Back to 3D Printing Basics | A Tip from a Tech
Let’s talk about acronyms. We see these a lot in the 3D printing world (e.g., FDM, SLS, and SLA). One acronym that specifically stands out to me is B2B. Not Business to Business, but Back to Basics. As a field technician, whenever I start a new case or am stumped on a problem I always go back to the basics.
When I say B2B, I’m talking about proper maintenance for your 3D printer. This is the foundation for keeping your 3D printer up and running and it all starts with proper training. In our fast-paced lives, we can sometimes lose sight of the core basics we learned about machine maintenance. In this blog, I’ll highlight a few basic practices that can help keep your printer in prime condition.
Refer to Visual Guides Often
After installing a 3D printer for a customer, I always print out the daily/weekly/monthly/yearly maintenance schedule and place it in a spot where it will be regularly seen. I then go over the step-by-step cleaning guide with the customer and have them run through it themselves using the reference guide.
Another helpful piece of advice is to clean the print heads and printer immediately after a job finishes. To make it easier, take the time to schedule a delayed start in Objet Studio or GrabCAD Print so that it completes at a convenient time. Or just set a timer on your cellphone for the estimated build time (plus 5 or 10 minutes), so you can clean the machine right when it’s finished. The key takeaway here is to be consistent – it doesn’t take long, and a clean printer means less downtime, fewer errors, and more production.
Get Trained Regularly
I always like to share with my customers how valuable it is to get regular training and set aside time during the week or month to look at your SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) for your 3D printers that are used on a daily basis. When I visit customers, I’ll do this during Preventative Maintenance visits to help identify potential problems before they occur. When doing this, you may learn some new techniques or time-saving tips along the way.
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About the Author
Ryan Carpe is a Stratasys Certified 3D Printing Service Technician based out of our Fisher Unitech office in Lowell, MA. Ryan is a graduate of Hofstra University and has over nine years of manufacturing and customer support experience.