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grease, oil, or none?

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so i broke the first rule of engineering and took something apart that wasn't broken.

I decided to upgrade the bowden tube from the supplied 2.92mm ID (yes you read that right, it was limiting the filament I could use) to a nice new 3.20mm ID one. I had been waiting for the inevitable bowden popping. however it's never happened to me and didn't look like it was about to, so decided to risk taking the whole gantry, axes and head apart in the process, just for fun.

I have to say that I recommend this. the first time I knew nothing about UM and had to follow the instructions. this time I followed my gut (and some experience). the result is I can now push the head around with one finger, just like in the video. new tube fits perfectly, still no popping. I also fitted some newly designed tensioners (more in another thread) and just generally spent more care and attention with alignment etc.

so after printing a 2hr print, it occurs to me, I forgot to re-oil the rods. I had wiped off all the old grease and oil (and all the dust it collects!) but not re-oiled.

so UM recommend that thick green grease.

our current preference is for light machine oil.

but someone recently suggested no oil or grease should be used on account of it collecting dust and dirt (and I can attest to that).

and I remember reading somewhere that machinists use some sort of silicone lubricant that doesn't attract dust. unfortunately I forget the name and can't find the article now. if anyone can tell me what it is I'd be grateful..

so what's the opinion of the experts on lubrication?

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from UM. it appears that they suffered two unfortunate events at the same time for machines shipped early this year - the first was their filament suddenly started varying dramatically in diameter across a roll (I measured 2.6 to 3.1mm) and the second was a fault in ID of bowden tubes (which were too small - mine was 2.92mm).

I expect it accounts for many of the problems people have been having but can't have been good for UM reputation.

anyway, if you ask them nicely they are good people and will replace either if defective. the new tube they supplied is much better at 3.20mm ID and I can now use all the thick filament I had put away.

but what's your opinion on the grease vs oil vs other? which do you use and what have you found?

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I use thick gunoil (for rifles and such), that is the best way to go for moving parts, where metal meets metal. (brass and steel), but nomatter the solution, you still need to clean the axels once i a while.

If you use no oil, there is nothing to trap the dirt, and you risk a build-up if dirt in the brass.

Silicone oil, is not a lubricating agent, although it is sold as such, it's only use, is as an "anti stick", so i wouldn't recommend it.

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I would definetly avoid any dry lube, many of them are basically graphite powder. Which is electrically

conductive....given some time and use I would anticipate your entire electrical system developing

failures. There is notthing "sticking" it to the shafts, so its just going to basically blow conductive powder

over your whole machine, go through the fans, get blow into the electronics by the fan in the base etc etc.

I use grease on the Z screw, and superthin bicycle oil on the axis.

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