Tightening Things Up on the Sidewinder X1
For your printer to perform optimally, it is super important that all of the parts move smoothly and as accurately as possible. This means the belts and wheels of the X1 need to be tensioned correctly and move freely. So how tight is too tight? Well, for belts, you want it as tight as possible, without it making resonate or buzz when it moves. And with wheels, you want the wheel to rotate only, it should not move side to side at all. I will go through each belt, and each wheel, and will discuss how to adjust them and how much tension you should have.
Rule of thumb for tension:
- Belts – Tight as possible without it buzzing. So, if it buzzes, de-tension until it doesn’t buzz anymore.
- Wheels – They should rotate only; no side-to-side business.
Let’s start from the bottom up.
The Y-Axis Belt
This belt controls your bed, moving in the y direction. The tension on this belt should be just right from the factory. But if it got too tight or too loose, this is what you can do to adjust it:
- Loosen these two bolts:
- Don’t remove them, just loosen them enough so you can move the bracket.
- Hold this bracket to tension the belt as you tighten the bolts you just loosened. These bolts need to be pretty tight. What I do is tighten by hand, then go ¼ turn more.
Bed Carriage Wheels
There are 6 wheels holding your bed carriage in place. The bed should not wobble at all; it’s only supposed to move back and forth. If it’s wobbling, here’s what you do to fix that:
- Remove your bed to get access to the bed carriage.
- These are the 6 wheels you will be working with:
- With a thin wrench, turn the 3 eccentric nuts on the right ¼ turn at a time to loosen or tighten to the wheel. Turning this nut will bring the wheel closer or farther depending on how you turn the nut. The 3 wheels on the left need to be fully hand-tightened.
This pertains to the x-axis bar, I will talk about the extruder next. The x-axis bar should not need any adjusting. There are 3 wheels on each side to make sure it moves in the z direction. These wheels should be fully hand-tightened, no adjustment needed.
The extruder has both wheels and a belt. Both need to have the correct tensions to perform optimally. Let’s start with the belt. To adjust the belt’s tension, follow these steps:
- Loosen the bolts here:
- or here:
- Again, don’t remove them, just loose enough that you can adjust the tension.
- The top two spots are either/or, don’t loosen both at the same time. Whichever side you do, pull the part out to tension as you tighten the bolts you just loosened. I pointed out these two spots because each side can only go out so much. So, if you tightened one side as far as it will go, try doing the same on the other side.
- There are 3 wheels holding the extruder in place. The top two wheels are to be fully hand-tightened and should not need adjusting.
- The bottom wheel is the one that can be adjusted. Like the bed carriage, there is an eccentric nut that can be turned to move the wheel closer or farther away from the x-axis bar. You just need to turn this nut ¼ turn at a time. Turn it until you have the tension you want. Remember the wheel should only rotate, not go back and forth.
Please Read Before Continuing
The below information for adjusting the Z-axis belt is purely for your information only, the belts only function is to keep both Z-axis in sync while the printer is not printing, to mitigate the potential for the steppers to get out of alignment.
Finally, the belt on top of the X1 is to keep the z-axis rods in sync. I’m not entirely sure how much value this thing has. Some people even have this belt removed from their printers. This belt doesn’t need to be tight at all. But if you need to tension this belt, this is how you would do it:
- Loosen up these bolts:
- Again, loosen one side or the other, don’t do both at the same time.
- Pull-on the brackets to tension the belt, and tighten the bolts.
These are all the different spots where there are belts and wheels. It’s important to keep them properly tensioned for optimal printing.
- Happy Printing!