MakerBot Print is our newest print-prepration software, which supports native CAD files and STL assemblies,
allows you to interact with all your printers via the Cloud, and many other exciting new features.

Download Now

Dremel 3D20 / 3D40 - how to tension belts ? layer-drift problem

Please Login to Comment

got some serious layer drift on my Dremel 3D40, is there anyone out there who tried to tension the Y-direction, or any for that matter ? My Y-belt seems very tight, how tight should it be really .. ? I tried the digilab support, but the support form does not accept either my phone number or country code (sv-SE), nor have I been able to fake any input, just to get the stupid form to accept my info ...

Henrik Laurell, Sweden

Maybe your belt is too tight...I don't know Dremel printer but too much belt tension produce more friction of the bearings making the motor work harder and then skipping steps...

thanks for your reply.

maybe a possible cause, but it worked fine for 8 months since I bought it new, and not yet touched the belt more than checking the tension with my finger. Since I first started this thread I printed one of the chess pieces which was included withe printer and to my surprise it came out perfectly...... !? My main purpose for my printer is to print out scale models I designed myself. If the chess piece came out ok, it can't be the belt, must be type of infill or which type thereof... At the same time I done all kinds of models on it without these strange behaviors, which started just recently.

On my current project, First failed a bit with 18% infill and grid as type. Second with 50% also grid, failed much worse... I will try 100% and a few other settings... I come back on this.

See attached picture.

top right is the model I am trying to get right, the rest are test pieces.

dead center is the chess piece which is perfect (well..., as good as it gets on my printer). Top left is some lanterns I used as test-piece with 18% infill. That slice was done in Cura. At front is the latest printed just now, with 100% infill, sliced on Print Studio, the old software my printer was first delivered with... Simple pieces, not very big, still complete different result.... I will do some more test.

Comments deleted.

Henrik, did you check to see if the machine is clean of debris? Or is the belt rubbing up against something, because even if the belt is taut, the friction produced by a foreign object can cause the belt to stick or move slightly slower. Also, check the gantry, it could have gone out of alignment as well.

No debris, but haven't checked if there is something maybe blocking or hindering the belt to move ... (a dremel 3D40 is inclosed in a box, so not that obvious.)

thanks for the tip.

just got another print ready, see attached. Again suddenly perfect .... using Print Studio, the old slicer. How can it be this good once and next time so terrible ... !? Cura is a much better slicer .. isn't it .. right.. Of course it is the outcome which counts, I could have messed up my Cura settings making that slicer fail miserably. Besides amount of infill and pattern, what else can cause this massive layer shift ?

Solved it !!

Not really sure how, but here it is. See attached.

Left is sliced in Print Studio, right is made in Cura. Of course with complete wrong settings but still .. Wish I knew what Print Studio did right, so I could use that in Cura...


Every slicer creates different paths and set parameters in different ways. Cura is one of the best slicers but you need to set it properly to send the right settings for each printer. Some printers may work ok with standard settings, some others not.
If you want to use Cura, you should open the gcode generated file from PrintStudio and check the parameters it sends to the printer and change the respective ones in Cura.
It may be just a question of speed and acceleration as too fast movements can cause step skipping. Try to print the Cura sliced model that you had problems with but at a lower speed...

Hm, hate to ask an obvious question, but did you choose the Dremel printer on Cura? Also, have you tried to do a side by side analysis of your settings in both slicers?

by suggestion from Dremel support I am using the DigiLab version of Cura, which basically is the same as Cura but with all dremel printers pre-set and tuned for. Print Studio I only used first weeks cause it had other issues.

I did sat down today with both programs in front of me. To my surprise the settings are very similar, both has 50 mm/s print speed but Print Studio is set to much slower infill speeds and also using Rectilinear pattern, which does not exist in Cura (or they have another name for it..).

Looking them printing however, it shows clearly that the Cura settings make the printer shake and vibrate with a lot noise. With the print studio slice it moves very smooth and not all that hard shaking.

More than infill pattern, set the infill speed at the same value of Print Studio and you probably solve your problem...

forgot to add about your printer sorry lolol

you need a plugin

install cura the latest version

skip all the info to add a printer for now

open cura
once cura is open
goto marketplace at the top of screen

look for dremel3d20

install this and whatever other plugins u want to have

example would be

cura settings guide
is a nice one to have which explains all the settings with photos - good for newbs

and puase auto slicing

once it says installed click quit cura
restart cura and then search to add your printer or just add it yourself
this should solve your issues

Thanks. Complete reinstall is probably quicker.

Thanks all for your help and interest.


Rectilinear pattern in cura would be lines

Rectlinear is a grid turned 45 degrees.

Could you show a screenshot of the rectilinear grid at 45 degrees? I think I know which infill pattern it is on Cura, but want to be 100% sure before I suggest one. :)

From what I read, plus the comments above, they say it's Lines. What I am seeing on your jpg looks more like Zig Zag, on Cura.
I would recommend that you get the calibration cube, found here: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1278865

Even at 100% infill, it normally takes only 2 grams of plastic to make. Then see if Lines and Zig Zag on Cura are performing like your other slicer.

XYZ 20mm Calibration Cube

Thanks, great tip and tool !!

I will test this!