EDUCATION

Necessary Tools for Maintenance of a 3D Printer

Additive manufacturing in India
Above: Material Extrusion type FDM 3D Printer (LulzBot TAZ 6)/Image Credit: LulzBot

As the 3D printing technology rapidly spreads across the world, maintenance of a 3D printer is often overlooked. However, regular maintenance is very important as it ensures your 3D printer keeps working as expected. To complete the various maintenance tasks, you need some tools and this is what we are going to be looking at below.

Lubricants

Lubricants are the most basic elements required formaintenance of a 3D printer. The use of lubricant is highly recommended to reduce friction and prevent wear in many of the moving parts inside the 3D printer, mainly the rods and bearings. When choosing a lubricant for your 3D printer, choose one that has good heat resistance. Such a lubricant will not liquefy under the heat of the various processes during printing. This ensures that it does not drip on the printing base and interrupts the process.

Tools for Thorough Cleaning

Thorough cleaning should be scheduled after every few cycles of printing. Depending on how you use the 3D printer, it is also possible to space out the cleaning schedule a bit. The main point of doing a thorough cleaning is that it targets the hidden areas of the machine that you would otherwise not have access to in other circumstances.

For the electronic boards and fans, you need a simple brush for the electronic boards and a lint-free piece of cloth for the fans. A deeper cleaning like this can help eliminate the accumulation of dust, which can lead to malfunctions and performance issues.

Vacuum Cleaners

Those who use a robust 3D printer will need a much more robust cleaning solution. For this, there are various vacuum solutions for 3D printers that help with the removal of powder contamination, excess product and dust. These vacuum cleaners reach areas of the 3D printer you would not be able to reach otherwise and this makes them great for printers that produce fine powders and dust. They also prevent the recirculation of the materials which can be dangerous when inhaled.

Filament Cleaners

The filament can become statically charged and end up collecting all kinds of water, dust, and dirt depending on how long it has been sitting unused. A filament cleaner removes all this dust and dirt to ensure the filament is clean when it enters the extruder. This helps protect the nozzle of the 3D printer, thereby increasing its life span.

Cleaning filaments are critical for those who use different materials. They are used to remove residual material from inside the 3D printer to ensure it does not jam on the next run. The result is smoother runs and an extended life span due to fewer jams.

Allen Wrench and Spanners

Allen wrench and spanners are essential for themaintenance of a 3D printer. 3D printers often contain a larger number of hexagonal Allen screws that can only be removed using an Allen wrench. Having a set of them, therefore, is a great idea as they come in handy when you want to clean the 3D printer thoroughly.

Adjustable spanners make it easier to remove any screws with a hexagonal head. These wrenches can also be used during the removal of the nozzle and heater block.

If you want your 3D printer to keep working correctly and to work for longer, you need to carry out regular maintenance. For this, you will need the right tools.


About Manufactur3D Magazine: Manufactur3D is an online magazine on 3D printing. which publishes the latest 3D printing news, insights and analysis from all around the world. Visit our 3D Printing Education page to read more such informative articles. To stay up-to-date about the latest happenings in the 3D printing world, like us on Facebook or follow us on LinkedIn.