In as much as 3D printers have revolutionized production processes in almost all fields, they are machines prone to damages and jams. The last thing you would want is to have a printer that fails to function as expected and hence the important in ensuring that you accord the printer the care it truly deserves. With proper maintenance you will be able to reduce jams and other issues that can damp your efforts of producing your desired models. Below are some but effective ways of keeping your printer in top shape.
1. Clean the build plate
Usually, glue is applied to build a plate to prevent print warping when taking 3D prints. The glue can however end up attracting foreign particles and molten plastic, interfering with the prints because of the irregular surface. Therefore, make a habit of cleaning the plate after each print. You can do this by dipping a clean cloth in warm water and gently wiping the plate.
2. Choose the right filament for the project
Filament placement causes printing problems in 3D and you therefore need to be careful how you choose and handle the filament. Before loading the material, unwind spool to check for kinks and knots that can lead to jams. It is also best that you stick to the filament recommended by the printer manufacturer to enjoy a smooth printing experience every time.
3. Keep the X and Y axis lubricated
The axis is in continuous motions during the printing process. It moves along printer head and as dust gets deposited on rods the lubrication fades, making the axis stiffer reducing performance in the process. To ensure that the motion is smooth throughout, make sure that you clean the rods off dust and lubricate using oil. You can manually move to check that lubrication is on point before using the printer. The Z axis should also be lubricated with grease or solid lubricant to sustain it.
4. Ensure the firmware is always updated
This is very essential especially for businesses that rely on 3D printing. Firmware updates ensure that you have the latest software and printing features so you can achieve high quality productions every time. You can keep up with the latest by checking manufacturer website on a regular basis for any upgrades and update announcements. If you have a printer that is WIFI enabled, then you will enjoy automatic downloads and installations of updates on cloud basis.
5. Keep the extruder clean
This is where the filament passes through during the printing process and it is possible for material to wear off leaving particles on the rollers. Such sticky messes can change roller geometry and make any more extrusions improper. It is therefore of importance to make sure that the extruder especially the rollers are clean. A toothbrush can be used for easy cleaning so the extruder functional smoothly and provides the expected quality prints.
6. Tighten pulley screws
They can become loose because of vibrations from continuous motions of X and Y axis. They can lead to misaligned system and reduced quality, hence it helps to ensure they remain tight.