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iesvilla

Leaving Ultimaker unattended for long periods of time

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In a couple of days I'll be taking a long trip, and my printer will be left alone in my house for a couple of months. That brings me to a question:

Will the lack of action affect it's performance after I return? I've heard from people that leaving a printer with no use for extended periods of time can do damage, so I wanted to know if anyone has experience with this.

 

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Who told you that and did they give any specifics? That sounds silly to me. Could they have been referring to leaving PLA out in the open and potentially soaking up moisture? That might cause troubles if you're unlucky. The only other thing I could imagine happening is the belts stretching in a localised area? Sounds like a stretch (don't worry, I'll be here all week! :p) and I've never heard of anyone having such a problem.

Other than that, put something over it to keep the dust out and you should be good IMHO.

 

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Is there anything that needs to be done with PLA??

Does it need storing in a particular way/temperature range?

Was looking to keep my printer in my garage, where it does get rather cold during the winter months!! Will this affect anything??

Sorry for hijacking the thread - although it may be related to the OP also.....

 

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The printer will think a wire is broken if the print head gets below 5C (what country do you live in ifti? Please update your profile to show your country). This is resolved by holding it in your hand for 20 seconds.

Dust on the filament is very bad. The dust can get in the print head and cause a clog. So a dusty garage would be bad. A clean garage is fine. But you can add a cleaning device around the filament just before it enters the feeder. This might help.

Keep your filament as dry as possible. Over many months PLA will absorb some water and it will turn to steam in the print head and cause tiny holes or other ugliness. I store unused PLA in plastic food bags.

 

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The printer will think a wire is broken if the print head gets below 5C (what country do you live in ifti? Please update your profile to show your country). This is resolved by holding it in your hand for 20 seconds.

Dust on the filament is very bad. The dust can get in the print head and cause a clog. So a dusty garage would be bad. A clean garage is fine. But you can add a cleaning device around the filament just before it enters the feeder. This might help.

Keep your filament as dry as possible. Over many months PLA will absorb some water and it will turn to steam in the print head and cause tiny holes or other ugliness. I store unused PLA in plastic food bags.

 

Im based in the UK - will update my profile - apologies!

Although I do keep my garage relatively clean, during the winter months it can get very cold outside, and considering my garage is not heated the temp can drop! I think in that case it would be best to keep my printer indoors ;)

What this cleaning agent for the filament, and should one use it on a regular basis just to keep the nozzle in good shape??

Is it advisable to remove the filament and store it in sealed bags, or a sealed container, if the printer isn't to be used for long periods then?

Although the OP is talking about being away for months, how long a time period would you say one should remove the filament if the printer is unused? A week, a month, etc??

 

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I hear PLA absorbs moisture from the air over time. Causes those little 'pops' as the water gets vaporized when heating in the nozzle. I've experienced those pops usually before my print when I prime the nozzle with a few mm's of filament. It doesn't seem to be much of a problem though.

All the PLA that I've ordered so far comes wrapped in plastic wrap with one of those moisture absorber packets. Just store them in a dry place with those packets if you're worried.

 

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Im based in the UK - will update my profile - apologies!

Although I do keep my garage relatively clean, during the winter months it can get very cold outside, and considering my garage is not heated the temp can drop! I think in that case it would be best to keep my printer indoors ;)

What this cleaning agent for the filament, and should one use it on a regular basis just to keep the nozzle in good shape??

Is it advisable to remove the filament and store it in sealed bags, or a sealed container, if the printer isn't to be used for long periods then?

Although the OP is talking about being away for months, how long a time period would you say one should remove the filament if the printer is unused? A week, a month, etc??

 

3D printing is very sensitive to temperature changes in the environment. I strongly recommend printing in an indoor/office environment. I've had customers report a lot of problems with adhesion/curling and they believed it was the material, but in the end it was the cold environment (a garage). Once the weathe was warmer, there was no problem printing. Of course, it can also be too warm/humid but colder is a lot worse from what I've heard.

 

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3D printing is very sensitive to temperature changes in the environment. I strongly recommend printing in an indoor/office environment. I've had customers report a lot of problems with adhesion/curling and they believed it was the material, but in the end it was the cold environment (a garage). Once the weathe was warmer, there was no problem printing. Of course, it can also be too warm/humid but colder is a lot worse from what I've heard.

 

Thank you.

Ive since worked out a new spot, alongside my router and standard printer ;)

Glad I came here - learnt so much already and I would have completely overlooked this!

Thanks guys!

 

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The cleaner they spoke of is basically just sending the filament through a piece of soft foam/sponge before it enters the extruder. Some people just zip tie a small soft sponge around the filament just below the extruder. Others have printed little casings for the sponge that attach to the bottom side of the extruder.

The best way I've found to store the filament is in sealed jumbo (2 gallon?) Ziplock bags with several packets of desiccant inside the bag. This keeps the filament from absorbing humidity. I wish I could find even larger bags to store my 5LB spools. They're not faring very well because of open air exposure.

 

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