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5 Ways to Keep Your 3D Printer Running Longer

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If you own a 3D printer, you know how expensive it can be to own and carrying out 3D printer repair is crucial for maintaining your investment and keeping it running smoothly. In this guide written by our expert 3D printing service, we’ll look into five easy ways to carry out 3D printer repair to keep your machine running smoothly for longer.

1. Clean the Nozzle

This is the easiest and most common 3D printer repair task which should take place between prints and importantly when switching materials. One of the most common blockages we find is when changing materials to those with a lower glass transition temperature. The easiest remedy for this is to do a cold pull, where any trapped material is caught and pulled out via the throat. 

In between prints we like to use a brass wire brush to clean the nozzle and wipe away any excess residue on the nozzle to bring it back to its original sheen. 

3D Printer Nozzle Clean pjb2uh994hhsy8ntu1262g8l7192hd62rjnpt1ctpa - 5 Ways to Keep Your 3D Printer Running Longer

2. Clean the Build Plate

Are parts not sticking to your bed? Sometimes looking for expensive adhesives isn’t the solution and the bed just needs a simple clean. Using a clean cloth apply a small amount of isopropyl alcohol to your bed and wipe clean, ensuring any dust or debris is fully removed. If you have any difficult to remove melted plastic still remaining on the bed, warm it up slightly and apply a paint scraper at a shallow angle to remove any debris.

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3. Keep the Extruder Head Clear of Clogs

One of the most common issues with 3D printer repair is that material won’t extrude. This is usually down to an anomaly called heat creep and can be due to an array of factors including ambient temperature, humidity, contamination, spring tension, extrusion speed, etc. 

We recommend learning how your extruder head works and how to strip it down. We at our 3D printing service regularly strip our extruder heads to maintain them to reduce the risk of blockages. When carrying out this 3D printer repair task, we make sure all bearings are in working order and that gears, pinions & cogs are free of any debris. 

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4. Check for Loose Cables & Belts

Another common fault for inaccurate parts and 3D printer faults is not keeping belts correctly tensioned. Most 3D printer manufacturers can provide instructions for carrying out your own 3D printer repair and will explain clearly how to keep these belts correctly tensioned.

Another fault to look out for is loose cables. This can seem such a simple error, however with moving parts and vibrations sometimes connection parts become disconnected and can lead to serious mechanical failures if not identified.

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5. Grease Linear Rails & Rods

This is another critical task to make sure to carry out regularly. We recommend carrying out this task weekly if using a heated chamber or fortnightly if not.

Using PTFE or White Lithium grease, apply a small amount to the rails or rods using an applicator and spread along the length of the rail.

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Struggling to get high-quality prints? Why not try our professional 3D printing serviceget in touch today! Or check out our guide for using our service

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Sam Gribben

Managing Director at SGD 3D Limited

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