Zen & The Art Of 3D Printer Maintenance

I noticed that my Ender 5 is picking up a rather extraordinary amount of fine gray dust, especially around the X and Y axis idler wheels. I’m not sure why. It seems to be something peculiar to the printer; filament dust perhaps? Don’t know.

Anyhoo, I decided it was time to vacuum the beast. And, since I was going to vacuum, I thought I might as well check the bolts and belts for tightness. I’m glad I did. It seems that every bolt that doesn’t have a lock washer was just a little bit loose, and the belts didn’t have that guitar string sound. So I tightened all the bolts, used the eccentric nuts to adjust the idler wheels, and use a thin screwdriver to gently pry the belt end pulleys away from the 2020 rails, then tightened the bolts down, after ensuring I had that sound.

One reason I decided to check the fit & finish of the printer is that I’ve noticed an ever so slight shifting in the layers as the height of the print grows. It’s not much, but the walls are not perfectly smooth & even all the way up. It doesn’t really matter for the stuff I’m doing, since it’s not for show, but I think it was a good idea to giver the Ender a little TLC.

All to say, don’t neglect maintenance on your printer(s).

With linear rails and linear bearings this happens, too. It usually is the normal rain of dust, which gets compressed by the motion of the axis.

It is also a good idea to check the e-steps. I found my printers for some reason slightly off. I noticed it after a 10 hour print was off by 5mm. It does not harm to take out the caliper and check the movements are correct from time to time.

I sense a 20mm XYZ cube on my near future, although I printed 1 not long ago.

But that is wrong. I don´t know why everyone is using calibration cubes to measure e-steps. You need calipers and measure the actual movement of your printer. e-steps are “steps/mm” not “steps / ( mm + slicer settings + filament quality )”

With a calibration cube you measure the slicer settings in combination with your filament. You don´t want the actual hardware setup in that mix, too.

Just imagine some over extrusion do to a bad diameter filament. Do you actually want your printer be calibrated to that filament brand? Or you play with some settings in your, forget about that and use that value to print a calibration cube?

Your slicer has hundreds of options and many of them effect the size of the printed cube. This only fires back as your slicer setup will force you to change the esteps and you don´t want to go that road.

E-Steps are steps/mm. So measure the movement of 20mm for each axis and calculate the e-steps. Once done print a calibration cube and fix the size using the slicer options.

Actually this is a great topic DrVax should pick up. :smiley:

He has actually made a video about calibrating extruders. I did do mine a while ago. I was kind of forced into it when I discovered Creality had forgotten to change the E Steps in the firmware when they changed from a 400 steps/mm Z screw to an 800 steps/mm one.

I didn’t mean to mislead you. I wasn’t looking at the 20mm cube to calculate E Steps. I just meant it would be time to print 1 again after doing other calculations & calibrations. For example, I haven’t re-leveled my bed in a couple of weeks.