A 3D printer needs routine maintenance and care to run efficiently, just like any other piece of machinery. To keep your 3D printer in the best shape possible, you should do a number of maintenance tasks from time to time.
In a similar vein, the plastic filament you use as your printer’s base material is its lifeblood. You cannot produce anything if you don’t have this filament. Also, if the quality of the filament starts to go down, your finished products may not be as good as they could be.
This chapter will talk about ways to carefully store the printer filament and will also show some of the maintenance steps that are needed to keep a 3D printer in good shape.
3D Printer Maintenance Instructions
A well-maintained 3D printer will provide you with years of trouble-free use while operating at peak efficiency and producing prints of higher quality. By following the advice provided below, you may best maintain the condition of your priceless printer.
Clean the Rods.
The extruder head may move along the X, Y, and Z axes. To generate the completed result as accurately as possible, the movement must be fluid and unconstrained. For this reason, after removing any residue you may find on your X, Y, and Z rods, you should oil them from time to time. Most of the time, once a month would be plenty.
Secure the Bolts and Nuts.
A 3D printer’s mechanism is meant to move, and over time, this movement may cause the nuts and bolts to fall free. If they get very slack, your printer will begin to shake while in use, thus reducing the accuracy. Once more, every month, tighten all the nuts and bolts. Just be careful not to tighten them too much!
Check and Correct the Belt Tension.
Testing the belt tension to make sure it is appropriate has no negative effects. Any departure from the ideal tension will result in a deterioration in the print quality. As needed, adjust the tension. For comprehensive instructions on tightening belt tension, consult the user manual for your printer.
Floss for Extruder Gear
Small bits of plastic may gather over time in the extruder gear, preventing the gear from rotating smoothly. To remove such objects from the gear’s teeth, use a pointed object (like a toothpick).
Refresh Your Firmware
Your printer’s firmware must also be maintained, in addition to the hardware itself. Keep watching for any extruder updates that might be available. Recently, the firmware for 3D printers has changed a lot, and it will continue to change.
Maintaining Software Updates
Every time a new version is available, you must also update the software you use to operate the printer. The most recent versions might have had a number of faults and errors fixed.
If Necessary, Replace the Building Surfaces.
You must make sure that you repair your building surfaces if they become warped in order to produce flawless, flat buildings.
These were just a few of the key issues that you had to take extra care of. Always check the manual that came with your 3D printer for more information on how to take care of it the right way.
If none of those succeed, you might always “hope for the best” and use your 3D printer to conjure up a miracle.
Never Do the Following With Your 3D Printer
When your 3D printer is delivered, you will be really happy. To begin utilizing it as soon as possible, don’t rush. You might make a mistake in the process. The best course of action is to take things gently at first, read the attached documentation, and go forward bit by bit.
Remember the Hot Nozzle
To melt the plastic filament, the extruder’s nozzle needs to be hot. It can get hotter than 150 degrees Celsius. Remember that the nozzle would be hot if you needed to modify the bed height in the middle of printing; you don’t want to cause a little ding in the printer bed!
Don’t Assume That the Calibration is Accurate.
Although printers now come pre-calibrated, things can still change while being transported. To make sure everything is in order, make sure to check the following:
- Nozzle Clearance from Print Bed
- Printer’s Correct Software Configuration
- Correct Software Loading: Print Bed Dimensions
As They Say, “Measure Twice, Chop Once.”
How to Properly Store Printer Filament
The majority of materials, whether they are made of wood, ceramic, or something else, will absorb some water content. Absorption is the process by which anything takes in another substance, according to the definition.
Both ABS and PLA, the two most widely used plastic filaments for 3D printing, have water-absorbent characteristics. They lose a lot of quality if moisture is allowed to penetrate them.
Moisture absorption will result in the formation of tiny water bubbles inside the filaments. Hence, careful storage is essential. When the filament is heated during the printing process, the bubbles will make it hard to lay down the material in a straight line.
If PLA cartridges and spools absorb a lot of water, they are also known to become brittle. Many users have reported this happening to them after their filament abruptly breaks while being processed by the extruder.
The only way to stop the plastic filament from absorbing moisture is to store it in sealed plastic bags and containers.
You may always go with unique storage containers made specifically to hold reels and spools of ABS and PLS filament. However, there is a less expensive way to keep the feedstock dry:
The plastic filament reels should be placed within a sizable sealed plastic container. You may get perfectly dry plastic filaments by using a bucket of uncooked rice as a desiccant.
ABS can be dried to eliminate moisture, but PLA cannot be dried, which is why moisture should never be allowed to accumulate in the first place. The plastic filaments are shipped by almost all reputable businesses in vacuum-sealed boxes with desiccants. Desiccants function best in a closed system. When you actually need to use the pack, you should only open it. When you’re done using it, put it in a plastic bag with a few desiccants so that any moisture can be absorbed.
3D Printer Maintenance Conclusion
We appreciate you taking the time to read our 3D printing guide. You should now be more familiar with 3D printing, how to go about purchasing a printer, and how to actually use one.
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Keep in mind that we will be updating this guide frequently, so check back sometimes to see what new information we have included!
As you can see, 3D printing can require a lot of dedication to really become fluid at using one. This is where our beginner guide to 3D printing comes into the picture. Check it out here to become an expert in 3D printing: Introduction to 3D Printing – A Complete Guide!
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