3d Printer Maintenance

A well maintained printer is a happy printer!

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3d Printers are becoming more common in households and they are being neglected. This is due to the lack of knowledge to properly of their printers, after you read this article you will be better informed to keep your printer in tip top shape.

**DISCLAIMER**
Each printer is different and may require different types of items to keep it fresh and maintained. So make sure you are following the manufacturers suggested methods to keep your printer properly maintained.

I have a Prusa Mk3s and I will be giving examples on how I keep my printer maintained. I will be using information from Prusa to help guide the process. Link

Cleaning and Lubricating All Axis

This is one of the most overlooked areas of maintenance and need to be done frequently so you do not burn out motors and tear up your belts. Over time dust will settle on the rails and cause friction and get into the bearings.

Step 1: Optional spray the printer and area printer is stored with compressed air to move any loose dust and dirt away from the printer.
Step 2: Get a lint free towel/rag and clean all of the rails off, carefully not to cause tension on the belts or get any grease on the belts. (Blue Shop Towels)
Step 3: apply lube to the rails, remember a little goes a long way and over applying will cause dust and dirt to accumulate.
Step 4: Apply lube to all sides of the rail with out getting any on the belt or lead screws/threaded rods. . The goal is to get it as thin as possible. Disable the motors on your printer and slide the axis’ a couple of times. (follow the printers recommended methods to do this as not to burn out any electronics)

Print Surface Maintenance

I clean my print surface every time that I start a print job to ensure that it will properly stick to the print bed. I do this with isopropyl alcohol that is . 99% lab grade alcohol every once and a while you will need to wipe down your build plate with Acetone or wash it with warm water and dish soap.

Other Area’s to Check

  • Look over the hot end for any blobs of filament.
  • Look over all moving parts and make sure all bolts and screws are fastened.
  • Look over all wiring to make sure there no frayed wired or disconnected wires.
  • Make sure no dust has accumulated on the printer and clean if needed with isopropyl alcohol.
  • Look over all threaded rods and extruder gears to make sure they are clean and free of debris.

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