Keeping Your Zaxe Z3 Clean Maintenance
Keeping your 3D printer clean will play a massive role in the longevity and performance of your device. A 3D printer that is not maintained properly will be much more likely to cause problems and if the needed care is not shown, you will see that your device will cause more and more problems with time.
Zaxe 3D printers are built to last without causing the users any problems but some problems that are inherent to FFF 3D printers are also a reality for our devices. Certain parts will require occasional cleaning and dusting to function properly.
The Hot End
The hot end will be in the center of action in all your prints so the fact that it tends to get dirty after prolonged use will surprise nobody. Loose filament sometimes can get stuck around the hot end or your print head might scrape on the print during failed attempts and get your hot end dirty.
The build-up of filament around your hot end can touch your print and have a negative effect on them or eventually clog the nozzle. So, you should get in the habit of cleaning your hot end occasionally.
If you have a copper brush, it will be perfect for cleaning your hot end. If not, you can use a plier to pick out dried parts.
To make the cleaning process easier, warm your hot end up so the dried filaments come off more quickly. We also recommend changing the blue silicon sock that your Zaxe 3D Printer comes with to keep your hot end clean.
During a 3D printer's lifetime, thousands of kilometers of filament will pass through your nozzle. With that information, we can determine that some residue is expected to get stuck on the nozzle. Not only that, but when you are not using your 3D printer, dust particles can build up in your nozzle and contribute to clogging it.
To clean the outside of your nozzle, a simple paper towel will do the trick. You can do this after every print to make sure there is no residue build-up. But if you feel like your nozzle is starting to clog you will need a cleaning needle. You can stick the cleaning needle in through the hole where you put the filament in and the build-up dust and dried filament will come out the other end.
Also keeping the glass doors of your Zaxe Z3 when you are not using it will prevent dust buildup.
The Print Surface
To ensure the highest quality of print that your Zaxe Z3 can give you, your print surface needs to be as smooth and clean as possible. With time your surface will have leftover residue from all the prints and support that you took off. This might cause bumps in the print bed and decrease the print quality by making the first layer of your print suboptimal.
There are different schools of thought when it comes to cleaning your print surface. A lot of people say rubbing your surface with a damp towel will keep it clean enough. We suggest at least using water and soap or rubbing alcohol to make sure the stubborn stains come off easier. You can also use acetone if the surface has residue from your past ABS prints but there is conflicting information on whether acetone harms your surface or not.
There are two fans in your Zaxe Z3. One cools down the filament to make sure it doesn't get too liquefied during printing and the other fan cools down the heating block and keeps it at the right temperature. Just like the nozzle, the fans can gather dust over time and stop cooling properly. This is not as urgent as cleaning your nozzle but cleaning it will be a good idea to prolong the service life of your 3D printer.
If the dust build-up is not too bad you can clean your fan easily with an air-duster and it should be enough. But if there is a considerable amount of dust gathered around your fan, taking the cover off and cleaning it with a plier can be a more effective solution.
The feeder gears in your Zaxe Z3 feed the filament to the hot end. If the gears are too tight this might damage the filament and some material might rub off on the gears. If this happens for a long period, the build-up of scraped filament can make the matters worse. That's why you should check on your feeder gears every once in a while to see if they are clean.
You can use the same copper brush you used to clean your hot end and nozzle to clean the feeder gears. But if you don’t have a copper brush a simple toothbrush will be enough. You should brush the gears hard enough to clean any filament residue.
If you are not careful while removing your print from the print bed or taking off supports around your printer, there can be some debris at the bottom of your print chamber. This won't have a detrimental effect on your prints immediately but the build-up of debris can eventually affect the movement of the motors that adjust the Z-axis negatively.
Cleaning the chamber is relatively easy compared to the other parts as there are no mechanical or electrical components involved. You can just simply use a brush and dustpan to clean the bottom of the chamber. If you don’t have a dustpan you can also use a vacuum cleaner and you will get the same results.