Ender 3 Z-axis binding fix – Bring a basic stringing test

8/13/2019  – USED ENDER Printers back in stock!  I’ve bought 3.. they help you fix ’em!

Ender 3 Pro  $185.00 OBO!

Ender 3 $155.00 OBO!

Ender 5 $249.00 OBO!

CR-10 259.00 OBO!

See how I stencil!


BLUF: measure the top and bottom distance of the lead screw from the frame..  they should be pretty close, you may need a shim.

So I recently purchased two Creality Ender 3’s and assembled them yesterday.  I experienced two different printers.  One I assembled myself had Z-axis binding, the one my son assembled did not.

This is also the likely cause for binding on any 3D printer.

The Creality Ender 3 is on sale at Gearbest till August 30th for $179.00 – awesome price!

Overall I am happy with the Ender 3, I have two running, time now, printing Artillery Shells, cuz that’s what I do.


So to the problem at hand.  After assembly, the Z-axis would not move under the motors power, it was binding and after inspection, I figured out it was because the lead screw was out of alignment with the coupler.  This prevents the motor from moving the lead screw.

After a quick Google, I could see this was an issue with other Ender 3 users.

You can see the lead screw is just off center.  I tried to adjust the top, the eccentric nut but it would not work.  I could send it back or.. fix it myself, cuz I do that too!


The fix was simple, I cut the towers off a basic stringing test which is my go to test to check for adhesion and level.

These worked perfect for me, but you could use cardboard or something thinner or thicker based on your needs.

There is a 3D printable solution on Thingiverse located here https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2925230 – but it may not help if your 3D printer doesn’t print so you can use my workaround just something you have laying around.


They worked out to be perfect shims for the Z Axis motor.  Yeah, I hate to have to mod a brand new printer but it had to be done.


After installing the “shims” the lead screw slide freely into the coupler and relieved the tension on my Ender3’s Z-axis.  I eventually slide one down the top between the screws and one along the bottom as shown.


Then I used my trusty digital micrometer to verify that I was within a fair tolerance with my lead screw, top and bottom.


I’ll take 0.01mm any day on a 3D Printer.


Problem solved!

There is a ton of other useful stuff on Makersteve.com and more coming every week.

Be sure to check out my Ultimate Build Guide for Creality Ender 3

If you find this useful, please consider purchasing products through any of the links on the page, it’s free to you and I get a little something for my time.  Or, just go shopping at Amazon or Ebay  or Gearbest.

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