3D Printer Maintenance and cleaning
I have found over the last four years of 3D printing that my printer only really exists in one of two states: Working really well and producing beautiful prints every single time or me hating it so much that I wish I had never bought one.
3D printers are complex and fairly fussy beasts which do like to be treated well and kept well maintained.
Dry bike lubricant (only if you have an x-axis rod)
Step 1: Clear away all dust and debris using the air duster. Clear out any dust from the print head fans. I usually spin the fans up to 100% to check that they are spinning freely and are no obstructions. These can easily get clogged by dirt, dust and bits of filament.
Step 2: Remove all filament and check the extruder to ensure that there isn’t a build up of filament debris on the main gear. I recently found I was getting inconsistent extrusion and it appears to have come from a build up of muck on the gear.
Step 3: Grease the z-axis rods and move the z-axis to the top and then back down again to ensure a good coverage of grease.
Step 4: At this point I will reload filament and extrude about 50cm of filament to make sure it is all flowing well.
Step 5: I am obsessed with having a level bed so before levelling I use two 15cm 3d printed rectangles to make sure that the x-axis carriage is level on both sides and make a small manual adjustments of the z-axis.
Step 6: Clean the build plate
Step 7: Clean any remaining filament (carefully) from the nozzle
Step 8: Level the bed manually.
Step 9: Level the bed again!
Step 10: Print a test print.