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Conflicting information on bearings.....  

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Grendelrt
(@grendelrt)
Eminent Member
Conflicting information on bearings.....

I was trying to understand the maintenance of the bearings, and I have read conflicting statements here and elsewhere. I keep reading that the bearings come with transport oil that isn't recommended for use and you should oil them before use. But in the instructions ,step 24 Y axis , it says,

"The printer's package contains a lubricant, which is intended for maintenance. No need to use it now the bearings are lubricated. There is a dedicated online manual on how to clean the printer and apply the lubricant. See help.prusa3d.com/maintenance-tips

And the links shows how to use the white paste tube that comes with the kit to grease the rods at a later date .

Was there an update to how the bearings are shipped and the people saying they should not be used out of the box are relaying old information?? 

This topic was modified 1 year ago by Grendelrt
Posted : 10/09/2020 5:39 pm
jsw
 jsw
(@jsw)
Noble Member
RE: Conflicting information on bearings.....

This is one of the big things that users agree to disagree on.

TFM from Prusa says that they are lubricated ready to be used and only periodic lubrication is necessary after that.

Some have cited other sources saying that that the grease that comes with the bearings is not intended for use and to remove it and repack.

My opinion is this.  The Prusa folks are running a few thousand of these machines in their 'farm' and certainly know what needs to be done to get them going and keep them going.  If the Prusa folks found the need to do anything other than is in TFM, they certainly would have said so.

Now, my personal experience, I followed the instructions, both during assembly and for periodic maintenance.  My printer has been running since February with almost daily usage, mostly for a large model railroad project.  Every so often I apply a drop of regular hardware store oil to the six rods.  Every so many of those so-oftens I'll rub a dab of Prusa Lube or Superlube on the rods.  Everything is still good and working fine, no binding, no scoring of the rods, no slop or play in the axes.

Posted : 10/09/2020 5:58 pm
Grendelrt
(@grendelrt)
Eminent Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: Conflicting information on bearings.....
Posted by: @jsw

This is one of the big things that users agree to disagree on.

TFM from Prusa says that they are lubricated ready to be used and only periodic lubrication is necessary after that.

Some have cited other sources saying that that the grease that comes with the bearings is not intended for use and to remove it and repack.

My opinion is this.  The Prusa folks are running a few thousand of these machines in their 'farm' and certainly know what needs to be done to get them going and keep them going.  If the Prusa folks found the need to do anything other than is in TFM, they certainly would have said so.

Now, my personal experience, I followed the instructions, both during assembly and for periodic maintenance.  My printer has been running since February with almost daily usage, mostly for a large model railroad project.  Every so often I apply a drop of regular hardware store oil to the six rods.  Every so many of those so-oftens I'll rub a dab of Prusa Lube or Superlube on the rods.  Everything is still good and working fine, no binding, no scoring of the rods, no slop or play in the axes.

Thanks for the reply, so I am not the only one who has seen this haha. I plan on doing the PRUSA maintenance for the time being, but if there is a better way I would also like to know about it. I was a little miffed to see all this after spending two days assembling the printer (since I followed what was stated in the manual). 

Posted : 10/09/2020 6:46 pm
karl-herbert
(@karl-herbert)
Illustrious Member
RE: Conflicting information on bearings.....

@rythomas

The best way is to follow the manufacturer's instructions. They know their products and know from years of experience how they are lubricated and maintained. I have been using grease according to the manufacturer's specifications for many years for my SKF bearings and have never had problems with premature bearing wear.

But there are more different opinions on this topic than there are types of bearings. Everyone should make their own experiences with it.

 

Statt zu klagen, dass wir nicht alles haben, was wir wollen, sollten wir lieber dankbar sein, dass wir nicht alles bekommen, was wir verdienen....
Posted : 10/09/2020 9:05 pm
jsw
 jsw
(@jsw)
Noble Member
RE: Conflicting information on bearings.....

My hunch on why this discrepancy has occurred is something along the line of that Prusa has determined, from years of experience and thousands of printers, that the supplied lubricant on the bearings is more than adequate for the application in the 3d printers.  While it could be asserted that removing the included lubricant and replacing it might be better for some applications, experience has shown that the bearings will adequately perform with the original lubricant and periodic refreshing for longer than the expected life of the printer.

Now we can go back to arguing over whether dishwashing detergent or isopropyl alcohol is better.  😉

Posted : 10/09/2020 9:51 pm
Talaminator
(@andrea-t)
Active Member
RE: Conflicting information on bearings.....

Prusa ship their printers with pre-lubricated bearings as you have seen in the manual, but i have no idea in case you ordered some for replacement from them...

btw if you buy spare bearings from other manufacturers then they almost always (well, always from my experience but you never know) come with this  "transport/antirust oil" and you need to clean it away and then grease them; you may be reading this a lot because that is also the case for "Misumi" bearings for example.

 

Posted : 11/09/2020 12:54 am
karl-herbert
(@karl-herbert)
Illustrious Member
RE: Conflicting information on bearings.....

@andrea-t

Exactly! Therefore I follow the manufacturer's instructions, remove the rust protection and grease the bearings with grease recommended by the manufacturer or compatible grease. I use a lithium soap grease LM50, which I have been using successfully for over 30 years on my CNC milling machine for linear ball bearings, drive and ball screws.
An original linear bearing of the Mini (front left) was defective after about 2 weeks of operation. So I replaced all bearings with new misumi bearings and of course cleaned and greased them before. Since I don't use an enclosure for the printer, I converted to bronze bearings. At higher travel speeds, the printer with the slide bearings is much quieter, which was important for me, since I do not operate the printer in a factory, as Josef Prusa did, but in the apartment, and of course I have complied with my wife's wishes regarding reduction of noise.

Smell nuisance and fire danger is again another topic and was already often discussed here in the forum.

Statt zu klagen, dass wir nicht alles haben, was wir wollen, sollten wir lieber dankbar sein, dass wir nicht alles bekommen, was wir verdienen....
Posted : 11/09/2020 9:20 am
bobstro
(@bobstro)
Illustrious Member
RE: Conflicting information on bearings.....

Glad it's unanimous! 😀 

I'm looking at finally having to do a bearing replacement on my 3 year old Mk3, so am following this with great interest. My inclination is to go with knowing the damn things are properly lubricated, so cleaning and packing them myself to avoid any chance of needing to do it again soon.

Still trying to figure out what I really need to order to do so.

My notes and disclaimers on 3D printing and miscellaneous other tech projects
He is intelligent, but not experienced. His pattern indicates two dimensional thinking. -- Spock in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan...
Posted : 11/09/2020 2:17 pm
karl-herbert
(@karl-herbert)
Illustrious Member
RE: Conflicting information on bearings.....

@bobstro

Then I am curious what you will decide for. After I tried several brands of linear ball bearings, I finally decided for slide bearings. According to some users in the german speaking forum, sintered, oil-soaked bronze bearings have proven to be very good. They are maintenance-free and very smooth running. However, housings must be manufactured for this purpose (housings for fixed and floating bearings).

Statt zu klagen, dass wir nicht alles haben, was wir wollen, sollten wir lieber dankbar sein, dass wir nicht alles bekommen, was wir verdienen....
Posted : 11/09/2020 6:41 pm
Swiss_Cheese
(@swiss_cheese)
Noble Member
RE: Conflicting information on bearings.....

I have constructed and lubricated 2 original i3 MK3 printers I packed both with White Lithium Grease NLGI #2 until the oil that they were packed in was gone, and have never looked back. nor have I ever had a bearing related issue. Running since 2018 every now and then just to make me feel better, I will take some of that same White Lithium Grease NLGI #2 and rub it in a very small (almost imperceptible) amount on rods that the extruder & Bed ride on with a paper towel and that's it.

 

The Filament Whisperer...
Posted : 12/09/2020 3:07 am
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