Keep on Making: Proper 3D Printer Maintenance


One of the more fascinating technologies out there right now is the use of 3D printers. These printers go beyond printing ink on paper to creating 3D plastic and resin creations that can have dozens of uses. Industrial companies use them to create rapid prototypes of products while artists use them for unique creations. The problem with 3D printers is that you need to take good care of them. If you want to keep your 3D printers in good condition for a long time, here are some tips that should help.

Keep It In a Clean Place

One of the big mistakes that many owners of 3D printers make is that they think that they can put it anywhere like a normal printer, and it would be fine. In truth, a 3D printer is a much more delicate machine that it looks. This is mainly because dust and dirt getting into the machine can disrupt how it prints out the plastic and resin it has. Even a single micron of dust can knock the precise parts out of alignment. This is why you should have your 3D printer stored in a clean and sterile place, separate from the general workroom floor.

Regular Cleaning

Besides placing it in a separate area, you should also ensure that your 3D printer undergoes regular cleaning. Always clean the nozzle after use, as well as the 3D printer bed. Additionally, filament disposal is important. Your 3D printer will have a whole bunch of wasted filament material. These can clog things up and make a mess inside the machine. Getting rid of them should be a top priority.

Know the Parts

You should also take the time and sit down with your 3D printer manual. This will help familiarize you with the various moving parts inside it, especially the important ones. For example, cartridge heaters are what heats up the filament to a liquid state before application and printing. Without them, you’d have a dead 3D printer. Ensuring that you know how to replace them when necessary is a big help when you are trying to determine what is wrong with your printer and keeping it operational.

Have Maintenance Milestones

Woman using a 3D printer

If you develop the habit of cleaning up your 3D printer, most of your problems will be easy to handle. However, constant use does put a strain on your 3D printer. This is why, after 1500 hours of use, you should give your printer the equivalent of a tune-up. This is a complicated process and will probably take up most of the day.

For one, you’ll need to disassemble the extruder and get rid of excess material. Additionally, you will need to perform some cold filament pulls so that any debris inside a nozzle gets pulled out, too. This will also involve checks on various parts to see that they are not fraying or in bad condition. Replace them if necessary.

Keep Updated

Finally, 3D printers are just partly mechanical. There is the software component to it that you need to update frequently. This ensures that your machine will be able to read the latest files and perform added functions if needed.

3D printers are great tools, and they can be a big help for any creative industry. The tips above should help in ensuring that your printer will stay in good condition for a long time. This should ensure that you get the most from your 3D printer.

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