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Silence your 3D printer

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Foreword

Let’s continue with the 3D printer upgrades series. Today I will show you guys how to lower the noise from your 3D printer. You can hardly hear anything except the fan after following all my steps below.

This guide is applied for both Kossel and Cartesian 3D printer so don’t worry.

Please refer these link below for more posts in the 3D printer upgrade series:
1. Enclose your Kossel (Delta) 3D printer.
2. Light up your 3D printer.

Now, let’s get started.

Vibration suppression foot (Must do)

Noise usually comes from the vibration of the whole 3D printer when it’s operating on a hard floor. This noise is easily reduced by some proper suppression foot.

For the Kossel 3D printer:

 

For the Cartesian 3D printer: 

  • You can buy the anti-vibration shock absorbing feet here, it’s kinda cheap.

Figure: Anti-vibration shock absorbing feet 

 

Vibration damper for all stepper motors (Must do)

Here is the picture of a vibration damper

Figure: Vibration damper for NEMA17 stepper motor

Most of the old NEMA stepper motors usually comes with the vibration damper. However, I have seen many people throwing it away and simply attach the steppers directly to the frame. Please avoid doing this because these little things can help you reduce the noise dramatically with an extremely minimal effort.

Here is the link where you can buy if not having one: https://www.amazon.com/Rubber-Stepper-Vibration-Damper-Screws/dp/B07413FLKZ

Please follow my guild below to know how to attach this to your stepper correctly:

Lubricate all fans (Must do)

The noise also comes from the fan, either the extruder or power supply fan. Just make sure you put some oil into the fans bearing before using them.

Please follow my guild below to know how to lubricate a fan correctly without damaging it:

Damper for carbon rods (Must do)

Please skip this step if you are using a Cartesian 3D printer.

There is a little vibration on each carbon rod while printing. By using some springs (or rubber bands) to connect each pair of rods, you can easily eliminate this. In addition,  doing this also help improve your print quality, especially while printing small parts.

Please check the picture below to know to install those springs:

Here is the difference between having and not having the damper for carbon rods:

As can be seen in the picture, the surface is now smoother than before thanks to those dampers.

 

Decrease the voltage on stepper driver (Must do)

Now we are going through the most crucial step. By doing this step appropriately, you can reduce the noise significantly.

Please follow my guide below to know how to find the “golden voltage” on your stepper driver. “Golden voltage”, in this case, is the voltage at which the stepper can operate silently without overheating or missing any steps.

Step 1: Get a Digital VOM, change the scale to 20VDC

Step 2: Measure voltage between the turnpot cap and GND.

Step 3: Using a ceramic screwdriver (to avoid short-circuit while measuring) and adjust until you get 0.42V DC on VOM.

Step 4: Power on the printer and try moving each axis separately. While it is moving, you can try holding the stepper as hard as you can to make sure it won’t miss any step. If it still does, you will need to increase the voltage and redo this step.

 

Enclose the 3D printer (Must do)

Enclose your 3D printer will basically isolate the printed space from the outer environment such as temperature or dust.

For Kossel 3D printer, I’ve already had a tutorial here:
Enclosing the Kossel / Delta 3D printer

For Cartersian 3D printer, because of the difference in mechanical structure, it makes the Cartesian 3D printer enclosure pretty easier than the Kossel. The only thing you need to do is building a box and simply put it in.

Change to use more silent fans (Optional)

This step is just a recommendation. If you already lubricate the fans and happy with the result, you don’t need to do this step.

Replace all the stepper driver with TMC2208 (Optional)

Here is the link to buy the TMC2208: TMC2208

This is just an optional step. In my opinion, by doing the “5. Decrease the voltage on stepper driver” is enough.

Note that to install and running your board with TMC2208, you will need to update the firmware to support it.

Congratulations!

I hope you can make yourself go through all those steps above. Now you can just let your printer silently do it job. My printer is going from around 65dB to 47dB and it’s a huge difference.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter for more interesting articles. 

Have fun!

WRITTEN BY

Trung Do

Firmware engineer, blogger and a makerholic 

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