Axes Lubrication

To keep the machine operating properly, and to extend its service life, you must verify that the motion components are well lubricated. This is especially important when operating at a consistently high temperature.

Before you start, make sure the machine is properly cooled down!

In this guide you will find:

The Z-axis requires a different grease from the X- and Y-axes.

How to Check and Inspect Your Machine

The following figures show the locations and parts of your machine that require lubrication.

Z axis

The Z axis has a lead screw and nut on each side of the build platform. There is a pair of linear shafts with linear bushings on each side as well, with one of the pair on either side of the lead screw.

Z axis lubrication points.

X and Y Axes

The X axis has one linear rail, with both toolheads mounted on their own linear guide as shown below. The Y axis has linear rails on either side of the machine. Each end of the gantry is mounted on a linear guide on one of the Y axis linear rails.

X and Y axis lubrication points.

Signs and Symptoms

If your machine exhibits any of these symptoms, it is time to clean and re-lubricate:

  • The linear shaft, lead screw, or linear rail is dry to the touch
  • The linear shaft, lead screw, or linear rail is sticky or tacky to the touch.
  • The motion system begins to squeak.
  • The motion system will not move and the motors are stalled.
  • Contaminants / debris in the motion system.
  • “Jittering” at high speeds.

Cleaning and Lubricating the X and Y Axes

The following steps details the process of cleaning and lubricating the linear guides and rails for the X and Y axes of your machine.

Required Tools & Equipment

  • Krytox GPL 225 grease
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Plastic gloves
  • 99% IPA

Krytox GPL 225 grease has been specifically selected for its chemical compatibility with the motion components and high temperature resistance. The use of alternate products may damage your printer and will void your warranty. Make sure to follow the safety precautions on the grease label.

  1. Home your machine. Move the bed down 200mm to allow space to work.
  2. Deactivate the stepper motors by entering M18 in the terminal tab of the user interface.
  3. With gloves on, gently wipe down the X-axis linear rail with the lint free cloth. Move the toolheads by hand to access the rail underneath them.
  4. Clean the toolhead linear guides by wiping away any built up residue on either side of the linear guide where it meets the rails.
  5. Gently move the Y-gantry by hand to the rear of the machine. Make sure to push from the center of the gantry.
  6. Gently wipe down the Y-axis linear rails with the lint free cloth. Move the Y-gantry by hand to access the rail underneath the linear guides.

    If there are any stuck on contaminants, damp your cloth with 99% IPA and wipe it off.

  7. Wipe away any built up residue on the front and back of the linear guides where they meet the rails. Do this on both sides of the Y-gantry.

  8. Apply about a pea-sized quantity of grease to both of the grooves on each side of the two (2) Y-axis rails and the X-axis rail (6 locations).

  9. Spread the grease with your finger along and inside the grooves.

  10. Home X and Y. In the Motion tab of the Control page in the user interface, tap the XY button under Home Axes.

  11. Using the controls in the user interface, jog the Y-axis to the far end of the machine and back again. Do this five (5) times. This helps to spread the grease in a thin, even layer.

  12. Jog each toolhead on the X-axis to the far side and back to its home, five (5) times each.

  13. Wipe away any built up grease where the linear guides meet the rails.

Your X and Y axes are now lubricated, congratulations!

Cleaning and Lubricating the Z Axis

The following steps detail the process of cleaning and lubricating the linear bushings, linear shafts, lead screws, and lead nuts for the Z axis of your machine.

Required Tools & Equipment

  • Super-Lube Multi-purpose Synthetic Grease with SYNCOLON® (PTFE)
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Plastic gloves
  • 99% IPA
  • Metal or plastic bristle brush
  1. Home your machine.
  2. Move the Z-axis down to 200mm.
  3. Deactivate the stepper motors by entering M18 in the terminal tab of the user interface.
  4. With gloves on, gently wipe down the Z axis linear shafts with the lint free cloth above and below the linear bushing on all four (4) shafts.
  5. Wipe away any built up residue on the top and bottom of the linear bushings around the shafts.
  6. Repeat the previous two (2) steps for the lead screws. Use the brush to clean within the helical profile of the lead screw.

    If there are contaminants which cannot be easily wiped away, dampen your cloth with 99% IPA and wipe them off.

  7. Using the specified grease, apply a grape-sized amount to each of the four (4) linear shafts and two (2) lead screws.

  8. Spread the grease using your gloved hand along the length of the shafts and screws in a thin layer. Ensure some grease goes into the helical profiles of the lead screws.

  9. Home your machine.

  10. Move the Z axis down to the bottom of the machine and back up three (3) times to spread the grease. To do this easily, issue G0 Z600 from the terminal.

  11. Lastly, wipe away any extra grease that has accumulated on the top and bottom of the linear bushings and lead nuts.

Your Z axis is now lubricated, congratulations!

Last modified: August 3, 2020