The InkSmith Team is excited for the holiday break, and we know teachers and educators are too!
There’s a lot to do to prepare your classroom for time away, including making sure your students take home everything they need, but we’re here to remind you not to forget about your school’s 3D printer!
If your 3D printer isn’t being used for a couple of weeks or months, it’s best practice to perform a few easy maintenance tasks that will help your machine run smoothly when you return to school in the new year.
Follow the steps below to prepare your 3D printer for a break:
1. Clean Everything
First things first, give your 3D printer a thorough cleaning. This includes making sure it’s clear of dust, leftover printing debris, and both the nozzle and the print bed are clean.
Using a soft cloth, wipe away dust and debris inside the printer, taking care to clear anything that may be caught under the print bed. If your printer has a heated bed, use a bit of isopropyl alcohol to remove plastic residue.
To clean your nozzle, start by heating it up using the 'Preheat' function on your printer. It's best to clean your nozzle when it is still hot, as the filament will come off much easier. Once heated, use a brass brush, like the one included in the kit accompanying your printer, to scrub the nozzle. Hold the extruder assembly while scrubbing to stop it from moving around.
2. Change the Filter
3D printer filters help to purify and remove any airborne particles that are produced during the printing process. All InkSmith 3D printers are equipped with HEPA/Carbon filters that remove harmful VOCs and odours, which is why they’re great for classroom use.
3D printer filters need to be replaced once a year and changing them either before or after the holiday break is a great yearly reminder. Simply remove the old filter and insert a new one.
For new replacement filters, click here.
3. Filament Storage
The last step to prepare your 3D printer for a break is to properly store your filament.
Over time, filament naturally absorbs moisture from the air, and the more humid the air is, the faster this happens. One of the main causes of nozzle clogs is printing with old filament. Not only does poor filament storage result in increased costs over time, but it's also bad for the environment when you throw away unused filament spools.
To keep out moisture and other contaminants, we recommend using InkSmith’s eSun eBox Lite and the eSun eVacuum Kit. The eSun eBox is a storage container that maintains consistent temperature and humidity to keep filament dry in storage.
The eSun eVacuum Kit, which can be used with the eBox Lite, comes with humidity indicator cards so you always know the condition of your filament while in storage. The vacuum-sealed bags are durable and recyclable, making them an environmentally friendly solution.
By following these simple steps, your 3D printer will be in tip-top shape and ready for your students’ creations in the new year.