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Lubrication of Print Head Axes


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Posted · Lubrication of Print Head Axes

Hello,
I have a Ultimaker 3 for 3 months.
I have a question about the lubrication of the axes of the Print Head.

 

The manual describes the lubrication of the XY axes, but nothing is mentioned about the axes of the Print Head shown in the picture.

What is the lubrication procedure about those axes?
Do they need to be lubricated as the other XY axes?

 

Thank you 

 

Axes.thumb.png.9dabf95aaadfb1bdb98dc1493ce1da7c.png

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    Posted · Lubrication of Print Head Axes
    5 minutes ago, Smithy said:

    Hi

    Short answer: yes 🙂

     

    I lubricate all axes with oil (but only a very thin film, not too much) also the two Z axes (but not the Z screw).

    Thank you very much for the answer!!! 

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    • 1 year later...
    Posted · Lubrication of Print Head Axes

    Hi @Smithy

     

    May I ask how often oiling the axes is recommended?  I have Ultimaker 2 that was upgraded to 2+ with the extruder upgrade kit couple of months ago.  Also, what oil is recommended?

    I have found several topics on this matter with a simple Google search, but they are often quite contradicting, mentions taking the whole system apart and hardly ever mentions Ultimaker.

     

    Thanks in advance.

    Friedl.

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    Posted · Lubrication of Print Head Axes

    Hi Friedl

     

    I think UM says every 3 months or so, but it depends how much and how often you print. Personally I think it is more important to keep the axes clean, free from dirt and dust. I clean the axes from time to time (maybe every 2-4 months) with a oily paper towel. I just put a few drops of oil on the towel and clean the axes with it.

     

    Too much oil is also not good, just a very very thin film is more than enough.

     

    And there is no need to take the whole system apart, just wipe over the axes with the above mentioned method and you are fine.

     

    BR

    Smithy

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    Posted · Lubrication of Print Head Axes

    I do it very similarly. First, moisten a tissue with isopropyl alcohol and wipe the rods to clean them: they collect lots of dust. Then moisten a tissue with a drop of oil, and wipe the rods to oil. Never pour oil on the rods directly: it will be way too much, and you don't want oil leaking on the glass, or on the rubber belts.

     

    Ultimaker recommends a light machine oil, if I remember well. However, I once had sewing machine oil from a sewing shop, but that dried-out fast and turned into gum. So, now I use thin hydraulic oil, because I have lots of spare of it from our hydraulic test bench, and it lubricates well, and it does not dry-out at all. Probably not the recommended solution, but it works for me.

     

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    Posted · Lubrication of Print Head Axes

    Hi @Smithy & @geert_2 - 

     

    Thank you for your prompt response.  Also thank you fort he heads up on the sewing machine oil, it is probably what I would have tried 😁

     

    I will look for hydraulic oil.  If you mention this is not the recommended solution, which oil is? Trying to print with 0.25mm for the first time today, not so good results.  I will blame it on "dry rods" 🤣

     

    Many thanks in advance!

    Friedl.

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    Posted · Lubrication of Print Head Axes

    You are welcome!

    I would try to get the Unilube which comes with the printer. There are so many differences with the oils, that I am not sure which one I should recommend.

     

    I also have and use the 3D Solex Super Slip stick. That stick is also great and I can recommend it as well.

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    Posted · Lubrication of Print Head Axes

    Hi @Smithy - 

     

    I recently bought my UM2 and upgraded to UM2+.  I received a small tube of Magnalube with it, suppose that is for the Z-lead screw correct?

    I will see whether I can find any of the ones you mentioned here in SA.

    Regards,

    Friedl.

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    Posted · Lubrication of Print Head Axes

    Yes the Magnalube is for the Z screw and ONLY for the Z screw. 

     

    If you don't find the Unilube, try if you can find out what it is exactly and check for similar products.

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    Posted · Lubrication of Print Head Axes

    Maybe it helps, but this is the Unilube which comes normally with all UM printers:

     

    image.thumb.png.6dd2c19711f568a0d35e20d6df32f743.png

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    Posted · Lubrication of Print Head Axes

    @Smithy - 

     

    My suspicion was correct, not available here.  Checking with RS, they have a ton of different lubricants so I will make sure the composition is similar to that of Unilube. 

    Many Thanks. Friedl

     

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    Posted · Lubrication of Print Head Axes

    Thanks!

     

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    Posted · Lubrication of Print Head Axes

    I found out that it is a fine mechanics oil and it is silicone-free.

    I think you can use any alternative which is available in SA.

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    Posted · Lubrication of Print Head Axes

    If you can't find the official oil, I think a fine oil for light machinery and house-hold stuff should be okay. For example the sort that is used for bikes, tools in the workshop, model trains, etc. As long as it does not dry out into gum, like mine did... But I didn't have a good quality fine oil, and I had 100 liter of hydraulic oil spare, so I gave that a try...

     

    Don't use thick oil (thus no grease, no high-temp oil, no car motor oil, etc.), and don't use thin dislodging oil (does not lubricate well).

     

    You can feel if the rods are too dry. Switch off the printer, and gently move the head around by hand, in both X- and Y-directions. It should go relatively smooth, with only the slight steps from the magnets in the stepper-motors, and the rubber belts. When the rods get too dry, or the bearings got clogged with dirt, moving the head around goes difficult and tends to stutter a lot.

     

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    Posted · Lubrication of Print Head Axes

    Hi @geert_2 - 

     

    Thank you for explaining.  I have been asking the local agents about the squeaking noise when the print head moves, but according to them it is just the "aged" belts and nothing to be too concerned about.  I will have these replaced as soon as I finish my current project.

    Actually looking at upgrading to S3, would really appreciate dual extruding and Auto bed levelling 🙂  They just very expensive in SA, probably due to our weak currency.

    Enjoy the rest of your day.

    Friedl.

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    Posted · Lubrication of Print Head Axes

    If it is the sound of the belts rubbing against the flanges of the drive wheels, I handled that with thick silicon grease: I put a little bit of this grease on the edge of that belt. This also is not an official method, but it worked for me.   :-)

     

    Silicon grease is the thick, sticky white grease used in binoculars and cameras. Never use mineral or synthetic petroleum oil or grease for rubber: it may damage that rubber, and you don't want it spitting oil on the glass bed.

     

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    Posted · Lubrication of Print Head Axes
    On 1/25/2021 at 3:24 AM, Smithy said:

    Hi Friedl

     

    I think UM says every 3 months or so, but it depends how much and how often you print. Personally I think it is more important to keep the axes clean, free from dirt and dust. I clean the axes from time to time (maybe every 2-4 months) with a oily paper towel. I just put a few drops of oil on the towel and clean the axes with it.

     

    Too much oil is also not good, just a very very thin film is more than enough.

     

    And there is no need to take the whole system apart, just wipe over the axes with the above mentioned method and you are fine.

     

    BR

    Smithy

     

     Ultimaker says monthly for lubricating the axles. I usually forget so its more like every 6 weeks for me.

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    Posted · Lubrication of Print Head Axes

    Hi @Travis7s & @geert_2

     

    Thank you for the info. The local agents recommended this oil (cheap, almost too good to be true 🙂 )

     

    https://za.rs-online.com/web/p/products/2520174/

     

    I ordered some, hoping to reduce the squeaking as well but apparently that is the belts rather than the axes.  I am also looking into upgrading the stepper drivers (I have some experience with steppers).  I am looking at the TMC drivers, if I am not mistaken the smaller ones (TMC2208) might just be a drop in replacement.  Providing that UM2 uses something like DRV series drivers of course.  Judging by the 'wining' of the motors it might just be ☺️

     

    Suppose upgrading to S3 is the logical option, but quite costly in South African Rand.

     

    Thanks again for the info, much appreciated!

     

    Regards,

    Friedl.

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