ER33 - X or Y axis stuck or limit switch broken

At the start of a print or other processes, the print head will home itself at the origin point in the back-left corner of the printer. This origin point is defined by using two limit switches: one for the X direction and one for the Y direction. If one of these limit switches doesn’t activate, you will receive this error message.

This error can show either if the switches are defective, or if the print head does not move as expected. To diagnose the cause of the error and how to resolve it, we recommend the checks described on this page.

Limit switches

To investigate if the limit switches are functional and correctly connected, use the diagnostic feature in the menu of the Ultimaker S3 or S5.

  1. Place the print head in the middle so you have access to the X and Y limit switches
  2. Navigate to Preferences - Maintenance - Diagnostics and select 'Test homing switches'
  3. Manually press the X and the Y switch

The display should show 'Pressed' next to the switch if it is activated. If this is not the case, the limit switch is defective or disconnected. Alternatively, if the switch is not manually activated, but the display shows 'Pressed', the limit switch is stuck or has an internal short. Click 'Submit a request' to contact support for further assistance.

Print head movement

If the limit switches are all functional, the error could show because it is not activated when it should be. Check the movement of the print head by performing the following steps:

  1. Place the print head in the front-right corner
  2. Go to Preferences > Maintenance > Print head > Home print head. The print head is instructed to move to the home position in the back-left corner of the printer
  3. Observe the print head movement

If the print head moves to the back, but not (fully) to the left, there is an issue with the X motor movement. This motor is on the back panel, in the back-right corner of the printer. If the print head moves to the left, but not (fully) to the back, the issue lies in the Y motor. This motor is on the side panel, in the back-left corner. There are multiple possible causes for this:

Short belts

The short belts transfer the movements of the X and Y motors to the print head. If the belts are too loose, the print head can skip steps and the movement may not be accurate. Tighten the short belts following the instructions in this article: Check the tension of the short belts

Loose pulley

Another cause is that one of the pulleys is loose, causing shifts/skips to the movement of the print head. Ensure that all the pulleys connected to the affected motor are fully tightened. This includes the pulleys on the axles and the pulley on the motor axle. Use the 2 mm hex screwdriver for this.

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Defective motor or stepper driver

If the print head still does not move properly, even after tightening all the pulleys, it is possible that there is a defect in the motor, or the motor's stepper driver on the mainboard. Click 'Submit a request' to contact support for further assistance.

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