Y axis belts slipping

Hi, I have a totem 10w laser engraver purchased from banggood LINK

The Y axis has always been a bit buggy because too much speed and it will slip, vertical or diagonal engraving and it will slip etc. I have just stuck with horizontal line to line engraving and it’s been fine.

Now I am trying some new stuff but no matter how I set the belts for the Y axis it still slips or jams completely if too tight. There doesn’t seem to be a “sweet spot” anywhere.

My first thought is maybe the belts are just not that good on these and some better quality belts may help. Second thought would be the pulleys are not adequate for this machine. If either of these are true then a nudge in the direction of better quality upgrades would be appreciated. (Available to the UK)

Failing the above two points I am at a loss. Anyone have any other ideas?

By the way, I am not currently using Lightburn as my trial expired while trying to set up the laser, I am using lasergrbl at the moment but will most likely be switching to Lightburn when I finally have this sorted as it does seem far superior.

Just guessing from your description…

If the belts are slipping on the pulley, then the pulley isn’t secure or the belt is not adjusted properly.

If you eliminate those, you have to start by either a hardware issue or a software issue. Most of the hardware has been eliminated with the belt/pulley, but it leaves motors and motor drivers.

The software configuration is the next ‘easiest’ thing to check. If the acceleration of that axes is too high the motor will lose steps as the field is moving faster than the motor can respond. So the question might be is the belt/pulley slipping or is it elsewhere.

Before changing anything anywhere, make a backup of the original configuration so you can return to that when you hose things up and don’t remember what you changed… :crazy_face:


It’s a bit hard for me to describe because laser engravers are quite new to me.

When running at a normal rate the machine runs just fine, no slips, no unusual sounds. I can only tell you what is happening when using lasergrbl as I cannot use Lightburn now but when I open a file for engraving and set up my workpiece to engrave on, if I click the center button to move the laser head to the center of the job, the X axis moves normally but the Y axis makes a grinding sound and obviously skips teeth. It is only when the Y axis is forced to move at speed in a particular direction that this happens.
I am certain that it is hardware related because my engravings come out just fine so long as I use a horizontal motion and the Y axis is just making baby steps. It just doesn’t seem to matter how finely I try to adjust the belt tension, it makes absolutely no difference.

Hope that helps to make my problem a little clearer.


I went into the settings and changed $121 Y-axis acceleration from 6000 to 2000 and the problem seems to have disappeared. Hopefully that will be the end of my problem and all is resolved now.

Thanks for your help.

Great to hear…

If you’re ok with it as a solution, mark the thread solved.

It does indicate that your belt wasn’t ‘jumping’… Generally speaking that kind of step loss doesn’t hurt the hardware, although it sounds terrible. I wouldn’t advise that’s it’s ok for long term, but changing these items shouldn’t hurt anything as long as it doesn’t run into something.

Do make a copy of your $$ settings and save them away somewhere as a vital backup…

Have fun and take care…


Awesome, thanks. I’ve marked your answer as the solution as your advice pointed me in the right direction.

I believe my hardware is set up just fine now. Few more test files with lasergrbl then I’ll probably give Lightburn another shot.

As soon as you move to Lightburn and get the ‘hang’ of it, you won’t go elsewhere.

There are a number of ‘guides’ on how to speed up your machine with these settings. I did it to my CNC3018…it would really rip. It would almost self destruct when running a job, so I ended up back to nearly the original configuration.

Take care