch
- Wrong firmware version
- Low bed with probe hitting the Y motor
Here’s how to fix your 3D printer not homing:
- Make sure the limit switches are connected properly
- Make sure the limit switches are connected to the right ports
- Check the limit switch plugs
- Replace the limit switch
- Raise the printer’s bed
- Re-Flash the firmware
Make Sure the Limit Switches Are Connected Properly
The limit switch’s wires need to be connected firmly to the ports on the limit switch for the 3D printer to home properly. If these wires are connected loosely, the limit switch won’t work correctly when the printer hits it.
This is a common problem among most 3D printer owners as they can easily knock the wiring out of place while working.
Also, there have been complaints about the glue holding the limit switches to the mainboard not being firm enough. As a result, there is limited contact between the switch and the port on the mainboard.
So, check all your limit switches and ensure they are properly connected to the mainboard and the switch itself.
Make Sure The Wires are Connected To The Right Ports
The limit switches must be connected to the mainboard through the specified wiring to function correctly. Most of the time, when first-time users assemble kit printers like the Ender 3, they often mix up the wiring.
This results in the wiring for the limit switches being connected to the wrong components, like the extruder or other motors. This user made that mistake when setting up their printer for the first time,
As a result, the printer wasn’t homing correctly on all the axes. To fix this, they had to disassemble the printer’s wiring and re-wire it in the right places to get it to work.
Make sure to carefully check the labels on your 3D printer’s wires before connecting them to any component. If there are no labels on the wiring, read through the instruction manuals to gauge the proper port for each wire.
Check The Limit Switch Plugs
The wiring on the limit switch connectors must be connected to the correct terminals for the printer to work. If the wires are connected in reverse, then the limit switch will not home the printer correctly.
A user discovered the manufacturing defect while setting up their printer. The printer refused to home the Z-axis.
They discovered that the wiring on the terminals of the Z limit switch was mixed up and connected in reverse compared to other switches. He fixed it by loosening the wires from the terminal with a screwdriver and placing them correctly.
After doing this, the Z-axis started to auto-home correctly and the Z-endstop switch started working again.
Replace The Limit Switch
If any of your 3D printer’s limit switches are faulty, you’ll have to replace them for the printer to home successfully. The stock limit switches on some 3D printers aren’t of the best quality and can give out easily.
Some might go bad due to age, and some can even begin to stop the printer at various locations due to noise. Here are a few ways you can test the limit switches.
Swap The Switches Between the Axes
This involves swapping the limit switches between different axes and testing them. You can check out this video from Creality to see how to perform the action.
Use The M119 Command
You can test your limit switches using a G-Code command.
- First, make sure all your limit switches are in an open position.
- Send the M119 command to your printer via OctoPrint or Pronterface.
- It should return this wall of text, showing that the limit switches are “Open.”
- After this, close the X limit switch by placing a finger on it.
- Resend the command, and it should show that the X limit switch is closed with the “Triggered “ response.
- Repeat this for the X and Y switches. They should show the same result if they are working correctly.
You might have to replace the limit switch if the results deviate from this.
Use a Multimeter
Place the multimeter probes between the legs of each limit switch. Click the limit switch and listen or wait for a change in the resistance value of the switch.
If there’s a change, then the limit switch is functioning correctly. If there isn’t, the switch is defective, and you will need a replacement.
You can get Original Creality Limit Switches from Amazon. These switches come in a 3-pack and are the perfect replacement for the stock switches.
Also, many users have used them as replacements for faulty switches, and the reviews have been positive.
Raise The Printer’s Bed
If your 3D printer fails to home on the Y-axis and makes a grinding noise, you might need to raise the printer’s bed. If the bed is too low, it won’t be able to reach the Y limit switch as the Y-axis motor will block its path.
An Ender 3 user experienced this problem with his 3D printer after overtightening the screws on their bed which lowered it too much.
They reduced the tension on the printer’s bed springs to raise it above the Y motor to fix it. As a result, the grinding noise stopped, and the printer could home properly on the Y axis.
Re-Install The Firmware
If your printer refuses to home again after a firmware update or install, you might need a fresh firmware installation. Sometimes, users can flash broken or wrong firmware on their 3D printers, resulting in them not performing as expected.
You can see the effects of bad firmware in this video below. This was posted by a user who just ‘upgraded’ their firmware.
To fix this, you must install a fresh, uncorrupted version of the firmware. If you’re using a Creality printer, you can download the firmware for your printer here.
However, you have to be very careful when downloading the firmware. There are different versions of firmware for different motherboards.
For example, V4.2.2 and V4.2.7 are not software release versions. Rather, they are for different types of boards.
So, if you download the wrong one, you will have trouble with your 3D printer. So, check your motherboard’s version carefully and download the right one.
You can follow this video below on how to install firmware on an Ender 3.
How to Fix Z Axis Not Homing – Ender 3
The Z-axis is the vertical axis of the printer. If it’s not homing, there might be problems with the limit switch, printer software, or firmware.
Some of these issues include;
- Too low limit switch
- Faulty limit switch wiring
- Incorrect firmware installation
- Defective limit switch
- Z-axis binding
Here’s how to fix Z axis not homing on a 3D printer or Ender 3:
- Raise the Z limit switch’s position
- Ensure limit switch wires are securely connected
- Check your BL Touch/ CR Touch wiring
- Install the right firmware
- Check your Z-axis for binding
- Plug in the Raspberry Pi after turning on the printer
Raise The Z Limit Switch’s Position
Raising the Z limit ensures that the X-carriage hits it appropriately to home the Z-axis. This can be very helpful, especially after adding a new component, like a glass bed, to the 3D printer.
A glass bed would raise the height of the build plate, which leads to the nozzle being stopped higher away from the limit switch. So, you’ll have to raise the limit switch to compensate for the height of the new bed.
You can learn how to adjust the position of the Z limit switch by following the video below.
You’ll first undo the little screws holding it in place. Next, lower the Z axis until the nozzle is just touching the bed.
After this, raise the limit switch along the rails until it’s in the correct position where the X-carriage can hit it correctly. Finally, tighten the screws to hold the limit switch in place.
Ensure Limit Switch Wires are Securely Connected
Loose, unplugged or frayed limit switch wiring is a key cause of the Z-axis not homing on the Ender 3. So, if you’re experiencing Z-axis homing issues, you should check the wiring to see if it’s properly in place.
Many users forget to check if the connector is properly in place before running the printer. As a result, the printer will not home correctly.
You should check both the connection at the limit switch and the board to ensure they are firmly in place. If the limit switch connector is glued to the board, you should remove the glue and check if it’s seated properly.
You can also test the Z limit switch using the wire from another limit switch. If it works, you might need a new Z-limit switch connector.
Check Your BL Touch / CR Touch Wiring
If your automatic bed leveling system’s wiring is loose or defective, your Z axis won’t be able to home. Most ABL probes will flash their lights to display some sort of error.
If you see this, ensure your probe is plugged in firmly to your board. Next, trace the wiring to your mainboard and make sure it is not stuck anywhere.
One user was encountering errors with Z homing, only to discover that a BLTouch wire stuck between the pin and the housing of the board was causing the issues. After freeing the wire, the BL Touch began working correctly.
Also, ensure that it’s plugged into the correct ports on your mainboard. This is very important, as the ports for ABL probes differ between boards and firmware.
If this doesn’t solve the issue, you can remove the wires and test them for continuity.
As another user noticed, bad wiring can also cause these issues. If the wires are the problem, you can always replace them either by buying one or getting it covered under warranty from where you bought it originally.
You can get BL Touch Servo Extension Cables on Amazon. These work just as well as the original, and they are 1m long, so they won’t be under any undue tension and break.
Install The Right Firmware
The Z-axis homing is one of the parts of the printer directly affected by the firmware, so you have to install the right one.
Different types of firmware are available for the Ender 3, depending on the board and the Z limit switch. If you’ve installed an automatic bed leveling system, you will have to install the firmware for that system.
Conversely, if you have a limit switch, you will have to use the firmware for limit switches. Otherwise, homing won’t work.
Check Your Z-axis for Binding
Checking the frame and components on your Z-axis for binding can help resolve homing issues. Binding occurs when your printer struggles to move on the Z-axis due to alignment issues with its frame or components.
As a result, the 3D printer won’t be able to hit the end stop properly and home the Z-axis. To fix binding, you should check if your Z-axis components move freely without any obstruction.
Check the lead screw, Z-motor, and the X carriage for any stiffness. You can learn more on how to resolve Z -axis binding in the video below.
Plug in Raspberry Pi After Turning on the Printer
If you’re using Raspberry Pi, make sure you plug in the Pi after turning on the printer. This gives the printer enough time to initialize the EEPROM from its memory.
This user always turned on and plugged in the Pi before turning on the printer, and it caused some homing issues.
If you plug in the Pi before initializing the printer, the printer will load the EEPROM from the Pi. This will lead to wrong printer homing configurations, and the Z axis may not be able to home.
How to Fix Ender 3 X Axis Not Homing
The X-axis is the axis that carries the printer’s nozzle, so it needs to be homed properly before printing. If it’s not homing correctly, it can be due to several issues, including:
- Faulty limit switches
- Software end stop
- Bad motor wiring
- Belt slipping
- Bed obstruction
You can fix this by following these steps.
Here’s how to fix your Ender 3 X axis not homing:
- Check limit switches
- Check the motor connectors
- Disable the software limit switch
- Tighten the belts on the X and Y axes
- Clear any obstructions from the X and Y rails
Check Your Limit Switches
The limit switch is usually the cause of X axis homing issues. Check under the motor cover to see if the connector is firmly seated in the limit switch.
Also, check the limit switch wiring where it connects to the motherboard. It must be firmly seated in its port for it to work correctly.
One user had a problem with the X-axis moving in reverse when homing. It turned out that the X-limit switch was disconnected on the motherboard.
If that’s not the issue, swap out the wires with another limit switch to check if the problem is with the wiring. Most users report that it’s usually the wiring that’s the problem.
Check The Motor Connectors
If the nozzle keeps moving in the wrong direction while you home the printer, you might want to check the motor connection. If the connector is plugged into the motor in the reverse direction, this will reverse the motor’s polarity and cause it to move in the opposite direction.
As a result, the nozzle won’t be able to reach the hotend properly to home. So, check the connector on the motor and verify that it’s plugged in correctly.
Disable The Software Limit Switch
If your limit switch keeps on getting triggered before the nozzle reaches it, it might be due to the software end stop. One Ender 3 user kept experiencing this issue.
The software end stop tries to detect if the nozzle runs into any obstacle while moving and shuts down the motor. However, sometimes it can give false signals, resulting in bad homing.
You can try to fix this issue by disabling the software end stop. To do this, you can shut down the limit switch by using a G-Code command. Here’s how.
- Send the M211 command to the printer to shut down the software end stop.
- Send the M500 value to save the current configuration to the printer’s memory.
- Viola, you’re done.
Tighten The Belts on The X and Y Axes
You might have a loose belt if you’re hearing a grinding noise from the printer while trying to home it. This will result in the belt slipping and not moving the printer’s components to the end stop for homing.
One user experienced their X and Y belts slipping so the 3D printer couldn’t home correctly.
This happened to this user in the video below. The X and Y belts were slipping, so the printer couldn’t home correctly.
They had to tighten the belts and the wheels on the Y axis to fix it. So, check your X and Y axis belts for any signs of slack or wear. If you find any slack, tighten the belts properly.
Clear Any Obstructions from The X and Y-axis rails
Obstructions in the form of debris or stray wiring can prevent the hotend from moving towards the limit switch. After troubleshooting X homing issues, one user discovered that a bit of filament blocked the Y-axis bed from hitting the limit switch.
This, in turn, led to X-axis homing issues. To avoid this, check the X and Y axis rails for any form of dirt or debris and clean it out.
How to Fix Ender 3 Auto Home Too High
For optimal printing, the best position for the nozzle after homing should be just above the print bed. However, errors can occur during homing, resulting in an abnormally high homing position for the Z-axis.
Some of these errors are:
- Stuck endstop
- Endstops too high
- Faulty Z-limit switch
Here’s how to fix your Ender 3 auto homing too high:
- Check the wiring of the Z end stop
- Inspect the limit switches and replace if necessary
- Reduce the height of the Z end stop
Check The Wiring of the Z-Endstop
The Z limit switch’s connectors must be plugged firmly into the mainboard and the Z switch. If it isn’t correctly plugged in, the signals from the mainboard won’t reach the limit switch properly.
This will result in a wrong homing position for the X carriage. So, check the Z limit switch wiring and ensure there are no breaks inside the wire.
Also, make sure it is well-connected to the mainboard. Many users have reported homing issues from the plug being loose.
Inspect Limit Switches and Replace If Necessary
The limit switch determines the height at which the printer auto-homes, so you must check it properly. Sometimes, if the limit switch is defective, it will stay in its depressed position after the printer hits it for the first time.
This will send the wrong signal to the Z motor after it goes up, leaving the X-carriage in a high position. This will lead to the Z homing height being too high and inconsistent every time you how the printer.
To fix this, press the limit switch to check if it clicks and comes back up immediately. If it doesn’t, you might have to replace the limit switch.
Reduce The Height of The Endstop
Due to factory errors or lowered beds, you can find the bed significantly lower than the end stop. So, the homing will always occur at a higher distance above the bed.
To fix this, you will have to reduce the height of the limit switch. So, undo the T-nut screws holding it the limit switch in place.
Next, move it down, so it’s almost at the same height as the bed. You can disable the steppers ad move the X-carriage down to get the position right.
Once you’ve gotten the ideal position, screw the T-nuts back in to secure it in place.
How to Fix Ender 3 Homing Failed Printer Halted Error
The “HOMING FAILED PRINTER HALTED” error is what Ender 3 printers display when there’s a homing error. Some causes of this issue include:
- Broken Limit switch
- Wrong firmware
Here’s how to fix Ender 3 homing failed printer halted error:
- Check the limit switch wiring
- Re-Flash the firmware
Check The Limit Switch Wiring
Due to assembly errors, the limit switch wires may be mislabeled or placed in the wrong ports. As a result, the printer will not be able to correctly trigger the right limit switches.
To solve this, check all the limit switch wires to see if they are connected to the right switches. Also, trace the limit switches back to the board to ensure they are connected firmly.
If there’s any hot glue holding the switch in place, remove it and try for a firmer connection. Do the same for the motors as well.
If this doesn’t work, you can test the limit switches using the methods in the first section. If the switch is faulty, then you should replace it.
Re-Flash the Firmware
If the printer starts displaying the error after you update or flash a new firmware on your machine, you might have loaded incompatible firmware on your printer.
You will have to load and re-flash the compatible firmware for your printer. It’s a common mistake most people make as they think the higher numbers are software versions.
These numbers, like 4.2.2, 1.0.2, and 4.2.7, aren’t software versions. They are board numbers. So, you should check for the number on your board before downloading any firmware.
Note: When you reflash the software on your printer, you should name the .bin file on your SD card with a unique, never before used name. Otherwise, it will not work.