When you use a resin 3D printer, you may get popping sounds and grinding noises in machines such as the Anycubic Photon Mono & the Elegoo Saturn. These can get annoying after a while, so I decided to look into why these sounds happen, and whether you can fix them.
To fix resin printer noises such as knocking, grinding or screeching, you should make sure all the thumbscrews and screws around the printer are nice and tight, so there isn’t a lot of loose movement. Ensure you don’t leave cured resin in the vat and lubricate the Z axis nicely. An uneven build plate can cause noises.
There are more details behind fixing a popping, knocking or grinding sound in your resin 3D printer, so stick around and read through the article to learn how to finally fix these issues.
Why is my Elegoo Mars or Anycubic Photon Making Popping/Sticking Noise?
It’s normal for your resin 3D printer to make popping or sticking noises because it’s the sound of the FEP peeling from the suction force of the build plate raising up. It’s what makes the cured layer of resin on the FEP film get removed and stick to the build plate. No sticking noise may mean the print is failing.
You shouldn’t be alarmed if you do hear this noise on your resin printer, more so it should be happening for a print to be successful. If you do hear this suction or peeling noise being very loud, it’s usually because your print has a large surface area being cured at one time.
It’s possible to reduce the noise levels by making sure there aren’t flat areas in the print that are too large by orienting the resin model at an angle.
I wrote an article about How to Orient Models for Resin 3D Printing, so check that out for more details.
Why is My Elegoo Mars or Anycubic Photon Making Knocking or Grinding Noises?
The Elegoo Mars or Anycubic Photon resin printer can make a popping or sticking noise when there is some obstruction in the resin vat which prevents the build plate from reaching the base of the FEP film. It can also make noise due to the build plate trying to go further than the set home position.
Resin 3D printers are expected to produce very minimal noise while 3D printing, and there is also a popping sound when the first layer peels off the FEP film while printing which is normal. However, it is possible to get really weird sounds while 3D printing with your resin printer which needs to be addressed.
Here are reasons your Elegoo Mars or Anycubic Photon could be making popping or sticking sounds when;
- Loose screws or parts around the printer
- Cured resin left in the bottom of the vat
- The Z axis needs to be lubricated
- There is a vacuum under the FEP film
- Loose and uneven build platform
- Build plate is going beyond the set Home position
- The Z axis rod is loose
- Misalignment of the leadscrew and linear rails
- Limit switch is blocked or faulty
Having stated the most common reasons why your Elegoo Mars, Anycubic Photon or similar resin 3D printer can make a popping, grinding, or knocking sound, we can then go ahead and take a look at the ways you can fix each of these issues.
How to Fix Grinding, Clicking & Knocking Noises in Resin Printers
1. Check and Fix the Loosened Screws – Vat, Build Plate, Stepper Motor
One of the most common fixes of the grinding, clicking, and knocking noises in resin printers is by fixing any unsecured or loosen screws. It is possible that one of the screws or supporting areas that hold the resin vat has loosened.
When you observe that your resin 3D printer is making really weird noises, you can do a thorough check of your resin vat to ensure that all four screws are tightly and properly fixed.
If you notice that any of the screws are a bit loose and not as tight as they should be, you should note and fix this immediately.
There was a user who experienced a grinding noise while they were printing on their resin machine. When they noticed that one of the resin vat screws was loose, they tightened it and this solved the grinding issue for them.
Another user who was having issues of loud sounds from the motor noticed some wobbling movements. He used an Allen key to tighten all the bolts and noticed that there were two loose bolts that were supposed to secure the stepper motor.
He tightened the bolts up to be snug and all his issues were solved.
If this does not fix the noise issue with your resin printer, you can try the rest of the solutions below.
2. Inspect and Remove Cured Resin in the Bottom of the Resin Vat
Cured resin left in the bottom of the resin vat is a very common issue in resin 3D printing. This can occur when there has been a failed print or when print layers stick to the FEP film instead of the build plate.
A good way to fix noises in resin printers is by ensuring that there is no cured resin left in the resin vat.
When this happens, the build plate may not be able to reach the base of the tank so it can continue to make a loud grinding sound to show that it can’t go low enough to the set home position.
A user who printed with a clear blue resin experienced this kind of issue before. Even though they were printing with a clear resin, they still could not see any cured resin in the bottom of the vat.
They ended up using a spatula to sweep the bottom of the FEP film inside the resin vat, and as suspected, it was met with resistance.
A fully cured rectangular plastic sheet was lifted up which they removed from the vat. After this, they tried 3D printing again, and it worked perfectly well without any weird sounds.
This could occur if you did an exposure test while the resin vat was still inside the printer, or if you have damage to the LCD screen.
You will need to use a spatula or check the base of your resin vat even if you’re using a clear resin to print. Sometimes, you may not be able to see the cured resin just by looking into the resin vat.
3. Lubricate the Z Axis
Another thing you want to check when you are experiencing this type of issue is if the Z axis of your resin printer is well lubricated.
To lubricate the Z axis of an Elegoo Mars resin printer for example, you can simply spray the lead screw and linear rail with PTFE spray, then raise the Z axis up and down a few times so it can spread out nicely.
After doing this, your Z axis should be sufficiently lubricated to prevent any grinding or knocking noise that may occur as a result of the Z axis not being well lubricated.
If you want to really get a full lubrication going, you can follow the video below by Elegoo, showing users an alternative method to lubricating the Z axis, using a thicker grease.
To do this on a 3D printer like the Elegoo Mars Pro, you will need the following tools:
- Lubricating Grease
- Small Rubber Shovel
- 2 L-Type Long Wrenches (M2.5 and M3)
4. Level the Build Platform
Another possible reason why your resin 3D printers make these types of noises is often as a result of printing with an uneven build plate. Your resin 3D build platform should be well level before printing.
I’d follow through your 3D printer’s leveling process and make sure it’s done properly.
If you experience a strange sound while printing with an uneven build platform, this shows that maybe only one side of the build plate is hitting the bottom, and the other side is not getting to the bottom of the resin vat.
This can stop the build plate from triggering the end stop when going down as a side of the platform is not getting low enough to trigger the stop.
Even if your build plate looks level, don’t assume that it is well level. The main reason people may not have a level build plate is because they forgot to loosen the build plate screws while leveling.
5. Set the Home Position
There can be screeching sounds in the resin 3D printer when the build plate is trying to go beyond the LCD screen. When you hit the home button, the build plate may touch the screen but continue to go down.
This can be solved by making sure you loosen the build plate screws before you lower the build plate for leveling. Gently push the build plate down on the leveling paper when it’s in the home position, then tighten the build plate screws.
This should reset the home position and prevent the build plate from trying to move beyond the screen when homes.
Screeching sounds occur when the home position of the resin printer is
6. Tighten the Z Axis Rod (Grinding Noise)
One thing you want to check when your resin printer is making a grinding noise is the Z axis rod. When the Z axis rod is loose, it can make a grinding noise when moved. You should ensure that the two screws on the Z axis rod are well fixed.
You should also check all the connections of the Z axis by first loosening them and then tightening them up to ensure they are well screwed.
A user who had issues with the Z axis making a grinding noise when moved tried doing all other things to fix this except checking all the connections of the Z axis. When they eventually checked, they saw that one of the motor cables was barely long enough.
They saw that the connection was also loose and tightened it. This fixed the issue immediately. They tried loosening the connections to see and it made the grinding sound again. When they tightened it again, it stopped the grinding noise immediately.
You definitely want to check your Z axis when your resin printer runs into this type of issue.
7. Misaligned Lead Screw & Linear Rail (Screeching Sound)
One user found that he was experiencing a harsh screeching or squeaking noise on his Creality LD-002R resin printer only when moving the build plate downwards.
It was recommended that he use a flexible coupler since they are more forgiving in instances of misalignment in the assembly, as opposed to rigid couplers.
The reason for this happening is mostly likely due to the lead screw not being parallel with the linear rail. In a case where the alignment was diagonal and out of line, it would cause a squeaking noise in both directions.
What you can do here is to measure the distance between the linear rail and lead screw at the bottom and top, then figure out if there is much of a difference. Even a 1mm difference can cause this issue.
To fix this, you can try to reassemble your 3D printer or use a good flexible coupler.
8. Check Your Limit Switch Isn’t Blocked or Faulty (Grinding Noise)
If you are experiencing your 3D printer not identifying the “Home” position properly, and the build plate continues to go down and create a noise, it’s likely a limit switch issue.
You can check whether there is a problem with your limit switch by first checking for the lights to on, as it should show an indicator light, depending on the printer.
When the build plate touches the LCD, it should create a buzzing sound. If you aren’t getting this, it’s likely that your limit switch is faulty.
Elegoo recommend trying to remove your resin vat and build plate, then seeing if the Z axis reaches the bottom so you can see whether it’s just the limit switch stopper that is too short to trigger the build plate.
If this is the case, you can put a 1-2mm spacer between your screws and the limit switch stopper (located at the bottom of the Z axis connecting shaft).