Best lubricant to use for maintenance on a Prusa I3 MK3?
 
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dimprov
(@dimprov)
Noble Member
Best lubricant to use for maintenance on a Prusa I3 MK3?

My first thought was to reach for machine oil (aka sewing machine oil), but I wonder now if there aren't dry lubricants that are even better? That way it might not attract dust and grime, which could become its own maintenance problem over time.

What's the very best?

Posted : 29/05/2018 11:46 pm
JoanTabb
(@joantabb)
Moderator
Re: Best lubricant to use for maintenance on a Prusa I3 MK3?

Hi David,
my area is not particularly dusty, and
I greased the lm8uu on one printer
and occasionally wipe the rods clean with a tissue, and add a drop or two of bicycle oil.(pretty much the same as sewing machine oil)

on the other two printers I just used oil, wipe and reapply from time to time..

it's worth noting that both my mk2 and mk3 have soft, non magnetic smooth rails,

the mk2 was originally a mk1, then mk2, then mk2MMU so it's been running for a while, and the rods seem fine! mk3 rods seem fine

I believe PJR lives in a very dusty country, and I think he runs his printers without lubrication...

I don't know anyone who totally relies on dry lubrication

regards Joan

I try to make safe suggestions,You should understand the context and ensure you are happy that they are safe before attempting to apply my suggestions, what you do, is YOUR responsibility. Location Halifax UK...
Posted : 30/05/2018 1:20 am
dimprov
(@dimprov)
Noble Member
Topic starter answered:
Re: Best lubricant to use for maintenance on a Prusa I3 MK3?


it's worth noting that both my mk2 and mk3 have soft, non magnetic smooth rails,

Are they aluminum, or are they non-magnetic stainless steel? The latter would be surprising. The reason I ask is that I have an inexpensive CNC for etching PCB's, and I was shocked to discover that its smooth rods were made out of aluminum. I've since upgraded them to chromed hardened steel (which is both easy and inexpensive to do), and now it's far more rigid than before.

Because of that experience, I have confirmed that my I3 MK3's smooth rods are indeed steel.

It's best to have hardened steel so that the bearings don't cut grooves into the rods.

Posted : 30/05/2018 2:15 am
JMcK
 JMcK
(@jmck)
Reputable Member
Re: Best lubricant to use for maintenance on a Prusa I3 MK3?

I have some Teflon lubricant for my other printer, it was the ONLY lubricant recommended for that printer.

I’ve been wondering if it would be ok on the Prusa rods.

When someone asks you if you're a god, you say, "YES!"...
Posted : 30/05/2018 3:38 am
dryja123
(@dryja123)
Honorable Member
Re: Best lubricant to use for maintenance on a Prusa I3 MK3?

I use Tri-Flow on the rods and bearings. I use Lucas white lithium grease on the Bondtech gears.

Posted : 30/05/2018 5:04 am
dimprov
(@dimprov)
Noble Member
Topic starter answered:
Re: Best lubricant to use for maintenance on a Prusa I3 MK3?

Well, there is this stuff, which hypothetically sounds ideal:
https://www.amazon.com/DuPont-Non-Stick-Dry-Film-Lubricant-14-Ounce/dp/B00BCVXUR6/ref=sr_1_1?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1527678474&sr=1-1&keywords=dupont%2Bnon-stick%2Blubricant&th=1

The description reads:

  • Unique 100% dry-film Teflon coating and lubricant/list

  • Clean, long-lasting micro-thin, dirt-resistant coating effective from -100F to +500F

  • Uses proprietary resin-bonding technology for tight tolerance, metal-on-metal applications

  • Creates a thin, dirt-repelling, chemical-resistant coating

  • Safe for all surfaces does not contain silicone[
  • However, I have no direct experience with it. Anyone here tried it, or similar? Maybe for the exruder gears, for instance? Those are what grab the filament, so to avoid contamination I'm reluctant to put oil in there.

    Posted : 30/05/2018 1:21 pm
    Zitman
    (@zitman)
    Eminent Member
    Re: Best lubricant to use for maintenance on a Prusa I3 MK3?

    Hi all,

    On my three and a half year old, non Prusa, i3 clone I use a clock oiler (contains clock oil 😀 ) and despite having printed several hundred hours it shows no significant wear. As Joan said I wipe the rods off every so often, less so sonce getting the Prusa printers, and re-apply the oil. Works great and the oiler was an inexpensive EBay purchase.

    Z

    Blog: http://ianmarshall.me...
    Posted : 30/05/2018 3:27 pm
    dimprov
    (@dimprov)
    Noble Member
    Topic starter answered:
    Re: Best lubricant to use for maintenance on a Prusa I3 MK3?

    Looking at this guy's photo (intended to document a jammed filament), it looks like he also has actual *rust* going on. Ugh. Well, in time that will be all of us if we don't do something to prevent it.

    Makes sense. As the filament heats up, it will release trapped moisture. Voila: rust.
    This changes the objective from mere lubrication to also corrosion control.

    Posted : 30/05/2018 5:38 pm
    Tiago
    (@tiago-2)
    Reputable Member
    Re: Best lubricant to use for maintenance on a Prusa I3 MK3?

    https://www.prusaprinters.org/top-6-tips-original-prusa-i3-3d-printer-maintenance/

    Linear bearings are supposed to be manitence free, don't lube them until you need to.
    Clean smooth rods when they are dirt from dust, filament and other nasty things with a paper and apply general purpose oil at paper. Bearings have a rubber protection that will push things including the oil and prevent it go inside the bearing.
    For bontech use lithium grease (metal on metal only!) at rotation teeths where both gears connect (Not at filament path)

    Rust is normal there, mine got all rust pattern in less than a week, apply the lithium grease

    Posted : 30/05/2018 5:42 pm
    JMcK
     JMcK
    (@jmck)
    Reputable Member
    Re: Best lubricant to use for maintenance on a Prusa I3 MK3?


    Well, there is this stuff, which hypothetically sounds ideal:
    https://www.amazon.com/DuPont-Non-Stick-Dry-Film-Lubricant-14-Ounce/dp/B00BCVXUR6/ref=sr_1_1?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1527678474&sr=1-1&keywords=dupont%2Bnon-stick%2Blubricant&th=1

    The description reads:

  • Unique 100% dry-film Teflon coating and lubricant/list

  • Clean, long-lasting micro-thin, dirt-resistant coating effective from -100F to +500F

  • Uses proprietary resin-bonding technology for tight tolerance, metal-on-metal applications

  • Creates a thin, dirt-repelling, chemical-resistant coating

  • Safe for all surfaces does not contain silicone[
  • However, I have no direct experience with it. Anyone here tried it, or similar? Maybe for the exruder gears, for instance? Those are what grab the filament, so to avoid contamination I'm reluctant to put oil in there.

    That is the exact stuff I mentioned using on my non-Prusa printer. That printer does not use linear bearings, the print head runs on the X-axis rods with just a thin plastic bushing. The printer tends to squeal like a pack of amorous mice. When I apply the Teflon the mice go off to have a cigarette or whatever. The silence lasts for several hours of print time.

    They claim as a dry lube it doesn’t collect dust the way machine oil can. It seems like it would be perfect IF it doesn’t react with the lube already in the bearings. I’m hoping to heat it’s good for the Prusa.

    When someone asks you if you're a god, you say, "YES!"...
    Posted : 31/05/2018 4:30 am
    Olef
     Olef
    (@olef)
    Honorable Member
    Re: Best lubricant to use for maintenance on a Prusa I3 MK3?

    Just my thoughts on the subject, make of them what you will.

    In a previous life I worked in manufacturing / engineering of bespoke large grass maintenance equipment. Our open factory incorporated sections for welding, assembly and a spray shop among others.

    I recall two things occurring pretty much simultaneously. Our chemical rep introduced us to a new miracle dry lubricant aerosol spray which greatly eased our assembly of the multiple rubber hydraulic hoses into their tight protective sleeves, and many other uses. The assembly guys loved this stuff.

    Around the same time we started to have excessive failures in the spray shop. Suddenly it was almost impossible to obtain a quality paint finish with our wet spray enamel. Many parts developed ugly pinholes all over the finish, and even after the parts had dried and hardened the paint would adhere weakly to the steel, and at the slightest provocation would peel off in sheets. Our pre-paint prep had not changed.

    Long story short, we tried everything. Complained about the paint quality, doubled our prep work, you name it. Nothing helped until one of our brighter minds suddenly put two and two together with the advent of the dry lubricant spray in assembly. Very simple to test of course - spray some lube directly on a steel panel, allow to dry and then paint it. Pinhole city was the result, and the paint once dried could be peeled off in a single sheet. Aerosol silicone was fingered as the culprit.

    From that we learned that spraying dry lubes not only goes on the thing that is intended, but the silicone contained also becomes airborne and spread throughout the entire factory. Assembly was a good 150 feet away from the spray shop but silicone spray used in one place was contaminating the other. Silicone spray use was banned in the main factory, a huge clean up took place, and the paintwork went back to its normal quality immediately.

    So my take on dry lubes on your printer is this.

    The parts we print depend on adhesion between the many thin layers of plastic that our machines deposit to make up the parts. Having seen first hand the effect that a silicone based dry lube aerosol could have on paint adhesion I will never use silicone, ptfe or teflon sprays in the same room as my printers. I use white lithium grease and light machine oil only.

    Posted : 31/05/2018 7:57 am
    You and liked
    Olef
     Olef
    (@olef)
    Honorable Member
    Re: Best lubricant to use for maintenance on a Prusa I3 MK3?


    Looking at this guy's photo (intended to document a jammed filament), it looks like he also has actual *rust* going on. Ugh. Well, in time that will be all of us if we don't do something to prevent it.

    Makes sense. As the filament heats up, it will release trapped moisture. Voila: rust.
    This changes the objective from mere lubrication to also corrosion control.

    All of the Bondtech gears do this. white lithium grease is the answer, applied sparingly to the gear teeth only.

    Posted : 31/05/2018 8:01 am
    Paradoxsquared
    (@paradoxsquared)
    New Member
    RE: Best lubricant to use for maintenance on a Prusa I3 MK3?

    Oil and grease are used to lubricate AND collect dust, isolating the the dust to prevent abrasion. Dry lubrication won't do that.

    Posted : 19/02/2021 8:19 pm
    Oregonerd
    (@oregonerd)
    Active Member
    RE: Best lubricant to use for maintenance on a Prusa I3 MK3?

    On packing your bearings...
    Please consider my input below (sorry in advance for the windy bit to follow):

    I used to be an oiler for a huge Machine Shop that had "white glove" standards. I was sent to coolant and oil tech seminars. I took care of lots multi-million dollar machines. So I know a little about oil & grease. A little red flag popped up in my mind about packing bearings.

    Seeing posts about scored rods concerned me as I never have lubed my MK3s in 1.5 years of light to moderate use. It is running very smoothly now. I am getting ready to do maintenance tear down and lube job.

    Linear bearings require a lighter grease/oil to promote circulation of the lubricant for light duty operation like in our Prusa printer bearings. I am not a fan of lithium grease as it tends to cake up/ get crusty. Many recommend Super-Lube. I had some questions so I contacted Super-Lube about the suitability for their grease + find out about it's NLGI ratings and their thoughts on packing linear bearings.
    IMO opinion (which they confirmed) you should not completely pack your bearings. This can inhibit the bearings circulating in the races. They recommend packing about 85%. (I was thinking 75%)

    Super-lube has an NLGI-000 rating which they say is like the viscosity of cooking oil. As bearings rotate friction causes the grease to heat up, liquify and circulate. Over packing is not ideal for circulation.
    Thanks

    This post was modified 6 months ago 2 times by Oregonerd
    I am not an engineer or an artist. I am a bit of a designer that does a little of both....
    Posted : 17/03/2021 7:44 pm
    chad.k
    (@chad-k)
    Eminent Member
    RE: Best lubricant to use for maintenance on a Prusa I3 MK3?

    @oregonerd

    For the scored rods, there were some early MK3 units that shipped with regular chrome steel rods which were prone to it, and all the MK2 units (and earlier) came with these kinds of rods.  I believe they switched to hardened steel rods very early in the MK3's life which are obviously much more resistant to this kind of wear, although it seems that bad batches of parts still happen from time to time.  

    For me, the reason I'm going to pack my replacement bearings with grease is rust prevention.  I found out that my bearings had badly rusted internally as I tried to troubleshoot a poor print quality, intermittent calibration problems, and a persistent squeak (which I could never reproduce by hand, only while printing).  Since Prusa believes the factory rust prevention oil is sufficient, I can't imagine getting the exact ideal lubricant grade is necessary.  Good advice on avoiding overpacking the bearing, though.

    If you're looking to do maintenance on the bearings on the printer, don't overlook the idler side of the BondTech extruder gear.  The needle bearings inside can pick up dust and get gummed up over time which can cause intermittent inconsistent extrusion.  They're not hard to clean and lubricate, but they're very small and delicate, and like to slip between your fingers to find somewhere awkward to roll under.

    Posted : 19/03/2021 6:38 am
    DaddyBoomalati
    (@daddyboomalati)
    Active Member
    RE: Best lubricant to use for maintenance on a Prusa I3 MK3?

    Tri-flow is hard to beat. 

    Thanks,
    Dave Smith...
    Posted : 28/04/2021 5:56 pm
    Honk
     Honk
    (@honk)
    New Member
    RE: Best lubricant to use for maintenance on a Prusa I3 MK3?

    After building my 3S+ and the first hiccups (live-z and filament tangle) everything ran perfect. After reaching about 200h / 1kg filament, I was planning a bit maintenance, when it started to make whistling noises. I was 40h in a 50h print, so I decided to push through...


     That was suboptimal...

    To be honest, since exalted engineers are kinda back and forth on how and what to lubricate where, I stuck to Prusa recommendation, couple hundred hours, sooo it was due this weekend.

    I guess I‘ll have to replace the second y-axis and also get two new bearings for the extruder... 

    is there a prusa spare part market somewhere?

    Should I break down my machine and regrease all bearings with the prusa oil?

    next time I‘ll cancel the print, but what interval of maintenance is needed? The printer sits in a normal room, not in a workshop? Printtime is often 30-50h (PLA-TT-Terrain) so every second third piece?

    have also asked [email protected], but no reply yet

    This post was modified 4 months ago by Honk
    Posted : 31/05/2021 8:50 am
    cwbullet
    (@cwbullet)
    Illustrious Member
    RE: Best lubricant to use for maintenance on a Prusa I3 MK3?

    @daddyboomalati

    Any more details?  I have never heard of this stuff.  

    --------------------
    Chuck H
    3D Printer Review Blog...
    Posted : 31/05/2021 1:02 pm
    DaddyBoomalati
    (@daddyboomalati)
    Active Member
    RE: Best lubricant to use for maintenance on a Prusa I3 MK3?

    @cwbullet

    Here is a link (US). Amazon.com: Tri-Flow TF0021060 Superior Lubricant Drip Bottle- 6 oz: Sports & Outdoors

    It's used in the RC helicopter community for the head/swash plate, so it stays on linear bearings for a long time.

    Thanks,
    Dave Smith...
    Posted : 02/06/2021 1:22 pm
    dtv.dev
    (@dtv-dev)
    New Member
    shop.prusa3d.com/en/18-spare-parts

    @honk

    Prusa sells spares to registered owners.

    shop.prusa3d.com/en/18-spare-parts

    Posted : 15/07/2021 3:22 pm
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