What maintenance is required for my Mini 3D printer?
Blue painters tape is the most common bed material used in the 3D printing community. Not only is it inexpensive, but it is easy to find and it works well. The tape works best when printing with PLA at standard temperatures. If you choose to use blue painters tape on your bed, you will need to replace the tape once it rips, breaks, or no longer allows prints to stick to it. Usually the tape comes off easily from the print bed but, if it does not, it is safe to use an adhesive remover. Once the bed is clean from your old tape, we recommend using 2 or 3-inch tape on the bed. You will need to lay the pieces of tape across the bed while not overlapping or having too much space between them. Once the tape is on the bed, we recommend running through calibration steps again as the tape can sometimes be thicker.
Kapton tape is the second most popular bed material out there. It is mainly used with printing ABS due to the properties of ABS plastics. If you use Kapton tape, you will need to follow steps to clean off the bed platform. Once the bed is clean you will need to size how much Kapton tape you need for your print. Start by evenly laying out one side of the tape and use a flat, solid object to slowly flatten the tape to the bed. Using something flat and solid, you should be able to push out all bubbles and imperfections in the tape.
Cleaning out nozzle and gears
The best way to clean out your printer is running cleaning filament through the printer after every few prints or when you start to notice issues in printing. This filament is usually a bit softer as well as “sticky”. This will pull filament particles out of gears as well as out of the extruder head.
If cleaning filament does not do the job, you will need to manually clean out your parts. The feeding gears on the Select Mini printer are easy to access and can be cleaned without removing any parts. The gear can be cleaned out with any small pick that can fit between the gear teeth. Another common option is using compressed air to help push out any stubborn debris. The nozzle is a bit more complicated to clean out, but the best option is using a nozzle hand drill or piano wire. Both of these options would go in from the nozzle tip and help push out any stuck, burnt, or dry filament. If your nozzle is still not extruding, continue to our guide on cleaning out clogs.
3D printers move a lot while printing and will rub metal on metal. Like any machine, it works much better when properly lubricated. For the X and Y-axis running on cross bars and bearings, we recommend using sewing machine oil. This works best and keeps everything running smoothly. You will only need to apply a single drop on each axis bar and slide the head or plate across the bar to spread the oil. For the Z-axis, the printer runs on a threaded screw-like pole. For this pole, we recommend (sparingly) using a PTFE-based grease. In general, the Z-axis should be maintained once every 6 months whereas the X and Y axis should be lubricated when you notice them become dry or rigid.