Clean Lubricate Z-Axis and Rail

I recently had a leak of resin from the print bead into lead screw and linier rail area. The machine was thought to be empty and clean when stowed on its back. Simple mistake and i have cleaned out the build platform. I used IPA to clean up the major part of the resin but there is some sepage and it would seem some may be in the bearing block. I have worked with this type of rail before and know not to remove anything without balls everywhere.

Question for you please; How can I clean and lubricate the linier bearing Hiwin type rail? Any photos or advice anyone can provide would be appreciated.

Do you have a soldering iron handy? Unplug the printer get a soldering iron heat it up,. and touch it real close to where you think the resin has cured. This will heat the rod up melting the resin. The reisn has a pretty low melting point so it should melt quickly. (of course do at your own risk)… I have tried this on my form when I thought my stepper motor had resin in it. But it didn’t.

Id say use a little mini torch style lighter but that may not be the best or safest to do, I know, I tried it also. Don’t do that… Safer to use a soldering iron to melt the resin off any peice of metal. So maybe try the soldering iron trick. It is also used to melt loctite on metal.

I would open a support ticket and have FL guide you through the cleaning process. It may take a day or so (FL may be off Monday with the marathon).

I would not try to heat and melt the resin. Unless I missed something, FL resin doesn’t melt like wax. Even if it did, you would only make a bigger mess. It is easier to break a chunk of wax off a table than a thin layer.

Sorry sharpknife I would have to agree with DavidRosenfeld. Once cured it easily comes away especially from steel. Heat tends not to mix well with bearings or seals.

To clarify I am most worried about the linier rail. Taking this apart would be a real pain not to mention potential alignment issues. If there is resin inside the bearing block i wonder if it may be better to clean it out or leave it as it may do nothing. In the case of the later then i am not sure how best to top up the grease. I am interested to hear everyone’s thoughts so please fire on.

I hope i dont need to go this far but i beleve the pins pictured are alignment pins for the rail.

Echoing the advice of @DavidRosenfeld - the best thing to do would be to submit a support request, using the link on this page:

So I opened a support request a few days ago but been really busy.

The initial instruction from FormLabs support was to clean all the external and non-critical surfaces with paper, cotton wool and an ammonia free IPA or similar cleaner. Then followed by the mirror cleaning instructions online. Unfortunately there was a lot of resin on the inner mirror. This photo from Bunny’s blog, which has some really good info, shows the other mirror.

To clean this I had to remove the rear of the case so I could see what I was doing. Then reach around through the front print window to carefully wipe it down and away. All without touching the galvanometer mirrors. Trust me I was bricking it doing this. So it’s not for the faint hearted.

Lubricating Z-Screw
FormLabs now recommend CMD Extreme High-Pressure Lubricant. I just used Krytox i had, nothing beats it. Turning the screw by hand felt so much better after applying it. The following instructions where given top apply the lube.

To apply the grease:

1 Find out where the Z-Screw makes the most noise. It may be necessary to run a print, note when the noise occurs, then cancel the print.

2 Disconnect the printer from power and remove the Build Platform.

3 Apply a small dab of grease to the Z-Screw where the squeaking is the strongest.

4 Take the Build Platform Carriage (the lever arm the Build Platform attaches to) and gently move it up and down to work the grease into the screw.

5 Plug the printer back in and continue printing. If you still hear some noise it may need a bit more grease.

The Linier Motion bearings (LM blocks) are another story. I will update this soon with more on the LM blocks.

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