FB Express motor load on X axis

Dear farm nerds,

I’m in the process of installing my Express XL kit. The instructions are crystal clear and nearly everything went well. There is one issue I’m experiencing and I hope you can help me out.

Farmbot XL
Farmduino V1.2
Installed outdoors

My FarmBot is not able to move over the X axis. It tries few times and stops. According to the motor load it is trying really hard. I’ve tried to solve the issue but I’m out of options. Below is a list of things I checked, tweaked or fixed.

I lowered the belt tension a few times until the pulley doesn’t have enough grip.

I saw there was no space between the pulley and the stepper motor and created a 1mm spacing by moving the pulley a bit on both gantry columns to ensure no friction here.

I checked the belt is not twisted inside the gantry column.

I checked all wheels to make sure they don’t cause any friction.

I re-positioned the connection between the gantry columns and the gantry main beam. I also used a level to make it exactly right.

I tested different spacing between the wheel plates and the bed.

I helped the gantry by hand when starting to move over the X axis. When I do this it successfully keeps moving. Still it’s at >50% motor load while moving.

I compared the force needed to rotate the X1 and X2 stepper motors by hand while the FarmBot is powered off. All though I think I feel a tiny bit of a difference it’s not enough for me raise an issue here.

I moved the Z axis / cross side assembly to the opposite gentry column to lower the load on the main gantry column containing the electronics box as I think the stepper motor located here is having the most issues.

I increased the motor load threshold a few times up to 100%.

One other thing I can think off is sanding the wood but the weather isn’t allowing that at the moment.


I added aluminium rails for my express following the recommendation here…

Having read others comments I didn’t even try directly on the wood.

I also had issues on z-axis which solved with Z-axis issues, Express: heavy fall, stuttering, stalls - #8 by ranguard

It took quite a bit of adjusting settings to get setup right but after initial struggles haven’t had a problem in 4-5 months of running…

I am really just using it for watering, found the seeding and weeding to be too hit and miss.

Hope that helps

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