How to Prolong the Life of Your 3D Printer
A 3D printer is a significant investment that can provide years of service when properly maintained. Whether a hobbyist or for practical use, the following tips will enable you to ensure you get the maximum usage from your 3D printer.
7 Easy Steps on Maintaining Your 3D Printer
1.) Maintain the Filament Nozzle
Keeping the filament nozzle clean and clear is one of the most important ways to ensure a quality print. Without regular cleaning, the nozzle can get clogged, which will hamper or completely stop the printing process. In fact, even the smallest clog could ruin an otherwise great design. If the filament curves when it comes down from the nozzle, it is clogged and should be cleaned as soon as possible. Cleaning the nozzle prior to beginning any project will help to avoid clogs during the printing process. This should be done while the nozzle is hot, you can use a damp cloth, or an alcohol wipe, to remove the excess filament left over from other 3D prints.
2.) Update Printer Firmware
Similar to a home computer, the firmware of your 3D printer will occasionally require updates. If the hardware is properly maintained, then an update will keep it working properly with the most recent technology. This can be done easily and there are a lot of how to videos available on this, for each brand of 3D printers.
3.) Lubricate the Printer Parts
Like any machine with a lot of moving metal parts, a lack of oil can lead to unexpected stops. To keep your machine running smoothly, be sure to lubricate it regularly or even after each use. A few drops of sewing oil works well on both metal and plastic, so it is an ideal choice. Just be sure to only use a few drops. Too much lubricating oil can attract grime, dirt, and dust.
4.) Tighten all Screws
The continuous motion of the pulleys on the X and Y axes and constant vibrations can loosen the pulley screws. This can cause the system to become misaligned to the point of hurting performance quality. Regularly tightening the pulley screws using an Allen key will solve the problem. You don't want to over tighten, so pay attention to the torque you are giving it.
5.) Polish the Extruder
When the filament exits the rollers into the cold end of the extruder, it can leave plastics and particles that can get stuck to the extruder. This buildup can physically alter the geometric shape of the rollers and alternate the extrusions improperly. Gently use a toothbrush to clean the rollers for smooth extruder functions and the best quality of prints.
6.) Clean the Build Plate
The build plate can become bogged down with glue, which may attract random particles, foreign objects, or molten plastic. For that reason, cleaning the build plate upon taking a print, will help to not only maintain the machine, but will avoid improper prints. This can be done by simply using a clean cloth or rinsing the plate in warm water. The Anycubic Vyper comes with its own plastic scraper, making clean up quick and easy.
7.) Change the Filters
Your filters will need to be changed regularly to ensure proper ventilation. The filters may get backed up from extra filament spillage or from excess moisture. To keep the machine cooling appropriately and the filters clear, change them when they are visually dirty.
Keeping your 3D printer in working order requires basic maintenance, like most of our daily devices. The simplest of tasks can keep your printer working well for years and will allow you to create a plethora of projects without any malfunction. Keeping your 3D printer maintained will also help eliminate some of your print failures. If you are considering a 3D printer or have concerns about the maintenance of your current one, we can help. Contact GL Robotics today!