Keeping Your 3D Printer Working Great

3D printers print great when you first get them and if you don’t properly maintain them, they will begin to cause you trouble in poor prints or completely failed prints.  There are some simple steps you can take to maintain your printer to ensure your ability to continue turning out great prints. Experts say you should perform routine maintenance on your 3D printer about every 1500 hours or every two months. You should also perform maintenance before and after each print.  All 3D printers require some amount of routine maintenance to continue printing.3d printer maintenance tips

What Your Need to Maintain Your Printer

  • Synthetic Oil With PTFE
  • Small Wire Brush
  • A good set of hex keys
  • Flashlight
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Putty Knife (for removing your prints)
  • Blue Painters Tape
  • Glue Stick
  • Hair Spray (Final Net Works Great)
  • Wrenches for removing the print nozzle
  • Denatured Alcohol
  • Acetone

The following steps should be done every time before you print.

  • Clean/Maintain the print platform, replace the tape if used.
  • Preheat the nozzle and extrude a small amount of filament.
  • While the nozzle is still hot, use a steel brush on it too clean any excess filament.
  • Preheat the print bed and level it.

Do these steps every 1500 hours of printing

  • Take apart the extruder and brush excess material from the filament wheel teeth.
  • Perform several cold filament pulls on the nozzle. (See below).
  • Check all the belts for tightness and fraying and adjust or replace as necessary.
  • Check that all screws throughout the printer are tight.
  • Oil all the rods with good Synthetic Oil With PTFE (High Viscosity).

Cold Pulls

Cold pulls help out by removing debris from the inside of your nozzle and removing clogs. Here are the simple steps to follow:

  • Heat your nozzle up to 200 Celsius.
  • Insert you filament until you see it flow from the nozzle.
  • Turn the heat off or down to 100 Celsius.
  • Once the heat reaches 100 Celsius grab the filament give it a firm pull.
  • The filament should pull free and be in the shape of the interior of the nozzle.

Repeat the process at least three times.

Summary

A 3D printer is like any other piece of equipment, it requires routine love and care and should serve you well into the future if you take care of it.  Refer the manufacturer’s recommendations with regards to firmware updates (where they update the software in the machine).